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A study on embryonic death in goats due to Nicotiana glauca ingestion

K.D. Welch, S.T. Lee, K.E. Panter, D.R. Gardner
Toxicon 2014 v.90 pp. 64-69
Conium, Lupinus, Nicotiana glauca, abnormal development, abortion (animals), anabasine, animal models, embryonic mortality, fetus, ingestion, kids (goats), parturition, pregnancy, reproductive efficiency, teratogenicity, ultrasonography
Numerous plants are known to be teratogenic in livestock. In addition to causing malformations, several plants can also cause embryonic death. These losses decrease the reproductive efficiency of animals exposed to these plants. The aim of this study was to determine if teratogenic plants such as lupines or tobaccos cause embryonic losses. A goat model using the plant Nicotiana glauca was used in this study, as this model has been used to characterize the mechanism of Lupinus, Conium, and Nicotiana-induced terata. Four groups of goats were dosed from gestational day 1–10, 11–20, 21–30, and 31–40. Goats were evaluated via ultrasound imaging for pregnancy after completion of the dosing regimen and kids were evaluated for malformations at the time of parturition. Overall, there was no evidence from this study that N. glauca (anabasine) at this dose (2 g/kg/day) would cause embryonic losses in goats. However, the dose of N. glauca used in this study was at the lower threshold that would be expected to produce terata. Therefore it is possible that higher doses of anabasine could cause embryonic loss. Further work is also needed to characterize the kinetic profile of anabasine, and other teratogenic alkaloids, in the fetal compartments.