Excitotoxicity of lathyrus sativus neurotoxin in leech retzius neurons. (1/19)

The effects of Lathyrus sativus neurotoxin were studied on the cell membrane potential and cellular cation composition in Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga, with ion-selective microelectrodes using liquid ion-exchangers. Bath application of 10(-4) mol/l Lathyrus sativus neurotoxin for 3 min depolarized the cell membrane potential and decreased the input resistance of directly polarized membrane in Retzius neurons. At the same time the cellular Na+ activity increased and cellular K+ activity decreased with slow but complete recovery, while the intracellular Ca2+ concentration was not changed. Na+-free Ringer solutions inhibited the depolarizing effect of the neurotoxin on the cell membrane potential. Zero-Ca2+ Ringer solution or Ni2+-Ringer solution had no influence on the depolarizing effect of the neurotoxin on the cell membrane potential. It is obvious that the increase in membrane conductance and depolarization of the cell membrane potential are due to an influx of Na+ into the cell accompanied by an efflux of K+ from the cell.  (+info)

Purification and characterization of insulin-mimetic inositol phosphoglycan-like molecules from grass pea (Lathyrus sativus) seeds. (2/19)

BACKGROUND: Signal transduction through the hydrolysis of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) leading to the release of the water-soluble inositol phosphoglycan (IPG) molecules has been demonstrated to be important for mediating some of the actions of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the present study, GPI from grass pea (Lathyrus sativus) seeds has been purified and partially characterized on the basis of its chromatographic properties and its compositional analysis. RESULTS: The results indicate that it shows similarities to GPI previously isolated from other sources such as rat liver. IPG was generated from L. sativus seed GPI by hydrolysis with a GPI-specific phospholipase D (GPI-PLD). This IPG inhibited protein kinase A (PKA) in an in vitro assay, caused cell proliferation in explanted cochleovestibular ganglia (CVG), and decreased 8-Br-cAMP-induced phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) mRNA expression in cultured hepatoma cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that L. sativus seed IPG possess insulin-mimetic activities. This may explain why L. sativus seeds have been used in some traditional medicines to ameliorate diabetic symptoms.  (+info)

Pattern and associated factors of the neurolathyrism epidemic in Ethiopia. (3/19)

OBJECTIVES: To describe the neurolathyrism epidemic in Ethiopia and to identify associated household factors. METHODS: We interviewed 589 randomly selected heads of household in Debre Sina district of Ethiopia, the area afflicted by the recent neurolathyrism epidemic. Disease information was obtained for 2987 family members. RESULTS: Neurolathyrism patients were detected in 56 (9.5%) households (prevalence rate 2.38%). The mean number of affected family members per household was 1.27 (SD 0.65, range 1-3). Most (77.5%) patients developed the disability during the epidemic (1995-1999). The median age at onset of paralysis was 11 years with a range of 41 (range 3-44). Younger people were more affected during the epidemic than during the non-epidemic period (P=0.01). The presence of a neurolathyrism patient in the family was associated with illiteracy [adjusted OR (95% CI)=2.23 (1.07-5.10)] of the head of household, with owning a grass pea farm [adjusted OR (95% CI)=2.01 (1.04-3.88)] and with the exclusive cooking of grass pea foods using handmade traditional clay pots [adjusted OR (95% CI=2.06 (1.08-3.90)]. CONCLUSION: Males aged 10-14 years were most affected by neurolathyrism. Increased household risk was associated with illiteracy of the head of the household and exclusive cooking of grass pea foods with handmade traditional clay pots.  (+info)

Effects of herbivory on the reproductive effort of 4 prairie perennials. (4/19)

BACKGROUND: Herbivory can affect every aspect of a plant's life. Damaged individuals may show decreased survivorship and reproductive output. Additionally, specific plant species (legumes) and tissues (flowers) are often selectively targeted by herbivores, like deer. These types of herbivory influence a plant's growth and abundance. The objective of this study was to identify the effects of leaf and meristem removal (simulated herbivory within an exclosure) on fruit and flower production in four species (Rhus glabra, Rosa arkansana, Lathyrus venosus, and Phlox pilosa) which are known targets of deer herbivory. RESULTS: Lathyrus never flowered or went to seed, so we were unable to detect any treatment effects. Leaf removal did not affect flower number in the other three species. However, Phlox, Rosa, and Rhus all showed significant negative correlations between seed mass and leaf removal. Meristem removal had a more negative effect than leaf removal on flower number in Phlox and on both flower number and seed mass in Rosa. CONCLUSIONS: Meristem removal caused a greater response than defoliation alone in both Phlox and Rosa, which suggests that meristem loss has a greater effect on reproduction. The combination of leaf and meristem removal as well as recruitment limitation by deer, which selectively browse for these species, is likely to be one factor contributing to their low abundance in prairies.  (+info)

1,5-diamino-2-pentyne is both a substrate and inactivator of plant copper amine oxidases. (5/19)

