Imbalances in the male reproductive function of the estuarine crab Neohelice granulata, caused by glyphosate.
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2019 Oct 30 ;182:109405. Epub 2019 Jul 2. PMID: 31276886
Ivana S Canosa
The effect of glyphosate, both pure and formulated (Roundup Ultramax®), was evaluated on males of the estuarine crab Neohelice granulata, by means of both in vivo and in vitro assays. The in vivo assays comprised the exposure for 30 d to 1 mg/L of the herbicide, until finally assessing weight gain, levels of energy reserves, sperm number per spermatophore, proportion of abnormal spermatophores, and sperm viability. At the end of this assay, significant (p < 0.05) decrease in weight gain and muscle protein levels was detected by effect of both pure and formulated glyphosate. In spermatophores from the vas deferens, a significant (p < 0.05) decrease of the sperm count was observed by effect of Roundup, while a significant incidence (p < 0.05) of abnormal spermatophores was observed either with glyphosate or with Roundup treatment. No changes were seen in the spermatophore area or in vas deferens secretions. Since no sperm mortality was induced by the formulated herbicide, we propose a probable inhibiting effect on spermatogenesis might explain the observed sperm count decrease. In this sense, an in vitro assay was designed by incubating testes and vasa deferentia with Roundup, in order to corroborate the possible interference of glyphosate with the secretion of the androgenic gland hormone that controls the spermatogenesis, in the presence or absence of the androgenic gland. Although the herbicide per se was able to reduce the sperm count to some extent, the increase in the number of spermatozoa/spermatophore produced by the co-incubation with the androgenic gland was completely reverted by the addition of Roundup (1 mg/L of glyphosate a.e.), suggesting that an inhibition on the secretion and/or transduction of the androgenic gland hormone could be taking place.