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Environ Geochem Health. 2014 Feb;36(1):107-15. doi: 10.1007/s10653-013-9522-2. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Coal-burning endemic fluorosis is associated with reduced activity in antioxidative enzymes and Cu/Zn-SOD gene expression.

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Department of Prevention Medicine, School of Public Health, Zunyi Medical College, Zunyi, 563003, People's Republic of China.


To study the effect of fluorine on the oxidative stress in coal-burning fluorosis, we investigated the environmental characteristics of coal-burning endemic fluorosis combined with fluorine content surveillance in air, water, food, briquette, and clay binder samples from Bijie region, Guizhou Province, southwest of China. The activities of antioxidant enzymes including copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and level of lipid peroxidation such as malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured in serum samples obtained from subjects residing in the Bijie region. Expression of the Cu/Zn-SOD gene was assessed by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR). Our results showed that people suffering from endemic fluorosis (the high and low exposure groups) had much higher MDA level. Their antioxidant enzyme activities and Cu/Zn-SOD gene expression levels were lower when compared to healthy people (the control group). Fluorosis can decrease the activities of antioxidant enzymes, which was associated with exposure level of fluorine. Down-regulation of Cu/Zn-SOD expression may play an important role in the aggravation of oxidative stress in endemic fluorosis.

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