Hepatoma tissue culture (HTC) cells as a model for investigating the effects of low concentrations of herbicide on cell structure and function.

Abstract

Previous studies on mice fed genetically modified (GM) soybean demonstrated modifications of the mitochondrial functions and of the transcription/splicing pathways in hepatocytes. The cause(s) of these alterations could not be conclusively established but, since the GM soybean used is tolerant to glyphosate and was treated with the glyphosate-containing herbicide Roundup , the possibility exists that the effects observed may be due to herbicide residues. In order to verify this hypothesis, we treated HTC cells with 1-10mM Roundup and analysed cellular features by flow cytometry, fluorescence and electron microscopy. Under these experimental conditions, the death rate and the general morphology of HTC cells were not affected, as well as most of the cytoplasmic organelles. However, in HTC-treated cells, lysosome density increased and mitochondrial membranes modified indicating a decline in the respiratory activity. Moreover, nuclei underwent morpho-functional modifications suggestive of a decreased transcriptional/splicing activity. Although we cannot exclude that other factors than the presence of the herbicide residues could be responsible for the cellular modifications described in GM-fed mice, the concordance of the effects induced by low concentrations of Roundup on HTC cells suggests that the presence of Roundup residues could be one of the factors interfering with multiple metabolic pathways.

DOI: 10.1016/j.tiv.2008.09.006
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@article{Malatesta2008HepatomaTC, title={Hepatoma tissue culture (HTC) cells as a model for investigating the effects of low concentrations of herbicide on cell structure and function.}, author={Manuela Malatesta and Federica Perdoni and G. Santin and Serafina Battistelli and Sylviane Muller and Marco Biggiogera}, journal={Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA}, year={2008}, volume={22 8}, pages={1853-60} }