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Effects of mimosine administered to a perfused area of skin in Angora goats

  • R. Puchala (a1), S. G. Pierzynowski (a1), T. Sahlu (a1) and S. P. Hart (a1)

The effect of mimosine on a perfused area of skin tissue was studied using an isolated perfusion technique. Four mature Angora wethers (body weight 35 (SE 2·3) kg) were cannulated bilaterally with indwelling silicone catheters in the superficial branches of the deep circumflex iliac artery and vein. Mimosine (40 mg/kg metabolic weight (W0·75) per d) was infused intra-arterially into one iliac artery of each goat for 3 d and saline was infused in the contralateral (control) iliac artery. Iliac venous blood samples were taken from both sides along with arterial samples from the carotid artery. Mimosine infusion elevated plasma mimosine in the carotid artery (52·6 (SEM 19·21)µmol/I) and iliac vein on the saline-treated side to 54·1 (SEM 16·31)µ/I and in the iliac vein on the mimosine-treated side to 191·3 (SEM19·14) µmol/I (P < 0·01). Mimosine decreased feed intake (2·3 v. 0·6 kg/d, SEM 0·29; P < 0·001) and water consumption (5·2 v. 1·3 litres/d, SEM 0·67; P < 0·001). Mimosine did not cause defleecing in the area of infusion and was cleared from the bloodstream within 12 h of cessation of infusion. The following effects were also observed during mimosine infusion: decrease in plasma amino acids to half pre-infusion values (methionine 22·7 v. 13·1 µmol/l, SEM 1·41; lysine 95·9 p. 37·4 µmol/l, SEM 4·28; P < 0·001); decreases in plasma triiodothyronine (1495 v. 695 ng/l, SEM 43·1; P < 0·001), thyroxine (61·5 v. 19·5 µg/l, SEM 1·8; P < 0·001) and insulin (28·7 v. 17·3 µIU/ml, SEM 1·89; P < 0·01) concentrations; increase in plasma cortisol (14 v. 62 µg/l, SEM 0·35; P < 0·001) concentration; decreases in levels of plasma Zn and Mg (0·97. v. 0·49 mg/l, SEM 0·063; P < 0·001 and 21·4 v. 14·6 mg/l, SEM 1·74; P < 0·001 respectively). All reported variables returned to their normal values 24 h after cessation of mimosine infusion except feed intake which was affected for a longer period. Mohair length and diameter were not affected by mimosine infusion. The toxicity of mimosine may be due to the drastic depletion of Zn and Mg in the blood as mimosine possesses very strong chelating properties and is excreted in the urine as a chelate.

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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
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