Serum swainsonine concentration and α-mannosidase activity in cattle and sheep ingesting Oxytropis sericea and Astragalus lentiginosus (locoweeds)

Bryan L. Stegelmeier From the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Logan, UT 84321 (Stegelmeier, Panter, James), and the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA 97710 (Molyneux).

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Lynn F. James From the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Logan, UT 84321 (Stegelmeier, Panter, James), and the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA 97710 (Molyneux).

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Kip E. Panter From the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Logan, UT 84321 (Stegelmeier, Panter, James), and the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA 97710 (Molyneux).

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Russell J. Molyneux From the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Logan, UT 84321 (Stegelmeier, Panter, James), and the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA 97710 (Molyneux).

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SUMMARY

Serum α-mannosidase activity and swainsonine concentration were determined in 4 cattle and 15 sheep (3 groups of 5 each) that were administered ground locoweed (Oxytropis sericea or Astragalus lentiginosus) containing swainsonine at dosages of approximately 0.8 mg/kg of body weight/d (cows, 30 days each) and 0, 1.0, and 1.5 mg/kg/d (sheep, 11 days each). The cattle developed mild clinical signs of locoism, including signs of depression, lethargy, and slight intention tremors. Clinical signs of toxicosis were not observed in the sheep. Within 24 hours of initial treatment, serum α-mannosidase activity in cows and sheep, measured by the release of 4-methylumbelliferone from an artificial substrate, was markedly decreased to 28 and 40 μmol of 4-methylumbelliferone/L, respectively. Mean serum α-mannosidase activity of control cows and sheep was 400 ± 94 and 422 ± 42 (mean ± sd), respectively. In the treated animals, decreased serum α-mannosidase activities returned to normal or higher activities within 6 days after treatment was discontinued. Using a jack bean α-mannosidase assay, increased swainsonine activity (153, 209, and 381 ng/ml, respectively) was detected in the serum of cattle and of sheep in the high- and low-dose groups within 24 hours after treatment with locoweed. Swainsonine concentration remained high, with mean concentrations of 204, 432, and 395 ng/ml (cows and 2 sheep groups, respectively) during the treatment period. After treatment, swainsonine was rapidly cleared, with estimated serum half-life of 16.4, 17.6, and 20.3 hours (cows, and high- and low-dose sheep groups, respectively). Significant differences in either α-mannosidase activity or swainsonine concentration were not detected between the 2 groups of treated sheep. These results suggest that serum α-mannosidase and swainsonine values are sensitive indicators of locoweed intoxication in cattle and sheep. Furthermore, it suggests that swainsonine is rapidly absorbed, resulting in rapid inhibition of serum α-mannosidase activity, leading to high serum swainsonine concentration. After exposure is eliminated, swainsonine is rapidly cleared from the serum, with serum α-mannosidase activity returning to normal values shortly thereafter.

SUMMARY

Serum α-mannosidase activity and swainsonine concentration were determined in 4 cattle and 15 sheep (3 groups of 5 each) that were administered ground locoweed (Oxytropis sericea or Astragalus lentiginosus) containing swainsonine at dosages of approximately 0.8 mg/kg of body weight/d (cows, 30 days each) and 0, 1.0, and 1.5 mg/kg/d (sheep, 11 days each). The cattle developed mild clinical signs of locoism, including signs of depression, lethargy, and slight intention tremors. Clinical signs of toxicosis were not observed in the sheep. Within 24 hours of initial treatment, serum α-mannosidase activity in cows and sheep, measured by the release of 4-methylumbelliferone from an artificial substrate, was markedly decreased to 28 and 40 μmol of 4-methylumbelliferone/L, respectively. Mean serum α-mannosidase activity of control cows and sheep was 400 ± 94 and 422 ± 42 (mean ± sd), respectively. In the treated animals, decreased serum α-mannosidase activities returned to normal or higher activities within 6 days after treatment was discontinued. Using a jack bean α-mannosidase assay, increased swainsonine activity (153, 209, and 381 ng/ml, respectively) was detected in the serum of cattle and of sheep in the high- and low-dose groups within 24 hours after treatment with locoweed. Swainsonine concentration remained high, with mean concentrations of 204, 432, and 395 ng/ml (cows and 2 sheep groups, respectively) during the treatment period. After treatment, swainsonine was rapidly cleared, with estimated serum half-life of 16.4, 17.6, and 20.3 hours (cows, and high- and low-dose sheep groups, respectively). Significant differences in either α-mannosidase activity or swainsonine concentration were not detected between the 2 groups of treated sheep. These results suggest that serum α-mannosidase and swainsonine values are sensitive indicators of locoweed intoxication in cattle and sheep. Furthermore, it suggests that swainsonine is rapidly absorbed, resulting in rapid inhibition of serum α-mannosidase activity, leading to high serum swainsonine concentration. After exposure is eliminated, swainsonine is rapidly cleared from the serum, with serum α-mannosidase activity returning to normal values shortly thereafter.

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