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EFFECTS OF THE GLYPHOSATE PESTICIDE ON MIMETIC SYSTEMS OF THE PLASMA MEMBRANE

Grant number: 23/12454-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2024
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Carlos José Leopoldo Constantino
Grantee:Luiz Guilherme Santos Aquino
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/22214-6 - Towards a convergence of technologies: from sensing and biosensing to information visualization and machine learning for data analysis in clinical diagnosis, AP.TEM

Abstract

The increasing demand for food, given the global population growth, has led to a constant search for increased productivity in agricultural processes. In this context, the use of pesticides has significantly increased over the years, especially in Brazil, one of the largest users of pesticides in the world. Therefore, considering the potential risks of such compounds when applied outside technical norms, as well as the differences in these norms between countries, some actions are necessary, such as monitoring these compounds in food, water, and soil, and their effects on biological systems. In this context, the objective of this undergraduate research project is to explore the reported evidence regarding the association between pesticides and male fertility by investigating the effects of the herbicide glyphosate, widely used in Brazil, on simple models of the lipid structure of sperm cell plasma membrane. The mimetic systems (models) will be formed by mono- and bilayer lipids. Monolayers will be formed by Langmuir films, and bilayers by giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). The lipids used will be POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine), POPE (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine), and SM (sphingomyelin). Langmuir films and GUVs will be prepared from ternary monolayers of POPC/POPE/SM in a molar ratio of 2/2/1. These lipids, in addition to providing the mimetic system with the fluidity of mammalian cell plasma membranes, were chosen because the 2/2/1 POPC/POPE/SM molar composition is closest to that found in sperm cell membranes, which are very sensitive to exposure to agrochemicals in general.

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