Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POISONING OF LIVESTOCK BY VARIOUS LARKSPUR SPECIES (DELPHINIUM) Title: Intoxication by Senna occidentalis Seeds in Pregnant Goats: Prenatal and Postnatal Evaluation

Authors
item Barbosa-Ferreira, Marcos -
item Pfister, James
item Gotardo, Andre -
item Maiorka, Paulo -
item Gorniak, Silvana -

Submitted to: Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2010
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Citation: Barbosa-Ferreira, M., Pfister, J.A., Gotardo, A.T., Maiorka, P.C., Gorniak, S.L. 2011. Intoxication by Senna occidentalis seeds in pregnant goats: Prenatal and postnatal evaluation. Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology. 63(3):263-8.

Interpretive Summary: Senna occidentalis is toxic weed in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. There is very little information available about the effects of prolonged exposure to low doses of S. occidentalis on developmental toxicology in animals. Thus, this study evaluated the toxicity of S. occidentalis seeds in pregnant goats & offspring after maternal ingestion. Twenty one pregnant goats were fed rations containing 0% (control), 1% (So1 group), 2% (So2 group) and 4% (So4 group) mature S. occidentalis seeds from day 27 of gestation until parturition; weight gains and serum biochemistry were evaluated. Fetuses were evaluated using ultrasonographic measurements; neonates were evaluated by body morphometry, weight gains, and serum biochemistry. Fetal resorption (death) occurred in 2 So4 dams and one dam died. Only a few minor alterations in serum biochemistry occurred in dams and kids; even so one So4 group dam had lesions liver and kidneys. The first reported observation was made of tissue lesions from this plant in sciatic nerve cells. This study indicates that 4% S. occidentalis seeds is toxic for pregnant goats, but levels of seeds less than 4% have little impact on fetal and neonate development.

Technical Abstract: Senna occidentalis is a toxic weed that affects a number of animal species. Very little is known about the effects of prolonged exposure to low doses of S. occidentalis on developmental toxicology. Thus, the present study evaluated the perinatal toxicity of S. occidentalis seeds in goats. Twenty one pregnant goats were fed rations containing 0% (control), 1% (So1 group), 2% (So2 group) and 4% (So4 group) mature S. occidentalis seeds from day 27 of gestation until parturition; weight gains and serum biochemistry were evaluated. Fetuses were evaluated using ultrasonographic measurements; neonates were evaluated by body morphometry, weight gains, and serum biochemistry. Fetal resorption occurred in 2 So4 dams and one dam died. Only a few minor alterations in serum biochemistry occurred in dams and kids; even so one So4 group dam had vacuolations in hepatocytes and kidneys. There was also necrosis in skeletal and cardiac muscles. For the first time lesions were observed in sciatic nerve cells. No relevant alterations in body morphometry were observed. This study suggests that 4% S. occidentalis seeds is toxic for pregnant goats, but levels of seeds less than 4% have little impact on fetal and post birth body development.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page