Perinatal Glyphosate-Based Herbicide Impaired Maternal Behavior by Reducing the Striatal Dopaminergic Activity and Delayed the Offspring Reflex Development

Paulo Ricardo Dell’Armelina Rocha, Miriam Oliveira Ribeiro, Thaisa Meira Sandini, Esther Lopes Ricci Adari Camargo, Maria Martha Bernardi, Helenice de Souza Spinosa



Glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide, causes in mammals’ cellular mutagenesis and toxic effects at the embryonic, fetal, and placental levels, even at low concentrations. This study investigated in rats the effects of perinatal exposure to Glyphosate-base herbicide (GLY-BH) on maternal behavior and the hypothalamic and striatal levels of dopamine and serotonin. The pup’s physical and behavioral development were observed. GLY-BH herbicide (50 or 150 mg/kg, per os) was administered in dams during gestation (15º gestational day (GD15) to 7º lactation day (LD7). The female body weight (BW) was recorded throughout the pregnancy and lactation. The dams’ reproductive performance was observed at postnatal day (PND) 2, the open field behavior at PND5 and the maternal behavior at PND6. At weaning, the dam’s hypothalamic and striatal levels of dopamine and serotonin were measured. Maternal exposure to both GLY-BH doses: i) had few effects on BW gain; ii) decreased the number and body weight of the pups; iii) impaired the maternal care; iv) both doses decreased the activity of striatal and hypothalamic dopaminergic systems; v) 50 mg/kg increased and 150 mg/kg decreased the serotoninergic hypothalamic activity. In offspring, no effects on physical development but a delay on reflex development. Conclusions: perinatal exposure to GLY-BH decreased the maternal care by a reduced striatal dopaminergic activity and delayed the pup’s reflex development.


O glifosato, um herbicida não seletivo, que causa mutagênese celular e efeitos tóxicos embrionário, fetal e placentário, mesmo em baixas concentrações. Este estudo investigou, em ratos, os efeitos da exposição perinatal ao herbicida à base de glifosato (GLY-BH) sobre o comportamento materno e os níveis hipotalâmicos e estriatais de dopamina e serotonina. O desenvolvimento físico e comportamental dos filhotes foi observado. O herbicida GLY-BH (50 ou 150 mg / kg, per os) foi administrado às mães durante a gestação (15º dia gestacional (GD15) a 7º dia de lactação (LD7). O peso corporal (PC) foi registrado durante a gestação e lactação O desempenho reprodutivo das mães foi observado no dia pós-natal (PND) 2, o comportamento de campo aberto no PND5 e o comportamento materno no PND 6. Ao desmame os níveis hipotalâmicos e estriatais da dopamina e da serotonina foram medidos. A exposição materna às duas doses de GLY-BH: i) teve poucos efeitos sobre o ganho de PC; ii) diminuiu o número e peso corporal dos filhotes; iii) prejudicou o cuidado materno; iv) ambas as doses diminuíram a atividade dos sistemas dopaminérgicos estriatal e hipotalâmico; v) 50 mg / kg e 150 mg / kg de GLY-BH diminuíram a atividade hipotalâmica serotoninérgica. Na prole, não houve efeitos no desenvolvimento físico, mas observou-se atraso no desenvolvimento reflexológico. Poucos efeitos na atividade geral do filhote foram observados. Conclusões: a exposição perinatal ao GLY-BH diminuiu o cuidado materno por uma atividade dopaminérgica estriada reduzida e atrasou o desenvolvimento do reflexo do filhote.



reproductive toxicology; dopamine; pups’ development; maternal care; herbicide.

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