International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Home About Us Scope Editorial Board Blog/Latest News Contact Us
10th percentile
Powered by  Scopus
Scopus coverage:
Nov 2018 to May 2020


IJSTR >> Volume 9 - Issue 6, June 2020 Edition

International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research  
International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Website: http://www.ijstr.org

ISSN 2277-8616

Structural Elucidation And Analysis Of Toxic Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids From Staple Foods Of North West Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

[Full Text]



Tsegay Hiwot, Abrha Birhan



pyrrolizidine alkaloids; veno-occlusive disease, Ehrlich’s reagent, Teff, Enjera Tsaeda-emba, Adishukor, Mekayho, thin layer chromatograpy and GC-MS



The objective of this study was to identify the hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in grains processed food and animal products in three villages of the North West zone of regional state of Tigray, northern Ethiopia. By chemical test using Ehrlich’s reagent, and separation by thin layer chromatograpy (TLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) spectrometric analysis, three toxic PAs, echinatine, clivorine, and europine, were identified in the Teff and Enjera food samples taken from three veno-occlusive disease affected villages of Tsaeda-emba, Adishukor and Mekayho in northern Ethiopia. PAs are phytochemicals present in more than 6000 plant species worldwide; approximately half of the PAs are hepatotoxic, genotoxic, and carcinogenic. PAs induce acute hepatotoxicity with the typical symptom known as hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (HSOS). To date, three representative carcinogenic PAs, monocrotaline, riddelliine, and lasiocarpine, have been classified as possible human carcinogens (Group 2B) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Therefore, it is important to determine the sources of exposure and study the mechanism of action. As such, the identification of three toxic PAs in the villages of Ethiopia with people suffering from HSOS is highly important.



[1] Edgar JA, Molyneux RJ, Colegate SM. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids:potential role in the etiology of cancers, pulmonary hypertension, congenital anomalies, and liver disease. Chem.Res Toxicol 2015;28:4-20.

[2] Fu PP, Chiang HM, Xia Q, Chen T, Chen BH, Yin JJ, et al.Quality assurance and safety of herbal dietary supplements. J Environ Sci Health Part C, Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev 2009;27:91-119.

[3] Fu PP, Xia Q, Chou MW, Lin G. Detection, hepatotoxicity, and tumorigenicity of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Chinese herbal plants and herbal dietary supplements. J Food Drug Anal 2007;15:400-15.

[4] Fu PP, Xia Q, Lin G, Chou MW. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids genotoxicity, metabolism enzymes,metabolic activation, and mechanisms. Drug Metab Rev 2004;36:1-55.

[5] Huxtable RJ. Herbal teas and toxins: novel aspects of pyrrolizidine poisoning in the United States. Perspect Biol Med 1980;24:1- 14.

[6] IPCS.Pyrrolizidine alkaloids.Environmental health criteria 80. International Programme on Chemical Safety. Geneva: WHO; 1988.

[7] Mattocks AR. Chemistry and toxicology of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. London, NY: Academic Press; 1986.

[8] Smith LW, Culvenor CCJ. Plant sources of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. J Nat Prod 1981;44:129-52.

[9] Wiedenfeld H, Edgar J. Toxicity of pyrrolizidine alkaloids to humans and ruminants. Phytochem Rev 2011;10:137-51.

[10] Roeder E. Medicinal plants in China containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Pharmazie 2000;55:711-26.

[11] Roeder E. Medicinal plants in Europe containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Pharmazie 1995;50:83-98.

[12] ANZFA. "Pyrrolizidine alkaloiods in food: a toxicological review and risk assessment." 2001: 3-12.

[13] Prakash AS, Pereira TN, Reilly PE, Seawright AA. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in human diet. Mutat Res 1999;443:53-67.

[14] Stegelmeier BL, Edgar JA, Colegate SM, Gardner DR,Schoch TK, Coulombe RA, et al.Pyrrolizidine alkaloid plants, metabolism and toxicity. J Nat Toxins 1999;8:95-116.

[15] Roulet M, Laurini R, Rivier L, Calame A. Hepatic venoocclusive disease in newborn-infant of a woman drinking herbal tea. J Pediatr 1988;112:433-6.

[16] Ruan J, Gao H, Li N, Xue J, Chen J, Ke C, et al. Blood pyrrole-protein adducts-A biomarker of pyrrolizidine alkaloid-induced liver injury in humans. J Environ Sci Health Part C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol 2015;33:404-421.

[17] Lin G, Wang J, Li N, Li M, Gao H, Ji Y, et al. Hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome associated with consumption of Gynura segetum. J Hepatol 2011;54:666-673.

