Genotoxicity of AMPA, the environmental metabolite of glyphosate, assessed by the Comet assay and cytogenetic tests

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2009 Mar;72(3):834-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.09.019. Epub 2008 Nov 14.


Formulations containing glyphosate are the most widely used herbicides in the world. AMPA is the major environmental breakdown product of glyphosate. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the in vitro genotoxicity of AMPA using the Comet assay in Hep-2 cells after 4h of incubation and the chromosome aberration (CA) test in human lymphocytes after 48h of exposition. Potential in vivo genotoxicity was evaluated through the micronucleus test in mice. In the Comet assay, the level of DNA damage in exposed cells at 2.5-7.5mM showed a significant increase compared with the control group. In human lymphocytes we found statistically significant clastogenic effect AMPA at 1.8mM compared with the control group. In vivo, the micronucleus test rendered significant statistical increases at 200-400mg/kg. AMPA was genotoxic in the three performed tests. Very scarce data are available about AMPA potential genotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chromosome Aberrations / chemically induced*
  • DNA / drug effects*
  • DNA Damage*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine / metabolism
  • Herbicides / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoxazoles
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutagenicity Tests / methods
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Organophosphonates / toxicity*
  • Tetrazoles
  • Young Adult


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Herbicides
  • Isoxazoles
  • Mutagens
  • Organophosphonates
  • Tetrazoles
  • glyphosate
  • DNA
  • 2-amino-3-(3-hydrox-5(2-methyl-2H-tetrazol-5-yl)isoxazol-4-yl)propionic acid
  • Glycine