Neonatal exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide alters the histofunctional differentiation of the ovaries and uterus in lambs.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2018 Dec 11. Epub 2018 Dec 11. PMID: 30550814
The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of oral and subcutaneous exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) on the female reproductive system, specifically in the ovaries and uterus of prepubertal lambs. To this end, ewe lambs were exposed to a s.c. (n: 5) or an oral (n: 5) environmentally relevant dose of GBH (2 mg/kg/day) or to vehicle (controls, n: 12), from postnatal day (PND) 1 to PND14. Serum glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) concentrations were measured on PND15 and PND45. The ovaries and uterus were obtained and weighed on PND45. Ovarian follicular dynamics and uterine morphologicalfeatures were determined by picrosirius-hematoxylin staining. The proliferation marker Ki67 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in ovarian and uterine samples. Glyphosate but not AMPA was detected in serum of exposed lambs on PND15, whereas neither glyphosate nor AMPA were detected on PND45. Controls were negative for glyphosate and AMPA on PND15 and PND45. GBH exposure did not affect ovarian or uterine weight. However, on PND45, the ovary of GBH-exposed lambs showed altered follicular dynamics, increased proliferation of granulosa and theca cells, and decreased mRNA expression of FSHR andGDF9, whereas their uterus showed decreased cell proliferation but no alterations in the histomorphology or gene expression. In conclusion, GBH exposure altered the ovarian follicular dynamics and gene expression, and the proliferative activity of the ovaries and uterus of lambs. It is noteworthy that all the adverse effects found in the ovaries and uterus of both GBH-exposed groups were similar, independently of the administration route.