Herbicides have been recognized as the main environmental factor associated with human neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease(PD). Previous studies indicated that the exposure to glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, is possibly linked to Parkinsonism, however the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We investigated the neurotoxic effects of glyphosate in differentiated PC12 cells and discovered that it inhibited viability of differentiated PC12 cells in dose-and time-dependent manners. Furthermore, the results showed that glyphosate induced cell death via autophagy pathways in addition to activating apoptotic pathways. Interestingly, deactivation of Beclin-1 gene attenuated both apoptosis and autophagy in glyphosate treated differentiated PC12 cells, suggesting that Beclin-1 gene is involved in the crosstalk between the two mechanisms.
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