Fluoride Action Network


Fluoride-induced low sperm motility was observed in accumulated investigations. However, the effect of fluoride exposure on ATP generation which is essential to sperm motility remains to be elucidated. In this study, 120 healthy male mice were orally administrated with 0, 25, 50, and 100 mg L-1 NaF for 90 d. Results showed that compared with controls, fluoride ingestion significantly reduced sperm count, survival, as well as mobility and total ATP level in sperm untreated with carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) or pyruvate, which was used to establish glycolysis or mitochondrial respiration model, respectively. Data further revealed that sperm mobility and ATP level under mitochondrial respiration condition were significantly suppressed, while no statistical difference occurred in the model of glycolysis, indicating ATP derived from mitochondria was affected. Moreover, mRNA expressions of mitochondrial cytochrome b (mt-Cytb) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 2 (mt-COX2), two important molecules in mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC), were down-regulated in all fluoride treatment groups. Mitochondria in sperm of mice exposed to 100 mg L-1 NaF appeared to be irregular and vacuolated. These findings suggested that decreased sperm motility induced by fluoride may result from low ATP generation due to the disturbed ETC in sperm mitochondrial.