European eel (Anguilla anguilla) genotoxic and pro-oxidant responses following short-term exposure to Roundup--a glyphosate-based herbicide.Mutagenesis. 2010 Sep; 25(5):523-30.M
The glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup, is among the most used pesticides worldwide. Due to its extensive use, it has been widely detected in aquatic ecosystems representing a potential threat to non-target organisms, including fish. Despite the negative impact of this commercial formulation in fish, as described in literature, the scarcity of studies assessing its genotoxicity and underlying mechanisms is evident. Therefore, as a novel approach, this study evaluated the genotoxic potential of Roundup to blood cells of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) following short-term (1 and 3 days) exposure to environmentally realistic concentrations (58 and 116 microg/l), addressing also the possible association with oxidative stress. Thus, comet and erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENAs) assays were adopted, as genotoxic end points, reflecting different types of genetic damage. The pro-oxidant state was assessed through enzymatic (catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase) and non-enzymatic (total glutathione content) antioxidants, as well as by lipid peroxidation (LPO) measurements. The Roundup potential to induce DNA strand breaks for both concentrations was demonstrated by the comet assay. The induction of chromosome breakage and/or segregational abnormalities was also demonstrated through the ENA assay, though only after 3-day exposure to both tested concentrations. In addition, the two genotoxic indicators were positively correlated. Antioxidant defences were unresponsive to Roundup. LPO levels increased only for the high concentration after the first day of exposure, indicating that oxidative stress caused by this agrochemical in blood was not severe. Overall results suggested that both DNA damaging effects induced by Roundup are not directly related with an increased pro-oxidant state. Moreover, it was demonstrated that environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup can pose a health risk for fish populations.