Altered sperm chromatin structure in mice exposed to sodium fluoride through drinking water

Environ Toxicol. 2014 Jun;29(6):690-6. doi: 10.1002/tox.21796. Epub 2012 Jul 30.


This study investigated the effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) on sperm abnormality, sperm chromatin structure, protamine 1 and protamine 2 (P1 and P2) mRNA expression, and histones expression in sperm in male mice. NaF was orally administrated to male mice at 30, 70, and 150 mg/l for 49 days (more than one spermatogenic cycle). Sperm head and tail abnormalities were significantly enhanced at middle and high doses. Similarly, sperm chromatin structure was also adversely affected by NaF exposure, indicating DNA integrity damage. Furthermore, middle and high NaF significantly reduced the mRNA expressions of P1 and P2, and P1/P2 ratio, whereas the sperm histones level was increased, suggesting the abnormal histone-protamine replacement. Therefore, we concluded that the mechanism by which F induced mice sperm abnormality and DNA integrity damage may involved in the alterations in P1, P2, and histones expression in sperm of mice.

Keywords: chromatin structure; fluoride; mice; sperm.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / drug effects*
  • DNA Damage
  • Drinking Water / chemistry*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Protamines / metabolism
  • Sodium Fluoride / toxicity*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / pathology
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Drinking Water
  • Histones
  • Prm1 protein, mouse
  • Protamines
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • protamine 2
  • Sodium Fluoride