Glyphosate and AMPA exposure in relation to markers of biological aging in an adult population-based study

Charlotte Cosemans, Nicolas Van Larebeke, Bram G. Janssen, Dries S. Martens, Willy Baeyens, Liesbeth Bruckers, Elly Den Hond, Dries Coertjens, Vera Nelen, Greet Schoeters, Hans Wolfgang Hoppe, Esther Wolfs, Karen Smeets, Tim S. Nawrot, Michelle Plusquin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aim: Glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide, and its main metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) are persistent in the environment. Studies showed associations between glyphosate or AMPA exposure and several adverse cellular processes, including metabolic alterations and oxidative stress. Objective: To determine the association between glyphosate and AMPA exposure and biomarkers of biological aging. Methods: We examined glyphosate and AMPA exposure, mtDNA content and leukocyte telomere length in 181 adults, included in the third cycle of the Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHSIII). DNA was isolated from leukocytes and the relative mtDNA content and telomere length were determined using qPCR. Urinary glyphosate and AMPA concentrations were measured by Gas Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). We used multiple linear regression models to associate mtDNA content and leukocyte telomere length with glyphosate or AMPA exposure while adjusting for confounding variables. Results: A doubling in urinary AMPA concentration was associated with 5.19% (95% CI: 0.49 to 10.11; p = 0.03) longer leukocyte telomere length, while no association was observed with urinary glyphosate concentration. No association between mtDNA content and urinary glyphosate nor AMPA levels was observed. Conclusions: This study showed that AMPA exposure may be associated with telomere biology in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113895
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • AMPA
  • Glyphosate
  • mtDNA content
  • Telomere length


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