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The Occurrence and Toxicity of Indospicine to Grazing Animals

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), The University of Queensland, Health and Food Sciences Precinct, Coopers Plains 4108, Australia
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton 4343, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wayne Bryden
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 427-440;
Received: 17 May 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Toxicology and Animal Nutrition)
Indospicine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid which occurs in Indigofera species with widespread prevalence in grazing pastures across tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. It accumulates in the tissues of grazing livestock after ingestion of Indigofera. It is a competitive inhibitor of arginase and causes both liver degeneration and abortion. Indospicine hepatoxicity occurs universally across animal species but the degree varies considerably between species, with dogs being particularly sensitive. The magnitude of canine sensitivity is such that ingestion of naturally indospicine-contaminated horse and camel meat has caused secondary poisoning of dogs, raising significant industry concern. Indospicine impacts on the health and production of grazing animals per se has been less widely documented. Livestock grazing Indigofera have a chronic and cumulative exposure to this toxin, with such exposure experimentally shown to induce both hepatotoxicity and embryo-lethal effects in cattle and sheep. In extensive pasture systems, where animals are not closely monitored, the resultant toxicosis may well occur after prolonged exposure but either be undetected, or even if detected not be attributable to a particular cause. Indospicine should be considered as a possible cause of animal poor performance, particularly reduced weight gain or reproductive losses, in pastures where Indigofera are prevalent. View Full-Text
Keywords: indospicine; indigofera; non-protein; hepatotoxic indospicine; indigofera; non-protein; hepatotoxic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fletcher, M.T.; Al Jassim, R.A.M.; Cawdell-Smith, A.J. The Occurrence and Toxicity of Indospicine to Grazing Animals. Agriculture 2015, 5, 427-440.

AMA Style

Fletcher MT, Al Jassim RAM, Cawdell-Smith AJ. The Occurrence and Toxicity of Indospicine to Grazing Animals. Agriculture. 2015; 5(3):427-440.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fletcher, Mary T., Rafat A.M. Al Jassim, and A. J. Cawdell-Smith 2015. "The Occurrence and Toxicity of Indospicine to Grazing Animals" Agriculture 5, no. 3: 427-440.

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