Fluoride Action Network


Sodium fluoride (NaF), a widespread natural pollutant was given to sperm-positive female rats throughout gestation and lactation at a dose of 4.5 and 9.0 ppm via drinking water. The neonates were allowed to grow up to 90 days on tap water, and then sperm parameters, testicular steroidogenic marker enzyme activity levels, and circulatory hormone levels were studied. The sperm count, sperm motility, sperm coiling (hypoosmotic swelling test), and sperm viability were decreased in experimental rats when compared with controls. The activity levels of testicular steroidogenic marker enzymes (3beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase) were significantly decreased in experimental animals indicating decreased steroidogenesis. The serum testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels were also significantly altered in experimental animals. Our data indicate that exposure to NaF during gestation and lactation affects male reproduction in adult rats by decreasing spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis.