Autism-like Behaviors in Male Juvenile Offspring after Maternal Glyphosate Exposure

Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2021 Aug 31;19(3):554-558. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2021.19.3.554.


Objective: Exposure to the herbicide glyphosate during pregnancy and lactation may increase the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in offspring. Recently, we reported that maternal exposure of formulated glyphosate caused ASD-like behaviors in juvenile offspring. Here, we investigated whether maternal exposure of pure glyphosate could cause ASD-like behaviors in juvenile offspring.

Methods: Water or 0.098% glyphosate was administered as drinking water from E5 to P21 (weaning). Behavioral tests such as grooming test and three-chamber social interaction test in male offspring were performed from P28 to P35.

Results: Male offspring showed ASD-like behavioral abnormalities (i.e., increasing grooming behavior and social interaction deficit) after maternal exposure of glyphosate.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the exposure of glyphosate during pregnancy and lactation may cause ASD-like behavioral abnormalities in male juvenile offspring. It is likely that glyphosate itself, but not the other ingredients, may contribute to ASD-like behavioral abnormalities in juvenile offspring.

Keywords: Autistic disorder; Glyphosate; Ingredient; Maternal exposure; Offspring.