Submitted to: The Anatomical Record
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2007
Publication Date: 5/9/2007
Citation: Hafez, S.A., Caceci, T., Freeman, L.E., Panter, K.E. 2007. Angiogenesis in the caprine caruncles in non-pregnant and pregnant normal and swainsonine-treated does. The Anatomical Record. 290(7):761-769
Interpretive Summary: Locoweeds interfere with most reproductive processes including fetal and placental growth and development. Using techniques where by the blood vessels of the placenta in pregnant goats were visually enhanced using plastic-like compounds and electron microscopy, it was determined that swainsonine (the toxin in locoweed) reduced the density of the blood vessels (capillaries in the placenta at 7 weeks gestation and caused severe distortion of all the blood vessels of the placenta at 18 weeks gestation. This research demonstrates that swainsonine interferes with blood vessel growth and development (angiogenesis) in the highly vascular goat placenta and lends credibility to swainsonine’s potential as an anti-cancer agent.
Technical Abstract: Microvascular corrosion casts of caruncles from non-pregnant and pregnant goats were examined in great detail by scanning electron microscopy at 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 and 18 weeks of gestation. This model was used to evaluate the effects of the locoweed toxin, swainsonine, on placental angiogenesis. Swainsonine caused a decrease in capillary density at 7 weeks gestation and a great distortion to the placental vasculature at 18 weeks gestation. The effects of swainsonine on angiogenisis of the placenta of pregnant goats lends credibility to its potential as an anti-cancer agent.