N-acetylcysteine alleviates fluoride-induced testicular apoptosis by modulating IRE1α/JNK signaling and nuclear Nrf2 activation.
Reprod Toxicol. 2019 03 ;84:98-107. Epub 2019 Jan 8. PMID: 30633982
We previously investigated excessive fluoride exposure elicited intracellular endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and led to Sertoli cells dysfunction in vitro. However, the mechanisms underlying fluoride-mediated male reproductive damage in vivo remain largely unknown. Considerable evidence has now revealed ER stress is closely linked with testicular oxidative damage. Hence, we aimed to explore whether ER stress signaling was involved in the testicular protective effects of antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) against testicular apoptosis induced by fluoride. Male SD rats were oral gavaged with sodium fluoride (NaF) for 7 weeks to induce fluorosis. The animals were pretreatment with or without NAC (150 mg/Bw•d). Our results demonstrated that sub-chronic NaF exposure triggered testicular apoptosis and sex hormonal disturbance in pituitary-testicular (PT) axis, promoted oxidative stress and the expression of ER stress mediators. Antioxidant NAC, however, prevented NaF-induced testicular apoptosis accompanied by activating Nrf2-mediated antioxidant potential. Simultaneously, NAC pretreatment downregulated XBP1 splicing, reduced JNK phosphorylation and further blocked cleavage of caspase-3, all these might contribute to the inhibition of testicular cell apoptosis. Collectively, the presentresults suggested that prolonged administration of NAC preserved testicular function and normalized sex hormonal disruption induced by NaF via the inhibition of Nrf2-associated oxidative damage and Ire1α-JNK-mediated apoptosis in rat testis.