Glyphosate targets fish monoaminergic systems leading to oxidative stress and anxiety


Faria, Melissa; Bedrossiantz, Juliette; Rosas Ramírez, Jonathan Ricardo; Mayol, Marta; Heredia García, Gerardo; Bellot, Marina; Prats, Eva; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Gómez-Canela, Cristian; Gómez-Oliván, Leobardo Manuel; Raldúa, Demetrio


Glyphosate is the active ingredient of some of the most highly produced and used herbicides worldwide. The intensive applications of glyphosate-based herbicides and its half-life in water lead to its presence in many aquatic ecosystems. Whereas recent studies have reported neurotoxic effects of glyphosate including autism-related effects, most of them used extremely high (mg/L to g/L) concentrations, so it is still unclear if chronic, low environmentally relevant concentrations of this compound (ng/L to μg/L) can induce neurotoxicity. In this study we analyzed the neurotoxicity of glyphosate in adult zebrafish after waterborne exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations (0.3 and 3 μg/L) for two weeks. Our data showed that exposed fish presented a significant impairment of exploratory and social behaviors consistent with increased anxiety. The anterior brain of the exposed fish presented a significant increase in dopamine and serotonin levels, as well as in the DOPAC/dopamine and homovanillic acid/dopamine turnover ratios. Moreover, the expression of genes involved in the dopaminergic system, as th1th2comtb, and scl6a3 was downregulated. Finally, the brain of exposed fish presented a significant increase in the catalase and superoxide dismutase activities, with a concomitant decrease of glutathione stores. These changes in the antioxidant defense system are consistent with the observed increase in oxidative stress, reflected by the increase in the levels of lipid peroxidation in the brain. The presented results show that current glyphosate concentrations commonly found in many aquatic ecosystems may have detrimental consequences on fish survival by decreasing exploration of the environment or altering social interactions. Furthermore, as zebrafish is also a vertebrate model widely used in human neurobehavioral studies, these results are relevant not only for environmental risk assessment, but also for understanding the risk of chronic low-dose exposures on human health.








Environment International, January 2021, v.146, 106253

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