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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306301

Title: The serum concentrations of lupine alkaloids in orally-dosed Holstein cattle

item Green, Benedict - Ben
item Lee, Stephen
item Welch, Kevin
item Gardner, Dale
item Stegelmeier, Bryan
item Davis, Thomas - Zane

Submitted to: Research in Veterinary Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/6/2015
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Green, B.T., Lee, S.T., Welch, K.D., Gardner, D.R., Stegelmeier, B.L., Davis, T.Z. 2015. The serum concentrations of lupine alkaloids in orally-dosed Holstein cattle. Research in Veterinary Science. 100:239-244.

Interpretive Summary: There are differences in the rates of lupine alkaloid clearance between individuals and breeds of cattle. Previous research has shown that Holstein cattle clear larkspur alkaloids faster than beef cattle. The purpose of this research was to determine the clearance times of four lupine alkaloids from Lupinus leucophyllus orally dosed to four Holstein steers as an initial step to identify biomarkers associated with resistance to lupine poisoning in cattle. We calculated the clearance of the lupine alkaloid anagyrine from the serum of Holstein steers at 5.8 ± 0.6 hours which is less than the reported clearance times of beef breeds. This suggests that Holsteins may be less susceptible to anagyrine-induced toxicity compared to beef breeds with longer clearance times. More work is needed to confirm possible resistance to poisoning and to determine if there are genetic markers linked to that resistance that might be used to select and breed for resistance to poisoning.

Technical Abstract: Teratogenic alkaloid-containing Lupinus spp. cause significant losses to the cattle industry. Previous research has suggested that Holstein cattle clear toxic Delphinium alkaloids from their serum at a greater rate than beef cattle. The toxicokinetics of lupine alkaloids in Holsteins are not known. The objective of research was to determine the toxicokinetic parameters of anagyrine, lupanine, 5,6-dehydrolupanine and one unknown alkaloid with a m/z ratio of 248. Dried ground Lupinus leucophyllus was orally dosed to four Holstein steers and blood samples were collected periodically for 96 hours, analyzed for serum alkaloid concentrations and toxicokinetic parameters calculated. The alkaloid elimination half-lives in Holstein steers were 5.8 ± 0.6, 7.0 ± 0.5, 2.7 ± 0.5 and 6.7 ± 0.3 hours for anagyrine, lupanine, unknown alkaloid 248, and 5,6-dehydrolupanine, respectively. The elimination half-life of anagyrine from the serum of Holstein steers was less than beef breeds which may impact susceptibility to teratogenesis.