1,5-diamino-2-pentyne (DAPY) was found to be a weak substrate of grass pea (Lathyrus sativus, GPAO) and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia, OVAO) amine oxidases. Prolonged incubations, however, resulted in irreversible inhibition of both enzymes. For GPAO and OVAO, rates of inactivation of 0.1-0.3 min(-1) were determined, the apparent KI values (half-maximal inactivation) were of the order of 10(-5) m. DAPY was found to be a mechanism-based inhibitor of the enzymes because the substrate cadaverine significantly prevented irreversible inhibition. The N1-methyl and N5-methyl analogs of DAPY were tested with GPAO and were weaker inactivators (especially the N5-methyl) than DAPY. Prolonged incubations of GPAO or OVAO with DAPY resulted in the appearance of a yellow-brown chromophore (lambda(max) = 310-325 nm depending on the working buffer). Excitation at 310 nm was associated with emitted fluorescence with a maximum at 445 nm, suggestive of extended conjugation. After dialysis, the color intensity was substantially decreased, indicating the formation of a low molecular mass secondary product of turnover. The compound provided positive reactions with ninhydrin, 2-aminobenzaldehyde and Kovacs' reagents, suggesting the presence of an amino group and a nitrogen-containing heterocyclic structure. The secondary product was separated chromatographically and was found not to irreversibly inhibit GPAO. MS indicated an exact molecular mass (177.14 Da) and molecular formula (C10H15N3). Electrospray ionization- and MALDI-MS/MS analyses yielded fragment mass patterns consistent with the structure of a dihydropyridine derivative of DAPY. Finally, N-(2,3-dihydropyridinyl)-1,5-diamino-2-pentyne was identified by means of 1H- and 13C-NMR experiments. This structure suggests a lysine modification chemistry that could be responsible for the observed inactivation.  (+info)

Neurolathyrism risk depends on type of grass pea preparation and on mixing with cereals and antioxidants. (6/19)

OBJECTIVE: To study an array of household individual and dietary risk factors for neurolathyrism. METHOD: Case-control study using recent cases in a district highly affected by the recent neurolathyrism epidemic in Ethiopia: 108 households with cases and 104 households with no cases; 170 neurolathyrism cases, 370 intra-family controls and 170 community controls frequency matched for age and sex. RESULTS: A history of acute illness was associated with a two- and threefold increased risk of paralysis in community and intra-family controls, respectively. Soaking grass pea in water before cooking roughly halved the risk of neurolathyrism but cooking in clay utensils more than quadrupled it. Consumption of grass pea in the green unripe and boiled forms increased the risk 10 times or more. Mixing the food with gravy that contains condiments with antioxidant activity reduced it by a factor of 4. The consumption of grass pea mixed with cereals rich in sulphur amino acids was also highly protective, but the magnitude of the effect depended on the grass pea preparation consumed. CONCLUSION: Consumption of pure grass pea, especially in the green unripe and boiled forms, should be avoided. Communities at risk of neurolathyrism during famine crises should be encouraged to combine and use grass pea with cereals before the household cereal stock is fully depleted. Breeding programmes, alongside traditional attempts to reduce the toxin content, should enhance the content of sulphur amino acids and antioxidants in grass pea.  (+info)

Isozyme variation and phylogenetic relationships in Vicia subgenus Cracca (Fabaceae). (7/19)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The phylogenetic relationships among 27 vetch species belonging to the subgenus Cracca of the genus Vicia were studied in comparison with three species of Lathyrus section Lathyrus on the basis of isozyme variation. METHODS: Isozymes encoded by 15 putative loci of ten enzymes were resolved by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and isozyme variation was analysed by using parsimony and neighbour-joining methods. KEY RESULTS: The analyses revealed 63 parsimony-informative and 36 species-specific orthozymes. Of the latter, 23 are monomophic and are suitable for identification of V. benghalensis, V. palaestina, V. dumetorum, V. pisiformis, V. sylvatica, V. onobrychioides, V. cappadocica, V. cretica, V. articulata, V. tetrasperma, V. ervilia, V. hirsuta and V. loiseleurii. Polymorphism with heterozygous and homozygous isozyme genotypes was found for V. cracca, V. tenuifolia, V. ochroleuca, V. villosa, V. sylvatica, V. cassubica, V. sparsiflora, V. megalotropis, V. altissima, V. onobrychioides, V. cassia, V. cretica and L. heterophyllus, reflecting outcrossing in these species. By contrast, V. benghalensis, V. palaestina, V. disperma, V. dumetorum, V. pisiformis, V. orobus, V. pauciflora, V. tetrasperma and V. loiseleurii had only homozygous isozyme genotypes at polymorphic loci. Isozyme-based phylogenetic trees are presented. CONCLUSIONS: Sections Cracca, Ervum, Pedunculatae and Lenticula of traditional taxonomy are monophyletic groups, whereas sections Oroboideae (= Vicilla) and Panduratae appear polyphyletic and section Cassubicae is split into two species-couples linked at a low level of support. Treatment of ervoid species in a separate subgenus Ervum is not supported because of its polyphyly.  (+info)

Purification, identification and preliminary crystallographic studies of an allergenic protein from Lathyrus sativus. (8/19)

A 24 kDa protein was purified from the seeds of Lathyrus sativus by ammonium sulfate fractionation and ion-exchange chromatography. The N-terminal amino-acid sequence showed significant homology with the 2S albumin class of seed storage proteins. The protein showed 85% sequence homology with the seed albumin of Pisum sativum within the 40 N-terminal residues. Crystals were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belonged to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 43.5, b = 82.7, c = 153.4 A.  (+info)