The expansion of agriculture produces a steady increase in habitat fragmentation and deg‐ radation due to the increased use of pesticides and herbicides. Habitat loss and alteration associated with crop production play an important role in reptile decline, among which lizards are particularly endangered. In this study, we evaluated testicular structure, steroidogenesis, and estrogen receptor expression/localization after three weeks of oral exposure to glyphosate at 0.05 and 0.5 μg/kg body weight every other day in the field lizard Podarcis siculus. Our results show that glyphosate affected testicular morphology, reduced spermatogenesis, altered gap junctions and changed the localiza‐ tion of estrogen receptors in germ cells, increasing their expression; the effects were mostly dose‐ dependent. The result also demonstrates that glyphosate, at least at these concentrations, did not influence steroidogenesis. Overall, the data indicate that this herbicide can disturb the morphophys‐ iology of the male lizard’s reproductive system, with obviously detrimental effects on their repro‐ ductive fitness. The effects of glyphosate must be considered biologically relevant and could endan‐ ger the reproductive capacity not only of lizards but also of other vertebrates, including humans; a more controlled and less intensive use of glyphosate in areas devoted to crop production would therefore be advisable.

Molecular and Histological Effects of Glyphosate on Testicular Tissue of the Lizard Podarcis siculus

Teresa Chianese
Secondo
;
Luigi Rosati
Penultimo
;
Rosaria Scudiero
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

The expansion of agriculture produces a steady increase in habitat fragmentation and deg‐ radation due to the increased use of pesticides and herbicides. Habitat loss and alteration associated with crop production play an important role in reptile decline, among which lizards are particularly endangered. In this study, we evaluated testicular structure, steroidogenesis, and estrogen receptor expression/localization after three weeks of oral exposure to glyphosate at 0.05 and 0.5 μg/kg body weight every other day in the field lizard Podarcis siculus. Our results show that glyphosate affected testicular morphology, reduced spermatogenesis, altered gap junctions and changed the localiza‐ tion of estrogen receptors in germ cells, increasing their expression; the effects were mostly dose‐ dependent. The result also demonstrates that glyphosate, at least at these concentrations, did not influence steroidogenesis. Overall, the data indicate that this herbicide can disturb the morphophys‐ iology of the male lizard’s reproductive system, with obviously detrimental effects on their repro‐ ductive fitness. The effects of glyphosate must be considered biologically relevant and could endan‐ ger the reproductive capacity not only of lizards but also of other vertebrates, including humans; a more controlled and less intensive use of glyphosate in areas devoted to crop production would therefore be advisable.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/883437
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