Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 1909–1916

Chemical contents of stinging trichomes ofCnidoscolus texanus

  • S. E. Lookadoo
  • A. J. Pollard

DOI: 10.1007/BF00993737

Cite this article as:
Lookadoo, S.E. & Pollard, A.J. J Chem Ecol (1991) 17: 1909. doi:10.1007/BF00993737


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 ofCnidoscolus 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

Serotoninnettlestrichomesstinging hairsplant defense mechanismsUrtica dioicaCnidoscolus texanus

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. E. Lookadoo
    • 1
  • A. J. Pollard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyFurman UniversityGreenville