Fluoride Action Network


Previous studies have indicated that fluoride exposure damaged the male reproductive function; however, the cellular mechanism of fluoride-induced testicular toxicity is still unclear. In this study, twenty-two female pregnant Wistar rats were allotted randomly to two groups: control (deionized water) and sodium fluoride (NaF, contain F: 67.86 mg/L) groups. After delivery, the dosage was continued for 15 weeks for puppies. Twelve rats in each group were tested at 6 and 9 (pubertal); 12 and 15 (mature) weeks of age. Our results suggested that organ coefficient of epididymis was significantly decreased in the mature (12 and 15 week-old) rats. Epididymal sperm abnormality and femur fluoride concentration were increased with the concomitant decrease in sperm motility and concentration in these experimental periods. Compared to the control, in the NaF group, the seminiferous tubules of each age were reduced in terms of diameter and thickness. The sperm cells were lost and shedding and finally disappeared after 9 weeks. mRNA and protein levels of HSP27 and 90 were decreased with a concomitant increase in HSP70 and HSF mRNA and protein levels in NaF exposed rats. The mRNA and protein levels of HSP27 and HSF (only mRNA) were significantly increased in NaF treated rats at 9 and 15 weeks of age, respectively. In summary, these results emphasize that NaF induces testicular and sperm abnormalities through the involvement of HSPs especially during the pubertal period.