Environmental Sciences 2000;7(1):29-38

Reversal of fluoride-induced alteration in cauda epididymal spermatozoa and fertility impairment in male mice.

Chinoy NJ, Sharma A.

Reproductive Endocrinology and Toxicology Unit, Department of Zoology, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India.

ABSTRACT: The effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) ingestion (10 mg NaF/kg body weight) and the possible therapeutic effects of ascorbic acid (AA, 15 mg/animal/day) and/or calcium phosphate (Ca, 25 mg/animal/day) on the reproductive functions and fertility of male mice were investigated. NaF-ingestion brought about a significant decline in sperm acrosomal acrosin and hyaluronidase. Cauda epididymal sperm stained with alcoholic acidic silver nitrate reagent revealed acrosomal damage and deflagellation. However, sperm nuclear integrity was not affected by the treatment. The reduced activity of the enzymes as well as the structural and metabolic alterations in the sperm led to a significant decrease in sperm count, and motility and live:dead ratios but an increase in abnormal sperm which ultimately lead to a poor fertility rate. The cessation of NaF-treatment was not conducive to bringing about a complete recovery. However, the administration of AA or Ca to NaF-treated mice revealed significant recovery from fluoride toxicity in all the above parameters. The recovery was more pronounced in the animal group treated with both AA and calcium in combination, thus indicating a synergistic or additive action. It is concluded that fluoride has a definite effect on male reproduction and fertility. However, the effects are transient and reversible with the administration of AA and Ca. Therefore, AA and Ca are proposed as therapeutic agents for populations in endemic areas for the amelioration of fluoride effects on reproductive functions. (Abstract from TOXNET)

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