Fluoride Action Network


OBJECTIVE:  To address the role of fluoride in causing defects to spermatids and epididymal spermatozoa. METHODS:  Male rabbits were treated with 10 mg NaF/kg body weight daily for 18 months and maintained under identical laboratory conditions along with the control rabbits not given NaF. Testis and epididymis (caput) were investigated for ultrastructural details of spermatids and spermatozoa. RESULTS:  A wide variety of structural defects were observed in the flagellum, the acrosome, and the nucleus of the spermatids and epididymal spermatozoa of fluoride-treated rabbits. Abnormalities included absence of outer microtubules, complete absence of axonemes, structural and numeric aberrations of outer dense fibers, breakdown of the fibrous sheath, and structural defects in the mitochondria of the middle piece of the flagellum. Detachment and peeling off of the acrosome from the flat surfaces of the nucleus were also observed. CONCLUSION:  The abnormalities observed render the sperm nonfunctional and ineffective, and thus there is a possible role of fluoride in causing infertility.