TitleGrowth and hepatic in vitro metabolism of ergotamine in mice divergently selected for response to endophyte toxicity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsDuringer, JM, Lewis, R, Kuehn, L, Fleischmann, T, Craig, AM
JournalXenobiotica; the fate of foreign compounds in biological systems
Date Published2005 Jun
KeywordsWeight Gain

This study investigated if genetic differences exhibited in endophyte-resistant and -susceptible mouse lines had persisted after 13 generations in which the integrity of lines was maintained yet selection ceased. Experimental groups were mouse lines fed an endophyte-free (E-) or -infected (E+) diet. The in vitro metabolism of the ergot alkaloid ergotamine in mouse liver microsomes was characterized by LC-MS/MS and compared between both lines before and after exposure to E+ feed. No difference in the average daily weight gain of pups between resistant and susceptible mice was observed on the E+ diet. Thus, for the weight gain selection criterion under study, the difference established between the two lines appears not to have persisted over the extended period of relaxed selection. Microsomal incubations produced nine predominate peaks in the HPLC assay. The peaks were confirmed by LC-MS/MS to be ergotamine, ergotamine epimer, monohydroxylated metabolites (M1, M2, M1e, M2e) and dihydroxylated metabolites (M3--5). A gender difference for metabolite formation was observed on the E- diet, in that females produced a greater amount of M1, M1e and M3--5 than males. When challenged with the E+ diet, mice showed differences in concentration of M3 for line (resistant > susceptible) and gender (female > male) and of M4 and M5 for gender (female > male). Gender differences in the metabolism of ergotamine have not been shown before in these lines of mice or other species used to study ergot alkaloid metabolism. This adds a potential source of variation in the susceptibility to fescue toxicity not explored previously and would be of value to investigate further.