Mentor: Dr. Demetrio Sierra Mercad; University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
The effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on anxiety-like behavior in rats
Description of Project:
Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) are considered “safe” because they act by inhibiting a metabolic route not present in mammals. Unfortunately, their use has been linked to increased diagnosis of general anxiety in humans. Indeed, studies in rodents have shown that exposure to high doses of GBH, which are thought to be unsafe for humans, causes increased anxiety-like behavior to open spaces in the open field test (OFT) and elevated plus maze (EPM). However, no studies have evaluated the neurobehavioral effect of GBH exposure at the low concentration levels that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe for human consumption. Thus, our project seeks to determine the effects of exposure to EPA accepted concentrations of glyphosate on general anxiety in rats. Overall, this project will provide a better understanding of the possible risks of GBH to mental health.