Ingestion of the pods ofEnterolobium contortisiliquumcauses hepatogenous photosensitization in cattle

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Abstract

Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Leg. Mimosoidae) is reported as a poisonous plant related to photosensitization and photodermatitis, digestive disturbs and abortion. To date, the clinical and pathological features of photosensitization has not been reproduced or only reproduced associated with very mild presentations. The objective of this study was to reproduce in cattle the clinicopathological features of photosensitization associated with the ingestion of the pods of E. contortisiliquum. The pods were harvested from a property with a history of an ongoing outbreak of photosensitization and abortion in cattle. Six 24-month-old steers were cannulated and used in the experiment, two of them served as negative controls. E. contortisiliquum pods were administered to four steers through ruminal cannula. In the first phase of the experiment, daily doses of 30 g/kg/body weight (bw) and 20 g/kg/bw were administered to Bovines 1 and 2 respectively, for three consecutive days. In the second phase, starting four days after the last daily feeding of the pods, these two bovines were challenged with the same doses of the pods for three consecutive days and another two steers (Bovines 3 and 4) were fed 15 g/kg/bw each for three consecutive days. In the two phases, the steers developed signs compatible with ruminal acidosis which were more severe during the second phase. Three and five days after the administration of the pods, two steers presented photodermatitis characterized by hyperemia and edema on the skin of the dorsum of the neck, of the shaved skin around the cannula, of muzzle and ear. Lesions evolved to dermal necrosis with sloughing and subsequent scar retraction and dermal thickening. Ulceration of mucosae exposed to sunlight was also observed. All the steers which received the pods had significant elevations in the serum activities of gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). The levels of GGT and AST remained elevated for up to 12 days after the administration of the pods was discontinued. Histopathological hepatic changes detected by liver biopsies were hepatocellular swelling and randomly scattered individual hepatocellular necrosis. The current study presents solid experimental evidence that the ingestion of E. contortisiliquum definitely induces the classical lesions of hepatogenous photosensitization in cattle.

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