Fluoride Action Network


Previous studies demonstrated that fluoride, as a widespread environmental pollutant, induced the reproductive toxicity at high dose. Besides the decrease of sperm characteristics like concentration, survival, and sperm motility, it was found that high fluoride induced the destructive mitochondrial ultrastructure and decreased ATP production from mitochondrial respiration. However, whether fluoride exposure can damage the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of sperm is still unknown. In this study, 100 male mice were randomly divided into four groups 25 each, which were administrated with the distilled water containing 0, 25, 50 and 100 mg L-1 NaF, respectively for 60 days. After exposure, sperm mtDNA copy number was measured by real-time PCR, mtDNA integrity by acridine orange (AO) staining, and nuclear DNA (nDNA) integrity through long PCR amplification, as well as MTCYB and MTATP6 mutations by PCR and direct sequencing. The results showed that 100 mg L-1 NaF significantly increased sperm mtDNA copy number, and reduced nDNA integrity. There were no changes observed in mtDNA integrity, and mutations of MTCYB and MTATP6 between fluoride groups and the control group. These results indicated that along with low sperm quality, sperm mtDNA copy number is also a sensitive biomarker to reflect the sperm toxicity of fluoride.