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Molecules 2016, 21(3), 348;

Potential Health Risks Posed by Plant-Derived Cumulative Neurotoxic Bufadienolides in South Africa

Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X05, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
Academic Editor: Mary Fletcher
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Toxins)
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Bufadienolide-type cardiac glycosides have a worldwide distribution and are mainly synthesized by plants, but there are also animal sources. In South Africa, members of three genera of the Crassulaceae (Cotyledon, Tylecodon and Kalanchoe) cause a unique chronic form of cardiac glycoside poisoning, predominantly in small stock. This paretic/paralytic condition is referred to as “krimpsiekte”, cotyledonosis or “nenta”. “Krimpsiekte” is a plant poisoning only reported from South Africa and is regarded as the most important plant poisoning of small stock in the semi-arid Little Karoo and southern fringes of the Great Karoo. The toxicosis is caused by cumulative bufadienolides which have neurotoxic properties. Four types of cumulative neurotoxic bufadienolides, namely cotyledoside, and the tyledosides, orbicusides and lanceotoxins, have been isolated. Based on the structure activity relationships and certain toxicokinetic parameters possible reasons for their accumulation are presented. Consumption of edible tissues from animals that have ingested these plants poses a potential risk to humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: cardiac glycosides; cotyledonosis; Crassulaceae; cumulative bufadienolides; human; “krimpsiekte”; risk cardiac glycosides; cotyledonosis; Crassulaceae; cumulative bufadienolides; human; “krimpsiekte”; risk

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Botha, C. Potential Health Risks Posed by Plant-Derived Cumulative Neurotoxic Bufadienolides in South Africa. Molecules 2016, 21, 348.

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