Fluoride Action Network


We sequenced RNA transcripts from the testicles of healthy male mice, divided into a control group with distilled water and two experimental groups with 50 and 100 mg/l NaF in drinking water for 56 days. Bowtie/Tophat were used to align 50-bp paired-end reads into transcripts, Cufflinks to measure the relative abundance of each transcript and IPA to analyze RNA-Sequencing data. In the 100 mg/l NaF-treated group, four pathways related to IL-17, TGF- and other cellular growth factor pathways were overexpressed. The mRNA expression of IL-17RA, IL-17RC, MAP2K1, MAP2K2, MAP2K3 and MAPKAPK2, monitored by qRT-PCR, increased remarkably in the 100 mg/L NaF group and coincided with the result of RNA-Sequencing. Fluoride exposure could disrupt spermatogenesis and testicles in male mice by influencing many signaling pathways and genes, which work on the immune signal transduction and cellular metabolism. The high expression of the IL-17 signal pathway was a response to the invasion of the testicular immune system due to extracellular fluoride. The PI3-kinase/AKT, MAPKs and the cytokines in TGF- family were contributed to control the IL-17 pathway activation and maintain the immune privilege and spermatogenesis. All the findings provided new ideas for further molecular researches of fluorosis on the reproduction and immune response mechanism.