Pre- and postnatal toxicity of the commercial glyphosate formulation in Wistar rats

Arch Toxicol. 2007 Sep;81(9):665-73. doi: 10.1007/s00204-006-0170-5. Epub 2007 Jul 19.


Glyphosate is the active ingredient and polyoxyethyleneamine is the surfactant present in the herbicide Roundup formulation commercialized in Brazil. The aim of this study was to assess the reproductive effects of glyphosate-Roundup on male and female offspring of Wistar rats exposed during pregnancy and lactation. Dams were treated orally with water or 50, 150 or 450 mg/kg glyphosate during pregnancy (21-23 days) and lactation (21 days). These doses do not correspond to human exposure levels. The results showed that glyphosate-Roundup did not induce maternal toxicity but induced adverse reproductive effects on male offspring rats: a decrease in sperm number per epididymis tail and in daily sperm production during adulthood, an increase in the percentage of abnormal sperms and a dose-related decrease in the serum testosterone level at puberty, and signs of individual spermatid degeneration during both periods. There was only a vaginal canal-opening delay in the exposed female offspring. These findings suggest that in utero and lactational exposure to glyphosate-Roundup may induce significant adverse effects on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats at puberty and during adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity
  • Female
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Lactation
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sperm Count
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / growth & development
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / growth & development
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Vagina / drug effects
  • Vagina / growth & development


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Herbicides
  • Testosterone
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine