Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 62, Issue 2–3, pp 242–245 | Cite as

Nephrotoxicity of orellanine, a toxin from the mushroomCortinarius orellanus

  • Jean-Michel Richard
  • Josette Louis
  • Danielle Cantin
Short Communication


Pure orellanine extracted from the mushroomCortinarius orellanus is highly toxic in mice both when given intraperitoneally (LD50=12.5 mg/kg) or per os (LD50 =90 mg/kg). The kidneys of mice injected i.p. with orellanine show similar tubular necrosis to that obtained with whole mushroom given per os. This demonstrates that orellanine is the true, principal toxin ofC. orellanus. The similarity of the structures of the toxin and of bipyridinium herbicides such as methylviologen (paraquat) or the nephrotoxic diquat led other authors to presume a similar mechanism for orellanine toxicity. Our study of the electrochemical behaviour of orellanine shows that its mechanism of action has to be different from that of these poisons.

Key words

Orellanine Cortinarius orellanus Mushroom poisoning Nephrotoxicity Electrochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Michel Richard
    • 1
  • Josette Louis
    • 3
  • Danielle Cantin
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Chimie et ToxicologieUniversité J. Fourier, GrenobleMeylan CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Chimie Analytique, U. F. R. de PharmacieUniversité J. Fourier, GrenobleMeylan CedexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire d'Histologie, Embryologie et Cytogénétique, Faculté de MédecineUniversité J. Fourier, GrenobleMeylan CedexFrance

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