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Biomedical applications of poisonous plant research
- James, L.F., Panter, K.E., Gaffield, W., Molyneux, R.J.
- Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2004 v.52 no.11 pp. 3211-3230
- poisonous plants, medicinal plants, Veratrum californicum, Lupinus, Astragalus, Oxytropis, medicinal properties, bioactive properties, teratogenicity, livestock, neurotoxicity, teratogens, neurotoxins
- Research designed to isolate and identify the bioactive compounds responsible for the toxicity of plants to livestock that graze them has been extremely successful. The knowledge gained has been used to design management techniques to prevent economic losses, predict potential outbreaks of poisoning, and treat affected animals. The availability of these compounds in pure form has now provided scientists with tools to develop animal models for human diseases, study modes of action at the molecular level, and apply such knowledge to the development of potential drug candidates for the treatment of a number of genetic and infectious conditions. These advances are illustrated by specific examples of biomedical applications of the toxins of Veratrum californicum (western false hellebore), Lupinus species (lupines), and Astragalus and Oxytropis species (locoweeds).