[18] Martinello M, Cristofoli C, Gallina A, Mutinelli F. Easy and rapid method for the quantitative determination of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in honey by ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry: an evaluation in commercial honey. Food Contr 2014;37:146 -152.

[19] Prakash AS, Pereira TN, Reilly PEB, Seawright AA. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in human diet. Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutag 1999;443:53-67.

[20] Rasenack R, Muller C, Kleinschmidt M, Rasenack J,Wiedenfeld H. Veno-occlusive disease in a fetus caused by pyrrolizidine alkaloids of food origin. Fetal Diagn Ther 2003;18:223-225.

[21] Panter KE, James LF. Natural plant toxicants in milk – a review. J Anim Sci 1990;68: 892-904.

[22] Edgar JA, Colegate SM, Boppre M, Molyneux RJ. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in food: a spectrum of potential health consequences. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 2011;28:308-324.

[23] Chojkier M. Hepatic sinusoidal-obstruction syndrome:toxicity of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. J Hepatol 2003;39: 437-446.

[24] DeLeve LD, McCuskey RS, Wang X, Hu L, McCuskey MK, Epstein RB, et al. Characterization of a reproducible rat model of hepatic veno-occlusive disease. Hepatology 1999;29: 1779 -1791.

[25] Jukes, A Robin Mattocks and Rebekah. "Improved field tests for toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids." Journal of Natural Prodvcts, 1987: 1-3.

[26] Rosemann, Magda. "Analysis Of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids In Crotalaria Species By HPLC- MS/MS In Order To Evaluate Related Food Health Risks,Chapter 1- 7." 2006.

[27] Krska, Colin Crews & Franz Berthiller & Rudi. "Update On Analytical Methods For Toxic Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids." 2009: 2-8.

[28] John A. Edgar, Erhard Roeder, and Russell J. Molynuex. "Honey From Plants Containing Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids: A Potential Threat To Health." Journal Of Agriculture And Food Chemistry, 2002: 50, 2719-2730.

[29] Brian T. Schaneberg, Russell J. Molyneux, And Ikhlas A. Khan. "Evaporative Light Scattering Detection Of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids." Phytochemical Analysis, 2004: 3-6.

[30] Ibrahim, Eyad Safi. "Isolation And Characterization Of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids From Echium Glomeratumpoir ." 2007: 29-34.

[31] Assemel-Shazly. "Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Profiles Of Some Senecio Species ." 2002: 2-5.

[32] Coulombe, Roger A. "Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Plants: Metabolism And Toxicity ." Journal Of Natural Toxins, 1991: 2-16.

[33] Jukes, A Robin Mattocks and Rebekah. "Improved Field Tests For Toxic Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids." Journal Of Natural Products, 1987: 1-3.

[34] Lotte Joosten, Patrick P. J. Mulder, C Klaas Vrieling. "The Analysis Of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids In Jacobaea vulgaris; A Comparison Of Extraction And Detection Methods." Phytochemical Analysis, 2009: 5.

[35] Michael Bopper, Steven M.Colegate And John A. Edgard. "Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids Of Echium Vulgare Honey Found In Pure Pollen." Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry, 2005: 2-6.

[36] R.J.Molyneux, D.L.Gardner, S.M. Colegate and J.A.Edgar. "Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids Toxicity In Lifestock: A Paradigm For Human Poisoning." Food Additives And Contaminants, 2011: 6-8.

[37] Tesfay Desta, Mulugeta Afework, C.R. Unnithana and Hagos Alay (2014). Isolation and structural elucidation of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids from Ageratum Conyzoides collected from Veno Occlusive Disease affected communities. International Journal of Pharmacy & Technology 6(1):6281-6290.

[38] Russell J. Molyneux, Dale R. Gardner, Lynn F. James, Steven M. Colegate."Polyhydroxy Alkaloids: Chromatographic Analysis." Journal Of Chromatography, 2002: 2-13.

[39] E.Roeder,H. Weidenfeld. "Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids In Plants Used In The Traditional Medicines of Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands." 2011: 1-3.

[40] Francis, Taylor And. "Phytochemical Dictionary 2nd Edition, ." Plant Toxicity , 1999: 6-8.

[41] Netherlands, EWG. "Disscusion Paper On Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids." Joint FAO/WHO Food Standard Program: Codex Committee On Contaminants In Food, 2011: 18-19.

[42] Chojkier, Mario. "Hepatic Sinusoidal-Obstruction Syndrome Toxicity Of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids." Journal Of Hepatology, 2003: 2-4.