Previous studies have indicated that fluoride (F) can affect testicular toxicity in humans and rodents. However, the mechanism underlying F-induced testicular toxicity is not well understood. This study was conducted to evaluate the sperm quality, testicular histomorphology and inflammatory response in mice followed F exposure. Healthy male mice were randomly divided into four groups with sodium fluoride (NaF) at 0, 25, 50, 100 mg/L in the drinking water for 180 days. At the end of the exposure, significantly increased percentage of spermatozoa abnormality was found in mice exposed to 50 and 100 mg/L NaF. Disorganized spermatogenic cells, vacuoles in seminiferous tubules and loss and shedding of sperm cells were also observed in the NaF treated group. In addition, chronic F exposure increased testicular interleukin-17(IL-17), interleukin-17 receptor C (IL-17RC), tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in transcriptional levels, as well as IL-17 and TNF-? levels in translational levels. Interestingly, we observed that F treated group elevated testicular inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA level and nitric oxide (NO) concentration. Taken together, these results indicated that testicular inflammatory response could contribute to chronic F exposure induced testicular toxicity in mice.
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