In vivo influence of sodium fluoride on sperm chemotaxis in male mice

Arch Toxicol. 2014 Feb;88(2):533-9. doi: 10.1007/s00204-013-1099-0. Epub 2013 Jul 24.


Reproductive process covers lots of procedures, including capacitation, hyperactivation, chemotaxis and the acrosome reaction. Each plays an important role in the success of fertilization. Although multiple studies have reported the toxic effects of fluoride on the male reproduction, the effect of fluoride on sperm chemotaxis is little known. This study is to examine the effect of fluoride on the sperm chemotaxis and then to reveal the underling mechanisms of fluoride toxicity in sperm chemotaxis. 260 healthy Kunming male mice (8 weeks old) were randomly divided into four groups and exposed to 50, 100, 150 mg NaF/L in the drinking water for 8 weeks. At the end of the exposure, sperm chemotaxis was examined using a microchannel-based device. Ca(2+) concentration, adenylate cyclase (AC) content and mRNA expression of mACIII, mACVIII, Golf alpha, CatSper1, CatSper2 were measured to elucidate the possible molecular mechanisms. The results showed that the percentage of chemotactic sperm was decreased by NaF in a dose-dependent manner. In the 100 and 150 mg/L groups, Ca(2+) concentration and AC content were notably lower than the control group. Compared with the control group, mRNA expression of CatSper1 in the 100 and 150 mg/L treatment groups was decreased significantly, and other genes showed no statistical difference. These data suggested that excessive fluoride did adversely affect sperm chemotaxis. The alteration of Ca(2+) concentration, AC content and CatSper1 mRNA expression level may play a key role in the mechanism underlying the affection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / genetics
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / genetics
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects*
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits / genetics
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / genetics
  • Sodium Fluoride / toxicity*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • CatSper2 protein, mouse
  • Catsper1 protein, mouse
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins
  • olfactory G protein subunit alpha olf
  • Sodium Fluoride
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • adenylyl cyclase 8
  • Calcium