Chemical contents of stinging trichomes of Cnidoscolus texanus Authors
Received: 14 January 1991 Accepted: 28 May 1991 DOI:
Cite this article as: Lookadoo, S.E. & Pollard, A.J. J Chem Ecol (1991) 17: 1909. doi:10.1007/BF00993737 Abstract
Plants known as nettles bear trichomes that deliver a painful sting when touched. Studies of members of the Urticaceae have suggested that their trichomes may contain histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin. We report investigations using TLC, HPLC, and UV-VIS spectrophotometry to analyze the hair fluids of
Cnidoscolus texanus, a member of the Euphorbiaceae, along with standards of known histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin. Of these, only serotonin was detected in hair extracts. Up to four other compounds were detected and partially characterized, but they have not been identified. Key Words Serotonin nettles trichomes stinging hairs plant defense mechanisms Urtica dioica Cnidoscolus texanus References
Collier, H.O.J., and Chesher, G.B. 1956. Identification of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the sting of the nettle ( Urtica dioica). Br. J. Pharmacol. 11:186–189.
Cordeiro, R., Aragao, J., and Morhy, L. 1983. The presence of histamine in Cnidosculus [sic] oligandrus (Euphorbiaceae). An. Acad. Brasil. Cienc. 55:123–128.
Emmelin, N., and Feldberg, W. 1947. The mechanism of the sting of the common nettle ( Urtica dioica). J. Physiol. 106:440–445.
Emmelin, N., and Feldberg, W. 1949. Distribution of acetylcholine and histamine in nettle plants. New Phytol. 48:143–148.
Flury, F. 1927. Uber die chemische Natur der Nesselgifte. Z. Gesamte Exp. Med. 56:402–409.
Lutz, D. 1914. The poisonous nature of the stinging hairs of Jatropha [= Cnidoscolus] urens. Science 40:609–610.
MacFarlane, W.V. 1963. The stinging properties of Laportea. Econ. Bot. 17:303–311.
Oelrichs, P.B., and Robertson, P.A. 1970. Purification of pain-producing substances from Dendrocnide (Laportea) moroides. Toxicon 8:89–90.
Pollard, A.J. 1986. Variation in Cnidoscolus texanus in relation to herbivory. Oecologia 70:411–413.
Pollard, A.J., and Briggs, D. 1984. Genecological studies of Urtica dioica L. III. Stinging hairs and plant-herbivore interactions. New Phytol. 97:507–522.
Robertson, P.A., and MacFarlane, W.V. 1957. Pain-producing substances from the stinging bush Laportea moroides. Aust. J. Exp. Biol. Med. Sci. 35:381–393.
Thurston, E.L. 1974. Morphology, fine structure, and ontogeny of the stinging emergence of Urtica dioica. Am. J. Bot. 61:809–817.
Thurston, E.L., and Lersten, N.R. 1969. The morphology and toxicology of plant stinging hairs. Bot. Rev. 35:393–412.
Willis, C.L. 1969. Toxic constituents of the stinging nettle. M.S. thesis. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Winkler, H. 1922. Die Urticaceen Papuasiens. Bot. Jahrb. 57:501–608. Copyright information
© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991