The aim of this study was to investigate whether Roundup® (a glyphosate-based herbicide) leads to neurotoxicity in hippocampus of immature rats following acute (30min) and chronic (pregnancy and lactation) pesticide exposure. Maternal exposure to pesticide was undertaken by treating dams orally with 1% Roundup® (0.38% glyphosate) during pregnancy and lactation (till 15-day-old). Hippocampal slices from 15 day old rats were acutely exposed to Roundup® (0.00005-0.1%) during 30min and experiments were carried out to determine whether glyphosate affects 45Ca2+ influx and cell viability. Moreover, we investigated the pesticide effects on oxidative stress parameters, 14C-α-methyl-amino-isobutyric acid (14C-MeAIB) accumulation, as well as glutamate uptake, release and metabolism. Results showed that acute exposure to Roundup® (30min) increases 45Ca2+ influx by activating NMDA receptors and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, leading to oxidative stress and neural cell death.
The mechanisms underlying Roundup®-induced neurotoxicity also involve the activation of CaMKII and ERK. Moreover, acute exposure to Roundup® increased 3H-glutamate released into the synaptic cleft, decreased GSH content and increased the lipoperoxidation, characterizing excitotoxicity and oxidative damage. We also observed that both acute and chronic exposure to Roundup® decreased 3H-glutamate uptake and metabolism, while induced 45Ca2+ uptake and 14C-MeAIB accumulation in immature rat hippocampus. Taken together, these results demonstrated that Roundup® might lead to excessive extracellular glutamate levels and consequently to glutamate excitotoxicity and oxidative stress in rat hippocampus.
Source: Cattani D et al. Toxicology. 2014 Mar 15. pii: S0300-483X(14)00049-3. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2014.03.001.
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