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Int J Toxicol. 2014 Jul;33(4):307-318. Epub 2014 Jul 1.

Effects of Sublethal Exposure to a Glyphosate-Based Herbicide Formulation on Metabolic Activities of Different Xenobiotic-Metabolizing Enzymes in Rats.

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Laboratorio de Biología y Ecotoxicología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, UNCPBA, Tandil, Argentina.
Laboratorio de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias (UNCPBA), Centro de Investigación Veterinaria Tandil (CIVETAN-CONICET), Tandil, Argentina.
Laboratorio de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias (UNCPBA), Centro de Investigación Veterinaria Tandil (CIVETAN-CONICET), Tandil, Argentina


The activities of different xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes in liver subcellular fractions from Wistar rats exposed to a glyphosate (GLP)-based herbicide (Roundup full II) were evaluated in this work. Exposure to the herbicide triggered protective mechanisms against oxidative stress (increased glutathione peroxidase activity and total glutathione levels). Liver microsomes from both male and female rats exposed to the herbicide had lower (45%-54%, P < 0.01) hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) levels compared to their respective control animals. In female rats, the hepatic 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase (a general CYP-dependent enzyme activity) was 57% higher (P < 0.05) in herbicide-exposed compared to control animals. Conversely, this enzyme activity was 58% lower (P < 0.05) in male rats receiving the herbicide. Lower (P < 0.05) 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethlyase (EROD, CYP1A1/2 dependent) and oleandomycin triacetate (TAO) N-demethylase (CYP3A dependent) enzyme activities were observed in liver microsomes from exposed male rats. Conversely, in females receiving the herbicide, EROD increased (123%-168%, P < 0.05), whereas TAO N-demethylase did not change. A higher (158%-179%, P < 0.01) benzyloxyresorufin O-debenzylase (a CYP2B-dependent enzyme activity) activity was only observed in herbicide-exposed female rats. In herbicide-exposed rats, the hepatic S-oxidation of methimazole (flavin monooxygenase dependent) was 49% to 62% lower (P < 0.001), whereas the carbonyl reduction of menadione (a cytosolic carbonyl reductase-dependent activity) was higher (P < 0.05). Exposure to the herbicide had no effects on enzymatic activities dependent on carboxylesterases, glutathione transferases, and uridinediphospho-glucuronosyltransferases. This research demonstrated certain biochemical modifications after exposure to a GLP-based herbicide. Such modifications may affect the metabolic fate of different endobiotic and xenobiotic substances. The pharmacotoxicological significance of these findings remains to be clarified.


glyphosate; nontarget species; rats; xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes

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