Low-dose exposure of glyphosate-based herbicides disrupt the urine metabolome and its interaction with gut microbiota.
Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 5 ;11(1):3265. Epub 2021 Feb 5. PMID: 33547360
Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) can disrupt the host microbiota and influence human health. In this study, we explored the potential effects of GBHs on urinary metabolites and their interactions with gut microbiome using a rodent model. Glyphosate and Roundup (equal molar for glyphosate) were administered at the USA glyphosate ADI guideline (1.75 mg/kg bw/day) to the dams and their pups. The urine metabolites were profiled using non-targeted liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). Our results found that overall urine metabolite profiles significantly differed between dams and pups and between female and male pups. Specifically, we identified a significant increase of homocysteine, a known risk factor of cardiovascular disease in both Roundup and glyphosate exposed pups, but in males only. Correlation network analysis between gut microbiome and urine metabolome pointed to Prevotella to be negatively correlated with the level of homocysteine. Our study provides initial evidence that exposures to commonly used GBH, at a currently acceptable human exposure dose, is capable of modifying urine metabolites in both rat adults and pups. The link between Prevotella-homocysteine suggests the potential role of GBHs in modifying the susceptibility of homocysteine, which is a metabolite that has been dysregulated in related diseases like cardiovascular disease or inflammation, through commensal microbiome.