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Neurotoxicity of Prosopis juliflora: from Natural Poisoning to Mechanism of Action of Its Piperidine Alkaloids

  • Victor Diogenes Amaral da Silva
  • André Mario Mendes da Silva
  • Juliana Helena Castro e Silva
  • Silvia Lima Costa
Review

Abstract

Prosopis juliflora was introduced in northeastern Brazil in the 1940s, and since then, it has been available as an alternative for animal nutrition. However, the consumption of P. juliflora as main or sole source of food causes an illness in animals known locally as “cara torta” disease. Cattle and goats experimentally intoxicated presents neurotoxic damage in the central nervous system. Histologic lesions were mainly characterized by vacuolation and loss of neurons in trigeminal motor nuclei. Furthermore, mitochondrial damage in neurons and gliosis was reported in trigeminal nuclei of intoxicated cattle. Studies, using neural cell cultures, have reproduced the main cellular alterations visualized in cara torta disease and contributed to understanding the mechanism of action piperidine alkaloids, the main neurotoxic compound in P. juliflora leaves and pods. Here, we will present aspects of the biological and toxicological properties of P. juliflora and its pharmacologically active compounds.

Keywords

Algaroba Piperidine alkaloids Neuron Glial cells Mitochondria 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Diogenes Amaral da Silva
    • 1
  • André Mario Mendes da Silva
    • 1
  • Juliana Helena Castro e Silva
    • 1
  • Silvia Lima Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Cell Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Institute of Health SciencesFederal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil

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