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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FDA Poisonous Plant Database

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AUTHOR(S): Todd, F. G.; Stermitz, F. R.; Schultheis, P.; Knight, A. P.; TraubDargatz, J.
TITLE: Tropane alkaloids and toxicity of Convolvulus arvensis.
YEAR: 1995 CITATION: Phytochemistry, 39(2), 301-303 [English]
FDA #: F18180
ABSTRACT: Horses in a few, localized northern Colorado pastures exhibited weight loss and colic. At post mortem, intestinal fibrosis and vascular sclerosis of the small intestine was identified. The pastures where the affected horses grazed were overrun by field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis). Bindweed from the pasture was found to contain the tropane alkaloids tropine, pseudotropine, and tropinone and the pyrrolidine alkaloids cuscohygrine and hygrine. Laboratory mice readily ate C. arvensis and exhibited a variety of abnormal clinical signs depending on the amount eaten. Similar alkaloids have been found in other Convolvulus species and cuscohygrine and calystegines (polyhydroxytropanes) have been previously reported from C. arvensis roots. This is the first report of simple tropane alkaloids in C. arvensis, a world wide problem weed. Pseudotropine, the major alkaloid, is known to affect motility and might represent a causative agent for the observed cases of equine intestinal fibrosis.
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