The reproductive toxicity of fluoride has become a major concern in the world. Fluoride can decrease the abilities of sperm capacitation, hyperactivation, chemotaxis, acrosome reaction and fertilization, but the studies on the responses of sperm small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs), especially miRNAs, to fluoride exposure are lacking. miRNAs are demonstrated to influence sperm quality and male fertility by regulating gene expression at post-transcriptional levels or translational repression. The objective of this study is to analyze miRNA profiling in sperm of mice administrated with 25 and 100 mg L-1 sodium fluoride (NaF) for 60 d using high-throughput sequencing technology. Along with reduced sperm concentration, survival, motility, and mitochondrial membrane potential, 31 differentially expressed known miRNAs were identified in fluoride groups, compared with the control group. 671 predicted target genes against the 16 altered miRNAs were mainly involved in protease inhibitor activity, apoptosis, ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, and signaling pathways of calcium, JAK-STAT, MAPK, p53, Wnt, which were proved to be directly related to sperm quality. These findings suggested that the altered sperm miRNAs could be potential biomarkers for fluoride reproductive toxicity.
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