THE TOXICITY OF PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOID-CONTAINING PLANTS AND OTHER HEPATOTOXIC AND NEUROTOXIC PLANTS
Location: Poisonous Plant Research
Title: Detection of high levels of pyrrolizidine-N-oxides in the endangered plant cryptantha crassipes (Terlingua creek cat's-eye)using HPLC-ESI-MS
Submitted to: Phytochemical Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 2010
Publication Date: March 24, 2011
Citation: Williams, M.T., Warnock, B.J., Betz, J.M., Beck, J.J., Gardner, D.R., Lee, S.T., Molyneux, R.J., Colegate, S.M. 2011. Detection of high levels of pyrrolizidine-N-oxides in the endangered plant cryptantha crassipes (Terlingua creek cat's-eye)using HPLC-ESI-MS. Phytochemical Analysis. 22(3) DOI: 10.1002/pca.1314.
Interpretive Summary: Terlingua Creek Cat’s-eye (Cryptantha crassipes) is an endangered plant species with a limited distribution in the so called “moonscape” of the Chihuahuan desert of Texas. Evaluation of this plant’s secondary compounds within the plant established the genus chemotype and supports earlier evidence that harsh, dry growing conditions alter the secondary compounds produced. It was established that the levels of the N-oxides of 2 important pyrrolizidine alkaloids, lycopsamine and intermedine, were increased when environmental conditions were especially harsh and dry.
Chemical investigation of nine species of Cryptantha identified at least two chemotypes within the genus. It was determined that under especially harsh and dry growing conditions of the Chihuahuah desert of Texas, the N-oxides of two major pyrrolizidine alkaloids, lycopsamine and intermedine, found in the endangered species Cryptantha crassipes (Terlingua Creek Cat’s-eye), were significantly elevated. The high levels of these N-oxides establish the genus chemotype of the C. crassipes and support earlier data linking high levels of N-oxides to dry, harsh growing conditions.