Excessive fluoride in natural water ecosystem has the potential to detrimentally affect thyroid endocrine system, but little is known of such effects or underlying mechanisms in fish. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of fluoride on growth performance, thyroid histopathology, thyroid hormone levels, and gene expressions in the HPT axis in male zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to different determined concentrations of 0.1, 0.9, 2.0 and 4.1 M of fluoride to investigate the effects of fluoride on thyroid endocrine system and the potential toxic mechanisms caused by fluoride. The results indicated that the growth of the male zebrafish used in the experiments was significantly inhibited, the thyroid microtrastructure was changed, and the levels of T3 and T4 were disturbed in fluoride-exposed male fish. In addition, the expressional profiles of genes in HPT axis displayed alteration. The expressions of all studied genes were significantly increased in all fluoride-exposed male fish after exposure for 45 days. The transcriptional levels of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroglobulin (TG), sodium iodide symporter (NIS), iodothyronine I (DIO1), and thyroid hormone receptor alpha (TRa) were also elevated in all fluoride-exposed male fish after 90 days of exposure, while the inconsistent expressions were found in the mRNA of iodothyronine? (DIO2), UDP glucuronosyltransferase 1 family a, b (UGT1ab), transthyretin (TTR), and thyroid hormone receptor beta (TRB). These results demonstrated that fluoride could notably inhibit the growth of zebrafish, and significantly affect thyroid endocrine system by changing the microtrastructure of thyroid, altering thyroid hormone levels and endocrine-related gene expressions in male zebrafish. All above indicated that fluoride could pose a great threat to thyroid endocrine system, thus detrimentally affected the normal function of thyroid of male zebrafish.
*Abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0166445X15301223?via%3Dihub