Effect of sodium fluoride on the oviductal mucosa of adult albino rats and the possible protective role of pomegranate peel extract: a histological and immunohistochemical study

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Abstract

Background

Fluoride is an essential element that naturally exists in varying amounts in the environment. It has been widely used as an additive in many dental care products. The female reproductive system is very sensitive to different harmful environmental factors including fluoride. The oviduct plays a dynamic role during the reproductive period in females. Pomegranate has been reported to contain a wide range of flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Aim

This study aimed to investigate the effect of sodium fluoride (NaF) on the oviductal mucosa of adult albino rat and the possible role of pomegranate peel extract in ameliorating such an effect.

Materials and methods

Twenty-four adult female albino rats were divided into four equal groups: the control group, the pomegranate-treated group (50 mg/kg), the NaF-treated group (22 mg/kg), and both pomegranate and fluoride-treated group. Animals were orally gavaged daily for 30 days. Specimens from the oviducts were processed for light and electron microscopy. Immunohistochemical study was carried out using antibody against acetylated α-tubulin.

Results

Specimens from NaF-treated animals showed overcrowding alternating with exfoliated epithelial cells, few short cilia, vacuolated cytoplasm, and some nuclear alterations. Some mononuclear cells and dilated congested blood vessels were also observed. Ultrastructurally, some cells appeared vacuolated with indented nuclei. The cytoplasm revealed dilated Golgi apparatus and rough endoplasmic reticulum. Moreover, distorted mitochondria were also detected. Periodic acid–Schiff histochemical staining revealed a significantly decreased reaction. Immunohistochemical study showed a significant decrease in acetylated α-tubulin immunoreaction. In contrast, minimal changes were observed in rats treated concomitantly with both fluoride and pomegranate.

Conclusion

Fluoride induces morphological changes in rat oviductal mucosa that can be ameliorated by concomitant treatment with pomegranate.

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