Pellagra, Mycotoxins and Tryptophan-Niacin Metabolism

  • R. B. Sashidhar
  • Y. Ramakrishna
  • R. V. Bhat
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 294)


Pellagra has long been known to be a nutritional syndrome caused by nia-cin deficiency. Endemic pellagra has been traditionally associated with consumption of corn-based diet and is uncommon where rice or wheat is the staple food. Pellagra, in an endemic form among sorghum (Sorghum vulgare) eaters, was first described among poor agricultural laborers in Hyderabad, India (Gopalan and Srikantia, 1960). Extensive studies from India have shown that leucine toxicity, leucine-isoleucine imbalance and concomitant deficiency of vitamin B6 may be the causative factors in the pathogenesis of pellagra in sorghum eaters (Srikantia, 1978). Several studies in pellagrins and in experimental animals have shown that there is a disturbance in tryptophan-nia-cin metabolism. Although rats do not show the characteristic dermal changes of pellagra, they show a biochemical disturbance of the tryptophan-niacin pathway.


Quinolinic Acid Pyridine Nucleotide Primary Health Centre Mycotoxin Contamination Sorghum Vulgare 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Sashidhar
    • 1
  • Y. Ramakrishna
    • 2
  • R. V. Bhat
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity College of Science Osmania UniversityIndia
  2. 2.Food and Drug Toxicology Research CentreNational Institute of NutritionIndia

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