Fluoride Action Network


The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of fluoride (F) on spermatogenesis in male rats. F at 50 and 100 mg/L was administered for 70 days, after which the testicular and epididymis tissues were collected to observe the histopathological structure under a light microscope. The ultrastructure of the testis and sperm was also examined via transmission electron microscopy. The apoptosis of spermatogenic cells was measured through terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling staining. The expression of proliferation factors, namely, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Ki-67, in the testicular and epididymis tissues, were assayed through immunohistochemistry. F at 50 and 100 mg/L significantly damaged the structure of the testis and epididymis, and the testis and sperm ultrastructure exhibited various changes, including mitochondrial swelling and vacuolization, and apsilated and raised sperm membrane. F treatment significantly increased spermatogenic cell apoptosis in the testis. PCNA (P?<?0.01) and Ki-67 (P?<?0.01) also presented positive expression in the testis. By comparison, no significant changes occurred in the epididymis. In summary, excessive F intake results in spermatogenesis dysfunction by damaging the testicular structure and inducing spermatogenic cell apoptosis in male rats. The positive expression level of PCNA and Ki-67 was a good response to spermatogenesis dysfunction.