Effects of Roundup and glyphosate formulations on intracellular transport, microtubules and actin filaments in Xenopus laevis melanophores.
Toxicol In Vitro. 2010 Apr;24(3):795-802. Epub 2009 Dec 29. PMID: 20036731
Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, PO Box 463, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.
Glyphosate containing herbicides, such as Roundup, are commonly used and generally considered to be safe. However, some toxic effects are found on amphibians in vivo and human and mouse cells in vitro. In this study the effects of Roundup, glyphosate, glyphosateisopropylamine and isopropylamine were studied on intracellular transport by measuring aggregation capacity in Xenopus laevis melanophores. The chemicals inhibited retrograde transport of melanosomes in the range of 0.5-5mM. Cellular morphology and localization of microtubules and actin filaments were affected as determined by immunocytochemistry. Both glyphosate and Roundup decreased pH in the media. Acidic pH inhibited melanosome transport and altered microtubule and actin morphology in the absence of chemicals, while transport inhibiting concentrations of glyphosate, Roundup and glyphosateisopropylamine disassembled both microtubules and actin filaments. At physiological pH the effects of Roundup decreased whereas glyphosate failed to inhibit transport. Physiological pH decreases glyphosate lipophilicity and its diffusion into the cytoplasm. The Roundup formulation contains surfactants, such as POEA (polyetylated tallow amine) that increases membrane permeability allowing cellular uptake at physiological pH. Our results show that the effects of glyphosate containing compounds are pH-dependent and that they inhibit intracellular transport through disassembly of the cytoskeleton possibly by interfering with intracellular Ca(2+)-balance.