Fluoride Action Network


Effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) on washed, ejaculated human spermatozoa at doses of 25, 50, and 250 mM were investigated in vitro at intervals of 5, 10, and 20 min. Sodium fluoride (NaF) did not affect the extracellular pH of sperm, except that a slight acidification was caused by the 250 mM dose only. The treatment caused a significant enhancement in acid phosphatase (ACPase) and hyaluronidase activities after 5 and 10 min. However, the decrease in the lysosomal enzyme activity after 20 min treatment could have been due to the gradual increase in fluoride accumulation by spermatozoa leading to membrane damage. Silver nitrate staining of sperm revealed elongated heads, deflagellation, and loss of the acrosome together with coiling of the tail. Sperm glutathione levels also showed a time-dependent decrease with complete depletion after 20 min indicating rapid glutathione oxidation in detoxification of the NaF. The altered lysosomal enzyme activity and glutathione levels together with morphologic anomalies resulted in a significant decline in sperm motility with an effective dose of 250 mM.