Comprueban efectos neurotóxicos del glifosato que alteran el sistema nervioso en mamíferos


Investigadores de la Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR) probaron “efectos neurotóxicos” del glifosato sobre el desarrollo y funcionamiento del sistema nervioso en períodos tempranos, a partir de la demora en la maduración de neuronas de mamíferos sometidas a ese herbicida, informó hoy la casa de estudios.
El estudio fue realizado por un grupo de investigadores del Área Toxicología de la Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas de la UNR, liderado por Susana Rosso.
Hace cinco años el equipo comenzó a evaluar los efectos tóxicos del glifosato sobre el desarrollo y función del sistema nervioso de mamíferos expuestos a ese producto durante el período de gestación.
“Nos interesaba saber si existían signos de neurotoxicidad manifestados por alteraciones en la capacidad aprendizaje y memoria, en la fuerza muscular, la actividad locomotora, en las respuestas reflejas de estos animales que se encuentran en períodos tempranos del desarrollo y que fueron expuestos al glifosato” durante la gestación, señaló la jefa del equipo.
Para eso, el grupo conducido por Rosso, investigadora adjunta de CONICET y profesora de la UNR, trató a ratas madres con glifosato cada 48 horas durante la preñez y después evaluó los efectos tóxicos en los neonatos.
Esos animales, indica el estudio, poseen un sistema nervioso parecido al del humano en cuanto a la expresión de genes.
“Observamos que manifiestan alteraciones en la capacidad de las respuesta reflejas, disminución en el desarrollo, en la actividad locomotora, en el aprendizaje y la memoria”, dijo Rosso en una nota de divulgación de la UNR.
“Todo esto indicaba –agregó- que había alteraciones en el sistema nervioso. Eran resultados moderados, no drásticos, pero mostraban alteraciones que comprometían al sistema nervioso”.
En la segunda etapa de la investigación, cuyos resultados se conocen ahora, los científicos se propusieron identificar qué aspecto a nivel celular está alterado y qué provoca estos cambios en la función del sistema nervioso “en los ensayos in vivo”.
Con ese fin emplearon un sistema in vitro para estudiar la neurona.
“Purificamos neuronas a partir de embriones de ratas, de un área del cerebro que es el hipocampo, y se ponen a desarrollar en placas de cultivos in vitro. Esto nos permitió llegar al mecanismo de toxicidad del glifosato”, explicó.
El estudio señala que una neurona normal -neurona control del hipocampo- va cambiando su morfología a partir de tres o cuatro horas “y por medio de microscopía se puede ver cómo va madurando”.
Así, sostiene la investigación, una neurona control luego de 24 horas de cultivo emite neuritas (ramificaciones) y una de ellas elonga rápidamente y forma lo que se denomina axón.
“Esto quiere decir que la neurona polarizó, que es un evento fundamental porque el axón permite comunicarse con otras neuronas, conducir el impulso nervioso, la señalización en todo el sistema nervioso, y emitir una respuesta”, detalló.
Si los axones no se forman y maduran la función del sistema nervioso estará alterada.
“Sorprendentemente, los primeros resultados mostraron que las neuronas tratadas con glifosato tardaban en polarizar ya que luego de 24 horas no desarrollaban su axón, a diferencia de sus controles que polarizaban y emitían un claro axón”, explicó la investigadora del Conicet.
Sin embargo, agregó, si se la deja en cultivo “48 o 72 horas, la neurona forma el axón y polariza, pero es ese axón es morfológicamente diferente al de una neurona control. Es un axón corto y muy poco ramificado”.
“Lo que nos llamó mucho la atención fue que cuando tratábamos una neurona de cuatro días la morfología de una neurona tratada con glifosato era como una célula de dos días: había un retraso en la maduración”.
Según informó la UNR, “los ensayos del equipo de investigación demostraron que los efectos no son reversibles”, por lo que “si uno le saca a la neurona el medio que contiene glifosato y se lo cambia con un medio fresco con todos los nutrientes, la neurona no recupera la morfología de la neurona control”.
Por el contrario, el estudio sostiene que “queda retrasada en su desarrollo, en un estadio muy simple e inmaduro” mientras que “in vitro, luego de ocho días estas neuronas mueren”.

Fuente: Telam

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