Fluoride Action Network


This study provides quantitative information on the effect of sodium fluoride (NaF) on the testes of F1 generation male rats exposed in utero and during lactation to NaF at one of four concentrations (25, 100, 175, 250 ppm). At weaning, the F1 generation males were exposed to NaF in their drinking water for 14 weeks, after which time testicular tissues were perfusion-fixed with glutaraldehyde and observed after being embedded in plastic. The seminiferous tubules comprised 89%, 87%, 88%, 88% and 88% of the total testis volume while the interstitial space occupied 9.3%, 11.2%, 10.2%, 9.8% and 9.9% of the total testis volume for the 0, 25, 100, 175 and 250 ppm NaF treatment groups, respectively. Statistically significant differences between control and NaF-treated rats were not observed with respect to absolute volume of the seminiferous tubules, interstitial space, Leydig cells, blood vessels boundary layer, lymphatic space, macrophages, tubular lumen or absolute tubular length and absolute tubular surface area, mean Sertoli cell nucleoli number per tubular cross-section, mean seminiferous tubule diameter and the mean height of the seminiferous epithelium. A statistically significant decrease in the absolute volume and volume percent of the lymphatic endothelium was observed in the 175 and 250 ppm NaF-treated groups and in the testicular capsule in the 100 ppm NaF-treated groups. The significance of this finding is unknown at the present time. Overall, the quantitative information obtained suggests that exposure to NaF at the doses used in the present study does not adversely affect testis structure or spermatogenesis in the rat.