Toxic Effects of Fluoride on Male Mouse Reproductive System

Cao J, Chen Y, Chen J, Yan H, Li M, Wang J. Fluoride exposure changed the structure and the expressions of Y chromosome related genes in testes of mice. Chemosphere. 2016 Oct;161:292-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.06.106.

It is known that during spermatogenesis, pluripotent germ cells differentiate to become efficient delivery vehicles to the oocyte of paternal DNA, and the process is easily damaged by external poison. In this study, the effects of fluoride on the body weight, fluoride content in femur, testosterone levels in serum and testis, sperm quality, and the expressions of Y chromosome microdeletion genes and protein levels were examined in testes of Kunming male mice treated with different concentrations of 0, 25, 50, 100 mg/L of NaF in drinking water for 11 weeks, respectively. The results showed that compared with the control group, fluoride contents in three treatment groups were significantly increased and the structure of testes was seriously injured. The testosterone contents and the sperm count were decreased. Sperm malformation ratio was distinctly elevated. The expressions of Sly and HSF2 mRNA were markedly reduced in 100 mg/L NaF group and Ssty2 mRNA expression was dramatically decreased in 50 and 100 mg/L NaF groups. Meanwhile, the protein levels of Ssty2 and Sly were significantly reduced in 50 and 100 mg/L NaF groups and HSF2 protein levels were significantly decreased in 100 mg/L NaF group. These studies indicated that fluoride had toxic effects on male reproductive system by reducing the testosterone and sperm count, and increasing the sperm malformation ratio, supported by the damage of testicular structure, as a consequence of depressed HSF2 level, which resulted in the down-regulation of Ssty2 and Sly mRNA and protein.

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