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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prevention of hydrolysable tannin toxicity in goats fed Clidemia hirta by calcium hydroxide supplementation.

Although plants containing hydrolysable tannins can be hepatotoxic, such poisoning has not been reported in Indonesia despite the presence of these plants. In order to determine the hepatotoxic potential of Indonesian plants, goats were intoxicated experimentally with the Indonesian plant Climedia hirta (harendong), which contained 19% hydrolysable tannin. The prophylactic effect of Ca(OH)2 supplementation on the disease was also examined. Two groups of goats were fed for 28 days with grain-based pellets containing 50% harendong leaf or 50% harendong leaf + 8% Ca(OH)2. Two control groups were fed similar pellets containing 50% of the non-toxic elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) with and without 8% Ca(OH)2. Serum enzymes indicative of liver damage were monitored during the experiment and histopathological examination of selected tissues was done at the conclusion of the experiment. In goats given unsupplemented harendong pellets there was a significant increase in aspartate aminotransferase and glutamate dehydrogenase from 50.2 and 20.6 U l-1 to 219.6 and 63.3 U l-1, respectively. These changes were associated with moderate to severe nuclear plemorphism, vacuolation and megalocytosis of hepatocytes and deposits of brown pigment in the Kupffer cells. There was also nephrosis of the renal convoluted tubules and collecting ducts, abomasitis and enteritis. Biochemical and histological changes were reduced significantly in the harendong + Ca(OH)2 group and virtually absent from control groups. It is concluded that hydrolysable tannins in harendong leaf are hepato- and nephrotoxic and associated with gastroenteritis, but that poisoning may be ameliorated by Ca(OH)2 supplementation.[1]


  1. Prevention of hydrolysable tannin toxicity in goats fed Clidemia hirta by calcium hydroxide supplementation. Murdiati, T.B., McSweeney, C.S., Campbell, R.S., Stoltz, D.S. Journal of applied toxicology : JAT. (1990) [Pubmed]
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