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Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Dec;65:335-46. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.06.043. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Roundup disrupts male reproductive functions by triggering calcium-mediated cell death in rat testis and Sertoli cells.

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1
Departamento de Bioquímica and Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 88040-970 Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Abstract

Glyphosate is the primary active constituent of the commercial pesticide Roundup. The present results show that acute Roundup exposure at low doses (36 ppm, 0.036 g/L) for 30 min induces oxidative stress and activates multiple stress-response pathways leading to Sertoli cell death in prepubertal rat testis. The pesticide increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration by opening L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels as well as endoplasmic reticulum IP3 and ryanodine receptors, leading to Ca(2+) overload within the cells, which set off oxidative stress and necrotic cell death. Similarly, 30 min incubation of testis with glyphosate alone (36 ppm) also increased (45)Ca(2+) uptake. These events were prevented by the antioxidants Trolox and ascorbic acid. Activated protein kinase C, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and the mitogen-activated protein kinases such as ERK1/2 and p38MAPK play a role in eliciting Ca(2+) influx and cell death. Roundup decreased the levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) and increased the amounts of thiobarbituric acid-reactive species (TBARS) and protein carbonyls. Also, exposure to glyphosate-Roundup stimulated the activity of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, supporting downregulated GSH levels. Glyphosate has been described as an endocrine disruptor affecting the male reproductive system; however, the molecular basis of its toxicity remains to be clarified. We propose that Roundup toxicity, implicated in Ca(2+) overload, cell signaling misregulation, stress response of the endoplasmic reticulum, and/or depleted antioxidant defenses, could contribute to Sertoli cell disruption in spermatogenesis that could have an impact on male fertility.

KEYWORDS:

Calcium homeostasis; Cell death; Cell signaling; Free radicals; Glyphosate; Oxidative stress; Roundup; Sertoli cell

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