Sodium fluoride (NaF), an environmental pollutant, has been tested for its impact on fertility in several species of laboratory animals. A literature demonstrated that NaF adversely affects sperm motility, morphology, capacitation, and the acrosome reaction. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these alterations have not yet been elucidated. Therefore, present study was designed to evaluate the regulatory pathways involved in the effect of NaF on sperm function and fertilization. In this in vitro study, mouse spermatozoa were incubated with a range of concentrations (2.5, 5, and 10 mm) of NaF for 90 min in media that support in vitro fertilization. Our results showed that NaF was associated with reduced intracellular ATP generation, motility, and motion kinematics. Likewise, short-term exposure of spermatozoa to NaF significantly reduced the intracellular calcium concentration, protein kinase-A activity, and tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins, which were associated with a significant decrease in the rate of capacitation and the acrosome reaction. Finally, NaF significantly reduced the fertilization and blastocyst formation during early embryonic development. On the basis of these results, we propose that NaF reduces sperm motility, capacitation, and the acrosome reaction leading to poor fertilization and suppressed embryonic development.
Keywords: acrosome reaction; capacitation; fertility; sodium fluoride; spermatozoa.
© 2015 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.