Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New insights into bog asphodel poisoning of ruminants

17.03.2008
For her doctoral degree, Helene Wisløff classified the toxins found in the bog asphodel plant (Narthecium ossifragum) and investigated the effects of these toxins on kidney cell cultures and on goats and sheep. Bog asphodel poisoning is the single most serious cause of economic loss from plant poisoning among domestic animals in Norway.

Bog asphodel poisoning produces two different diseases. The first of these is elf fire, which affects lambs that graze on bog asphodel. These lambs incur liver damage leading to the accumulation in the blood of substances that make the animals overly sensitive to sunlight.

Some flocks in the west of Norway have been known to lose up to 30 - 50% of their lambs to this condition. Steroidal saponins, one of the toxic groups of the bog asphodel, are thought to be the source of the liver injuries seen in elf fire. The second form of bog asphodel poisoning is acute kidney failure, which is seen sporadically in cattle and moose.

Wisløff's work primarily addressed the disease of acute kidney failure. Lambs with elf fire suffer transient kidney damage of the same type seen in cattle and moose that graze on bog asphodel.

The short-lived kidney injuries seen in lambs are, however, milder and are thought to be caused by a furanone (3-methoxy-2(5H)-furanone). Testing of this substance on kidney cells produced, however, unclear results. Helene Wisløff described therefore other toxins from the bog asphodel and discovered that steroidal saponins had the greatest toxic effect on the kidney cells. Another furanone (5-hydroxy-4-methoxy-2(5H)-furanone) produced more moderate damage.

In one experiment in which lambs received a commercial dietary supplement containing the same saponins as those of bog asphodel, several of the lambs developed acute kidney failure. Saponins were found in the kidney and liver tissues from these lambs.

It was previously thought that saponins from the plants were almost completely converted to sapogenines and sugars in the rumen (one of the stomachs). However, the saponins found in the lamb kidneys were of the same type as those of the plant, that is, they had not been modified. At present it is not known whether the saponins from the bog asphodel can cause kidney damage in ruminants under natural conditions.

Helene Wisløff defended her thesis entitled "Toxic effects of Narthecium ossifragum with emphasis on kidney lesions", for the degree of Dr. med. vet. at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, on March 13, 2008.

Magnhild Jenssen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vetinst.no
http://www.veths.no/105/English/7899/New-insights-into-bog-asphodel-poisoning-of-ruminants/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>