Effects of chronic glyphosate exposure to pregnant mice on hepatic lipid metabolism in offspring

Environ Pollut. 2019 Nov;254(Pt A):112906. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.07.074. Epub 2019 Jul 20.


Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, one of the most popular herbicides in the world, and its toxicity has caused increasing concerns. The present study aims to investigate the toxic effects of prenatal exposure to pure glyphosate or Roundup on lipid metabolism in offspring. During gestational days (GDs), ICR mice (from Institute of Cancer Research) were given distilled water, 0.5% glyphosate solution (w/v, 0.5 g/100 ml) or 0.5%-glyphosate Roundup solution orally. The livers and serum samples of the offspring were collected on gestational day 19 (GD19), postnatal day 7 (PND7) and PND21. The results showed a significant decrease in the body weight and obvious hepatic steatosis with excessive lipid droplet formation in offspring. Moreover, the concentrations of lipids such as triglycerides (TGs), total cholesterol (T-CHO), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterols (LDL-C) increased to a significant extent in both the serum and livers. Furthermore, there were significant differences in the expression levels of the genes SREBP1C, SREBP2, Fasn, Hmgcr, Hmgcs and PPARα, which are related to lipid biosynthesis or catabolism in the liver. These results demonstrate that chronic prenatal exposure to glyphosate can result in lipid metabolism disruption in the offspring of mice, as glyphosate exerts a negative influence on the expression of lipogenesis genes.

Keywords: Hepatotoxicity; Lipid metabolism; Liver disease; Roundup; Steatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipids
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Pregnancy
  • Toxicity Tests, Chronic*


  • Herbicides
  • Lipids
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine