The Clinical, Biochemical, Haematological and Pathological Effects of Long-Term Administration of Ipomoea carnea to Growing Goats

Research paper by B. Schumaher-Henrique, S.L. Górniak, M.L.Z. Dagli, H.S. Spinosa

Indexed on: 01 May '03Published on: 01 May '03Published in: Veterinary Research Communications


Ipomoea carnea has been held responsible for several poisoning episodes, mainly in goats. This plant contains swainsonine, which inhibits acid or lysosomal α-mannosidase enzyme, causing cellular vacuolization. The objective of this study was to evaluate I. carnea toxicosis when four different doses of this plant were fed to growing goats. Twenty-five male goats were divided into five groups, one control group and four experimental groups that received 2.5, 5.0, 10.0 and 30.0 g of the plant per kg of live weight per day for 4 months. Blood samples were collected for haematological and biochemical determinations and fragments from some tissues were collected for histopathological study. All the experimental goats ingested the plant throughout the trial, presenting nystagmus, muscle tremors, weakness of the hind limbs and ataxia. They also had a significant increase in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) from the sixth week of the experiment compared to the goats in the control group. There was a significant reduction in haemoglobin concentration in the goats treated with I. carnea. Histopathology revealed degenerative vacuolar alterations in the liver, pancreas, thyroid and kidney cells, and in the neurons of the central nervous system in the animals that received the plant. All these alterations occurred in a dose-dependent manner.