Fluoride impairs oocyte maturation and subsequent embryonic development in mice

Environ Toxicol. 2016 Nov;31(11):1486-1495. doi: 10.1002/tox.22153. Epub 2015 May 26.


The damage caused by fluorosis is permanent, and has been recognized as a public health problem in a number of regions of the world. Although multiple studies provided evidence that sodium fluoride (NaF) elicits adverse effects on reproductive function, the effect of fluoride on female germ cell development is not well understood. Therefore, the present study aimed at evaluating the effect of fluoride treatments on in vivo maturation and developmental potential of mouse oocytes, in which female ICR mice were treated with a range of doses (0, 30, 60, and 150 mg/L) of NaF. After treatment, mice were superovulated to collect ovulated oocytes. The effects of NaF on oocyte quality, fertilization potential and early embryonic development were evaluated, as well as the underlying mechanisms were primarily investigated. The findings of this study showed that NaF treatment resulted in abnormal spindle configuration, actin cap formation, and cortical granule-free domain formation. Additionally, overexposure of mice to NaF notably reduced ATP production and mitochondrial membrane potential, further influencing in vitro fertilization and subsequent embryonic development. These results indicated that NaF treatment impairs the subsequent embryonic developmental potential of the oocytes. In conclusion, overexposure to fluoride in vivo was associated with a significant disruption of cytoskeletal dynamics and decreased oocyte quality, affecting the oocyte's subsequent fertilization and embryonic development. Results of this study provide a rationale for treating reproductive diseases such as infertility or miscarriage caused by environmental contaminants. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 31: 1486-1495, 2016.

Keywords: actin; cortical granule-free domain; fluoride; in vitro fertilization; mitochondria; spindle.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryonic Development / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Fertilization / drug effects
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Oocytes / drug effects*
  • Oogenesis / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sodium Fluoride / toxicity*


  • Sodium Fluoride