Characterization of rumen bacterial pyrrolizidine alkaloid biotransformation in ruminants of various species.

TitleCharacterization of rumen bacterial pyrrolizidine alkaloid biotransformation in ruminants of various species.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsWachenheim DE, Blythe LL, Craig AM
JournalVeterinary and human toxicology
Volume34
Issue6
Pagination513-7
Date Published1992 Dec
ISSN0145-6296
KeywordsAnimals, Bacteria, Biotransformation, Cattle, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Chromatography, Thin Layer, Female, Goats, Male, Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids, Rumen, Ruminants, Sheep, Species Specificity
Abstract

An in vitro assay was used to examine biotransformation of toxic Senecio jacobaea pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) in ovine, bovine, and caprine rumen contents. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography, and the rates of the alkaloid biotransformation were determined. The microbiological "Most Probable Numbers" technique was also used, in combination with thin-layer chromatography, to estimate relative numbers of rumen PA-biotransforming bacteria in the same samples. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids were biotransformed at average rates of 2.9 micrograms/ml/h (bovine), 25.6 micrograms/ml/h (caprine), and 19.2 micrograms/ml/h (ovine). Estimates of numbers of PA-biotransforming bacteria were 1.1 x 10(7) bacteria/ml rumen contents (bovine), 2.4 x 10(7) bacteria/ml (caprine), and 3.0 x 10(7) bacteria/ml (ovine). This project is among the first to quantitate rates of PA biotransformation in rumen contents and to identify caprine and bovine, in addition to ovine, rumen PA-biotransforming activity, as well as to estimate the actual numbers of PA-biotransforming bacteria in rumen contents.

Alternate JournalVet Hum Toxicol