Fluoride 1994; 27(1): 7-12

Effect of Fluoride on Rat Testicular Steroidogenesis

Narayana MV, Chinoy NJ

ABSTRACT: In view of reports of infertility among human populations in fluorosis prevailing regions, we investigated the effect of fluoride ingestion on testicular steroidogenesis in rats. Sodium fluoride (NaF) was administered to the rats orally at a daily dose of 10mg/kg bodyweight for 50 days. The treatment did not cause significant change in testicular cholesterol levels, indicating that metabolism was not altered and that there was no hypo/hypercholesterolemic effect. In addition, activities of the intermediary enzymes in androgenesis, viz., 3ß- and 17ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase were only modestly decreased by NaF ingestion. Subsequently, the determination of circulating androgen levels was similar in NaF-treated rats showed a downward trend compared to those ofthe control group, suggesting alteration in testosterone concentration. The histomorphometric studies revealed significant change in the Leydig cell diameter m correlation with the androgen levels. These results indicate that fluoride does interfere with steroidogenesis in short-term lowdose exposures in rats.

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