Toxicology Letters 2004; 147: 229-235.

Zinc protection from fluoride-induced testicular injury in the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus).

Alicja Krasowska, Tadeusz Wlostowski and Elzbieta Bonda

Institute of Biology, University of Bialystok, Swierkowa 20B, 15-950, Bialystok, Poland

Previous work has shown that a high fluoride intake in rodents leads to histopathological changes in the germinal epithelium of testes that is associated with zinc deficiency. The purpose of this study was to determine whether supplemental dietary Zn would protect against testicular toxicity induced by fluoride in a small rodent, the bank vole. The 4-month exposure period to fluoride (200 g/ml of drinking water) induced histopathological changes (hemorrhage in interstitium, necrosis and apoptosis in seminiferous tubule epithelium) which were accompanied by decreased testicular zinc concentration and increased lipid peroxidation. Supplemental dietary zinc (110–120 g/g) together with fluoride treatment resulted in complete reversal of the fluoride-mediated effects. However, supplemented dietary Zn did not affect the accumulation of fluoride in the testes and bone. These data suggest that a zinc-enriched diet protects seminiferous tubules against fluoride toxicity by preventing the fluoride-induced testicular zinc deprivation.

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