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The In Vitro Impact of the Herbicide Roundup on Human Sperm Motility and Sperm Mitochondria

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ART Unit, University of Thessaly, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, 41222 Larissa, Greece
2
Department Obstetrics and Reproduction, University of Thessaly, Veterinary Faculty, School of Health Sciences, 43100 Karditsa, Greece
3
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, School of Health Sciences, 41221 Larissa, Greece
4
Department of Anatomy, University of Thessaly, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, 41221 Larissa, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Risk Assessment of Pesticide Exposure)
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Abstract

Toxicants, such as herbicides, have been hypothesized to affect sperm parameters. The most common method of exposure to herbicides is through spraying or diet. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of direct exposure of sperm to 1 mg/L of the herbicide Roundup on sperm motility and mitochondrial integrity. Sperm samples from 66 healthy men who were seeking semen analysis were investigated after written informed consent was taken. Semen analysis was performed according to the World Health Organization guidelines (WHO, 2010). Mitochondrial integrity was assessed through mitochondrial staining using a mitochondria-specific dye, which is exclusively incorporated into functionally active mitochondria. A quantity of 1 mg/L of Roundup was found to exert a deleterious effect on sperm’s progressive motility, after 1 h of incubation (mean difference between treated and control samples = 11.2%) in comparison with the effect after three hours of incubation (mean difference = 6.33%, p < 0.05), while the relative incorporation of the mitochondrial dye in mitochondria of the mid-piece region of Roundup-treated spermatozoa was significantly reduced compared to relative controls at the first hour of incubation, indicating mitochondrial dysfunction by Roundup. Our results indicate that the direct exposure of semen samples to the active constituent of the herbicide Roundup at the relatively low concentration of 1 mg/L has adverse effects on sperm motility, and this may be related to the observed reduction in mitochondrial staining. View Full-Text
Keywords: herbicides; Roundup; glyphosate; sperm motility; mitochondria herbicides; Roundup; glyphosate; sperm motility; mitochondria
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Anifandis, G.; Amiridis, G.; Dafopoulos, K.; Daponte, A.; Dovolou, E.; Gavriil, E.; Gorgogietas, V.; Kachpani, E.; Mamuris, Z.; Messini, C.I.; Vassiou, K.; Psarra, A.-M.G. The In Vitro Impact of the Herbicide Roundup on Human Sperm Motility and Sperm Mitochondria. Toxics 2018, 6, 2.

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