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

Inhibition of ruminal degradation of L-tryptophan to 3-methylindole, in vitro.

Available evidence supports the view that acute bovine pulmonary edema and emphysema (ABPE) is related to ruminal production of 3-methylindole (3MI) from L-tryptophan (TRP). Ruminal production of 3MI is a two-step process involving the conversion of TRP to indoleacetic acid (IAA) followed by decarboxylation of IAA and 3MI. Reduction in ruminal 2MI production by the inhibition of either of these processes may prevent the onset of ABPE. A closed-system, in vitro ruminal fermentation technique was used to screen 27 compounds for their ability to reduce the conversion of TRP to 3MI. Several compounds tended to reduce 3MI production at both 25 and 5 micrograms/ml. Desoxysalinomycin, X-206, chloral hydrate, nigericin, lasalocid, monensin, narasin and salinomycin all reduced 3MI production by more than 80% at 5 micrograms/ml without reducing total VFA production. All of these compounds, except chloral hydrate, are polyether antibiotics. At least part of the inhibition due to monensin and narasin occurs at the level of TRP conversion to IAA.[1]


  1. Inhibition of ruminal degradation of L-tryptophan to 3-methylindole, in vitro. Hammond, A.C., Carlson, J.R. J. Anim. Sci. (1980) [Pubmed]
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