How Glyphosate Impairs Liver Condition in the Field Lizard Podarcis siculus. - GreenMedInfo Summary
How Glyphosate Impairs Liver Condition in the Field Lizard(Rafinesque-Schmaltz, 1810): Histological and Molecular Evidence.
Biomed Res Int. 2019 ;2019:4746283. Epub 2019 May 14. PMID: 31218226
The potential toxicity of glyphosate, a widely used broad-spectrum herbicide, is currently a great matter of debate. As vertebrate insectivores, lizards protect plants from herbivorous insects increasing plant biomass via the trophic cascade and represent an important link between invertebrates and higher predators. A negative effect of glyphosate on lizards' survival could have major impacts at the ecological levels. In this study, we investigated the effects of the exposure to low doses of glyphosate on the liver of the wall lizarda suitable bioindicator of soil pollution. Two different doses of pure glyphosate (0.05 and 0.5g/kg body weight) were orally administered every other day for 3 weeks to sexually mature males and females. The results demonstrated that both doses, despite being very low, are toxic for the liver that showed clear signs of suffering, regardless of sex. The histological analysis provided a scenario of severe hepatic condition, which degenerated until the appearance of fibrotic formations. The morphological observations were consistent with a loss of liver physiological functions. Immunocytochemical investigations allowed us to detect an involvement of antioxidant/cytoprotective proteins, such as superoxide dismutase 1 (Cu/Zn SOD, known as SOD1), glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1), metallothionein (MT), and tumor suppressor protein 53, (p53) suggesting that the liver was trying to react against stress signals and damage induced by glyphosate. Finally,hybridization and Real-Time PCR analysis showed the upregulation of estrogen receptorand vitellogenin gene expression, thus demonstrating the xenoestrogenic action of glyphosate. The imbalance of the hormonal homeostasis could threaten the lizards' reproductive fitness and survival, altering the trophic cascade.