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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Teratogenic effects of Mimosa tenuiflora in a rat model and possible role of N-methyl and N,N-dimethyltryptamine

Authors
item Gardner, Dale
item Riet-Correa, Franklin -
item Lemos, Danilo -
item Welch, Kevin
item Pfister, James
item Panter, Kip

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2014
Publication Date: July 30, 2014
Citation: Gardner, D.R., Riet-Correa, F., Lemos, D., Welch, K.D., Pfister, J.A., Panter, K.E. 2014. Teratogenic effects of Mimosa tenuiflora in a rat model and possible role of N-methyl and N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 62(30): 7398-401.

Interpretive Summary: Mimosa tenuiflora is a shrub/tree found in the northeast of Brazil, sometimes eaten by livestock and believed to be responsible for malformations observed in many animals from that region. The toxic compound(s) in M. tenuiflora that cause the malformations are not known. We report here on the use of pregnant rats as a model to test for compounds within M. tenuiflora that might cause the malformations. Pregnant rats were fed a portion of their diet as ground plant material and then as chemical extracts of the seed and leaf in formulated rat chow pellets. Rat pups were examined for cranial-facial defects and skeletal malformations. Pups from mothers who received M. tenuiflora plant material, methanol extracts, alkaloids extracts and purified N-methyltryptamines had a higher incidence of soft tissue cleft palate and skeletal malformations. The experiments implicate the tryptamines as the possible toxic compounds that cause the malformations, but now need to be tested in a goat model.

Technical Abstract: Mimosa tenuiflora is a shrub/tree found in northeastern Brazil sometimes eaten by livestock and believed to be responsible for malformations observed in many animals from that region. The teratogenic compounds in M. tenuif lora are not known. This study used pregnant rats fed M. tenuif lora and components therefrom for bioassay and fractionation of possible teratogenic compounds. Rat pups were examined for cranial-facial defects and skeletal malformations. Experimental diets included M. tenuif lora leaf and seed material, extracts of leaf and seed, alkaloid extracts of leaf and seed, and N-methyltryptamine and N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Pups from mothers who received M. tenuif lora plant material, methanol extracts, alkaloid extracts, and purified N methyltryptamines had a higher incidence of soft tissue cleft palate and skeletal malformations. Results are summarized as to the frequency of observed cleft palate and other noted malformations for each diet versus control.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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