Background and objective: Some halogenated agents, especially methoxyflurane, because of a higher level of fluoride production, induce a renal concentrating defect that could be related to an ascending limb impairment. We investigated the mechanisms of fluoride toxicity on an immortalized cell line.
Methods: Cells were cultured for 2, 6 or 24 h in the presence of fluoride. Toxicity evaluation was based on: cell numbers, protein content, leucine-incorporation, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and N-acetyl-βglucosaminidase (NAG) releases, Na-K-ATPase and Na-K-2Cl activities, electron microscope studies. Infrared analysis and fluoride microdetermination allowed crystal components.
Results: At 5 mmol after 24 h, fluoride decreased cell numbers (−14%, *P < 0.05), protein content (−16%*), leucine incorporation (−54%*), Na-K-2Cl activity (−84%*), increased LDH (+145%*) and NAG release (+190%*). Na-K-ATPase was more sensitive and impaired from 1 mmol for 24 h and after 2 h at 5 mmol. Crystal formation in mitochondria occurred after 6 h at 5 mmol. Infra-red analysis and fluoride microdetermination established that crystals contained sodium, phosphate and fluoride.
Conclusions: The results suggest that the Na-K-ATPase pump is a major target for fluoride toxicity in Henle's loop.