A new study funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research has revealed that glyphosate is gentoxic to human lymphocyte cells, a subtype of white blood cells, at multiple low concentration doses under the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). The general population is exposed to many of the concentrations tested.

Genotoxicity describes the property of chemical agents that damages the genetic information within a cell causing mutations, which may lead to cancer.

In vitro evaluation of genomic damage induced by glyphosate on human lymphocytes

Full Paper: https://link.springer.com/

Authors: Alfredo Santovito, Stefano Ruberto, Claudio Gendusa, Piero Cervella


Glyphosate is an important broad-spectrum herbicide used in agriculture and residential areas for weed and vegetation control, respectively. In our study, we analyzed the in vitro clastogenic and/or aneugenic effects of glyphosate by chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei assays. Human lymphocytes were exposed to five glyphosate concentrations: 0.500, 0.100, 0.050, 0.025, and 0.0125 μg/mL, where 0.500 μg/mL represents the established acceptable daily intake value, and the other concentrations were tested in order to establish the genotoxicity threshold for this compound. We observed that chromosomal aberration (CA) and micronuclei (MNi) frequencies significantly increased at all tested concentrations, with exception of 0.0125 μg/mL. Vice versa, no effect has been observed on the frequencies of nuclear buds and nucleoplasmic bridges, with the only exception of 0.500 μg/mL of glyphosate that was found to increase in a significant manner the frequency of nucleoplasmic bridges. Finally, the cytokinesis-block proliferation index and the mitotic index were not significantly reduced, indicating that glyphosate does not produce effects on the proliferation/mitotic index at the tested concentrations.