Document Detail

Timbós: ichthyotoxic plants used by Brazilian Indians.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6087034     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The pharmacology of serjanosides, active principles isolated from the fish-poison plant Serjania lethalis St. Hil, a Sapindaceae, was investigated by comparing their actions in fishes and mammals with those of rotenone and certain saponins. The ichthyocid activity of the serjanosides was 2.5 times greater than that of the crude plant extract, approximately 10 times lower than the activity of rotenone, but from 10 to 50 times greater than the activity of the other saponins. When injected in mammals, the serjanosides induced deep prostration, dyspnea, cyanosis, ectopic heart beats, cardiovascular failure and respiratory arrest. These effects, leading to death that was not prevented by artificial respiration, indicated several mechanisms for the toxic action of the serjanosides. In vitro studies with these substances have shown that membrane depolarization and muscle contracture were probably due to unspecific surface actions. Rotenone, under the same experimental conditions induced hypotension, bradycardia and respiratory arrest. Death was prevented by artificial respiration. Ectopic foci, membrane depolarization, contractures and neuromuscular block were not observed after rotenone. Apparently, death from rotenone poisoning was a consequence of respiratory failure of central origin. The serjanosides are rather potent fish poison saponins. Mammals, however, are apparently insensitive to the same specific action since other toxic effects induced by those substances in rats and mice were also observed by employing saponins devoid of fish-killing activity.
J R Teixeira; A J Lapa; C Souccar; J R Valle
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of ethnopharmacology     Volume:  10     ISSN:  0378-8741     ISO Abbreviation:  J Ethnopharmacol     Publication Date:  1984 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1984-09-04     Completed Date:  1984-09-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7903310     Medline TA:  J Ethnopharmacol     Country:  SWITZERLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  311-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Blood Pressure / drug effects
Fishes / physiology*
Heart Rate / drug effects
Indians, South American
Neuromuscular Junction / drug effects
Plant Poisoning / physiopathology
Plants, Toxic*
Poisons / analysis*
Respiration / drug effects
Rotenone / pharmacology
Saponins / pharmacology
Species Specificity
Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Poisons; 0/Saponins; 83-79-4/Rotenone

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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