Glyphosate-based herbicides are widely used around the world, making it likely that most humans have significant exposure. Because of habitual exposure, there are concerns about toxicity including neurotoxicity that could result in neurological, psychiatric, or cognitive impairment. We recently found that a single injection of glyphosate inhibits long-term potentiation, a cellular model of learning and memory, in rat hippocampal slices dissected 1 day after injection, indicating that glyphosate-based herbicides can alter cognitive function. Glyphosate-based herbicides could adversely affect cognitive function either indirectly and/or directly. Indirectly, glyphosate could affect gut microbiota, and if dysbiosis results in endotoxemia (leaky gut), infiltrated bacterial by-products such as lipopolysaccharides could activate pro-inflammatory cascades. Glyphosate can also directly trigger pro-inflammatory cascades. Indeed, we observed that acute glyphosate exposure inhibits long-term potentiation in rat hippocampal slices. Interestingly, direct inhibition of long-term potentiation by glyphosate appears to be similar to that of lipopolysaccharides. There are several possible measures to control dysbiosis and neuroinflammation caused by glyphosate. Dietary intake of polyphenols, such as quercetin, which overcome the inhibitory effect of glyphosate on long-term potentiation, could be one effective strategy. The aim of this narrative review is to discuss possible mechanisms underlying neurotoxicity following glyphosate exposure as a means to identify potential treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2212-2218
Number of pages7
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2024


  • cognitive impairment
  • glyphosate
  • microglia
  • neuroinflammation
  • roundup
  • toll-like receptor 4
  • zinc chelation


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