Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of prepartum ingestion of Ipomoea carnea on postpartum maternal and neonate behavior in goats

Authors
item Gotardo, Andre -
item PFISTER, JAMES
item Ferreira, Marcos -
item Gorniak, Silvana -

Submitted to: Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 8, 2011
Publication Date: April 4, 2011
Citation: Gotardo, A.T., Pfister, J.A., Ferreira, M.B., Gorniak, S.L. 2011. Effects of prepartum ingestion of Ipomoea carnea on postpartum maternal and neonate behavior in goats. Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology. 92(2):131-8.

Interpretive Summary: Ipomoea carnea is a toxic plant that grows in tropical areas, and is readily consumed by grazing goats. The plant contains toxic alkaloids which inhibit cellular enzymes and cause systematic cell death. This study evaluated the behavioral effects on dams and kids of prenatal ingestion of this plant. Freshly harvested leaves of Ipomoea (10 g/kg body weight) were fed daily to 9 pregnant goats from the 5th to the 16th week of gestation; 5 pregnant goats were controls. Dam and kid behavior were evaluated during 2 hours post partum. Further evaluation of the offspring was done using various tests after birth: (1) reaching and discriminating their dam from an alien doe (2 tests at 12 h postpartum), and (2) navigating a progressive maze (2, 4, 6 days post partum). Post-natal (n=2) and fetal (n=2) mortality were observed in the treated group. Intoxicated kids had difficulty in standing at birth, and only one was able to suckle within 2 hours of birth. Treated kids were slower than controls to arrive at their dam in the discrimination test; treated kids often (7/9 completed tests) incorrectly chose the alien dam (controls: 0/10 tests). During some runs on days 2, 4 and 6 postpartum, treated kids were slower to leave the starting point of the maze, and were slower to arrive at the dam on all test days. This study indicates that the offspring of pregnant goats given Ipomoea during pregnancy have significant behavioral alterations and developmental delays.

Technical Abstract: Ipomoea carnea (I. carnea) is a toxic plant that grows in tropical areas, and is readily consumed by grazing goats. The plant contains the alkaloids swainsonine and calystegines, which inhibit cellular enzymes and cause systematic cell death. This study evaluated the behavioral effects on dams and kids of prenatal ingestion of this plant. Freshly harvested leaves of I. carnea (10 g/kg body weight) were fed daily to 9 pregnant goats from the 5th to the 16th week of gestation; 5 pregnant goats were controls. Dam and kid behavior were evaluated during 2 h post partum. Further evaluation of the offspring was done using various tests after birth: (1) reaching and discriminating their dam from an alien doe (2 tests at 12 h postpartum), and (2) navigating a progressive maze (2, 4, 6 days post partum). Post-natal (n=2) and fetal (n=2) mortality were observed in the treated group. Intoxicated kids had difficulty in standing at birth, and only one was able to suckle within 2 hours of birth. Treated kids were slower than controls to arrive at their dam in the discrimination test; treated kids often (7/9 completed tests) incorrectly chose the alien dam (controls: 0/10 tests). During some runs on days 2, 4 and 6 postpartum, treated kids were slower to leave the starting point of the maze, and were slower to arrive at the dam on all test days. This study suggests that the offspring of pregnant goats given I. carnea during gestation have significant behavioral alterations and developmental delays.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page