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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Comparative effects of prolonged administration of cyanide, thiocyanate and chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) to goats

Authors
item Soto-Blanco, B. - UNIV FED. RURAL DO SEMI-A
item Stegelmeier, Bryan
item Pfister, James
item Gardner, Dale
item Panter, Kip

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Toxicology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 29, 2007
Publication Date: July 13, 2007
Repository URL: http://www.pprl.ars.usda.gov
Citation: Soto-Blanco, B., Stegelmeier, B.L., Pfister, J.A., Gardner, D.R., Panter, K.E. 2007. Comparative effects of prolonged administration of cyanide, thiocyanate and chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) to goats. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 28:356-363

Interpretive Summary: Cyanide-containing plants are toxic to livestock, but effects of long-term administration of pure cyanide or cyanide-containing plant material is not well documented. This study examined toxic effects from chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) dosing in goats. The prunasin (i.e., cyanogenic glycoside) concentration in the chokecherry averaged 3.2 g/kg with a range of 2.25 to 4.11 g/kg. Sixteen Boer-Spanish cross-bred female goats were divided into 4 treatment groups: 1) control, 2) potassium cyanide (KCN) at 3.8 mg/kg/day, 3) potassium thiocyanate (KSCN) at 4.5 mg/kg/day, and 4) ground frozen chokecherry leaves and flowers at a target dose of 2.5 mg HCN/kg/day, all for 4 weeks. Clinical signs were observed in two goats treated with chokecherry. Only sporadic changes were found in the hematological and blood chemical panel. Goats treated with chokecherry and thiocyanate had increased number of vacuoles in the colloid of thyroid glands. Spongiosis and spheroids were found in the mesencephalon from goats treated with KCN and chokecherry. Our results indicate that the adverse effects of thiocyanate centered in the thyroid, whereas cyanide affected the nervous system. Cyanide may cause neurotoxic effects through inhibition of cellular respiration or through interference with several neurotransmitters.

Technical Abstract: The aim of the present study was to determine and compare the clinical, hematological, biochemical, and histopathological changes induced by cyanide, thiocyanate, and chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) in goats. Sixteen Boer-Spanish cross-bred female goats were divided into 4 treatment groups: 1) control, 2) potassium cyanide (KCN) at 3.8 mg/kg/day, 3) potassium thiocyanate (KSCN) at 4.5 mg/kg/day, and 4)ground frozen chokecherry leaves and flowers at a target dose of 2.5 mg HCN/kg/day, all for 4 weeks. Clinical signs were observed in two goats treated with chokecherry. Only sporadic changes were found in the hematological and blood chemical panel. Goats treated with chokecherry and thiocyanate had increased number of vacuoles in the colloid of thyroid glands. Spongiosis and spheroids were found in the mesencephalon from goats treated with KCN and chokecherry. Our results indicate that the adverse effects of thiocyanate centered in the thyroid, whereas effects on the nervous system were induced by cyanide.

Last Modified: 12/29/2014
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