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Mechanism of action of insoluble calcium oxalates

plant cells have needle shaped calcium oxalate crystal that penetrate the oral mucosa, tongue and throat. Some species produce proteolytic enzymes which cause histamine and kinin release.

Plants containg insoluble calcium oxalates

Chinese evergreen, elephants ear, Jack in the pulpit, Cuckoo-pint, caladium, dumbcane, monstera, philodendron, peace lily, skunk cabbage, arrowhead vine, calla lily, umbrella tree, fishtail palm

Clinical signs of plants containing insoluble calcium oxalates

Irritation of lips, mouth, throat, vomiting

Clinical signs of the umbrella tree

GI irritation signs, tachycardia, mydriasis, seizures

What are the toxic principles of the umbrella tree?

Insoluble calcium oxalates, alkylating agent, irritant

Mechanism of action of Soluble oxalates

Hypocalcemia and precipitation of insoluble calcium oxalates in soft tissue and kidney damage

Plants containing solbule oxalates

Pigweed, purslane, greeswood, beet, lamb's quaters, rubarb, sorrel and soursop

Clinical signs of Pigweed

hypocalcemia, methemoglobinemia, renal failure

Toxic principles of pigweed

soluble oxalates, nitrate, and unknown

Clinical signs of purslane

hypocalcemia, renal damage

Toxic principles of Rubarb

Soluble oxalates in leaves, anthraquinone glycosides in leaves

Mechanism of action of Isocupressic acid

May be vasoconstriction and decreased uterine blood flow that stimulates the release of fetal cortisol and abortion

Plants containing Isocupressic acid

Ponderosa pine, monterey cypress

Mechanism of action of Quinones

primary photosensitization

Plants containing Quinones

St. John's wort, buckwheat

Clinical signs of St. John's wort

Erythema, pruritis, edema, necrosis of skin

MOA of Tannic acids

Tissue damage including GI lesions and kidney damage

Plants containing tannins

Oak tree, Pride of Barbados

MOA of Triterpene acids

Lantadene A and B cause damage of bile caniculi membranes and cholestasis. Decreased elimination of of phylloerythrin causes photosensitization

Plants containing Triterpene acids


Clinical signs of lantana

GI signs, liver damage, photosensitization

MOA of Colchine

Antimitotic by binding to tubulin and inhibiting spindle formation during cell division, causing damage to all body organs

Plants containing colchine

Autumn crocus, meadow saffron, Glory lily, climbing lily

MOA of Diterpene alkaloids

Competitive blockade of nicotinic receptors at muscle endplates similar to curare

Clinical signs due to diterpene alkaloids

sudden death in cattle, muscle weakness, stiffness, staggering, recumbency, collapse

Antidote for diterpene alkaloids

Pyostigmine, neostigmine

Plants containing Diterpene alkaloids

Larkspur, Monkshodd

MOA of Ergot alkaloids

Vasoconstiction and gangrene, uterine contraction

Plant containing ergot alkaloid

Ergot (claviceps purpurea)

MOA of Indolizidine alkaloids (swainsonine)

Inhibit lysosomal enzymes essential for formation of glycoproteins.

What plants contain swainsonine?

Locoweeds, milkvetch, Swainsona canescens in Australia

MOA of Lycorine

emetic and purgative, bulb most toxic

Plants that contain lycorine

Spider lily, barbados lily, zephyr lily, river lily

Clinical signs of the spider lily

sever vomiting and diarrhea

Clinicial signs of the barbados lily

GI signs, vomiting,paralysis, collapse

Clinicial signs of the river lily

vomiting and GI signs

MOA of Muscarine

Stimulate muscarinic cholinergic receptors, CNS stim

Plants containing muscarine

poisonous mushroom

MOA of piperidine Alkaloids

Have nicotinic effects starting with ganglionic and neuromuscular stimulation followed by ganglionic and neuro muscular blockade

Plants containg piperdine alkaloids

Poison hemlock, California or Nebraska fern, lupines, tabacco, tree tobacco, coyte tobacco

Clinical signs of tabacco plant

vomiting, diarrhea, ciruclatory collapse, cardiac arrest, seizures, tremors, resp failure

Toxic principles of the tobacco plant

Piperidine alkaloids and Pyridine alkaloids

Mechanism of action of the pyridine alkaloids

Nicotine and lobeline act on nicotinic receptors at autonomic ganglia, NM synapses and some synapses in the CNS. Low doses cause depolarization, Lg doses cause blockade

Plants that contain pyridine alkaloids

Tobacco plant, tree tobacco, Lobelia

MOA of Pyrrolizidine alkaloids


Plants that contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids

Rattlebox, Senecio, groundsel, ragwort

Clinical signs of Rattlelbox

liver damage, hepatogenic photosensitization, hepatogenic encephalopathy

MOA of Solanine and Solanidine alkaloids

GI, CNS, Resp, cardiac

Plants containing solanine and solanidine alkaloids

Black nightshade, american nightshade, Eggplant, tomato, turkey berry, chalice vine, chinese vine, chinese lantern

Clinical signs of Black nightshade and American nightshade, Eggpant

vomiting, mydriasis, drowsiness

Clinical signs of tomato

signs occur few hours from ingestion, GI signs which can last for days, CV depression, hallucination, seizures, mydriasis

MOA of taxine Alkaloid

Cardiotoxic and causes GI signs

Plants containing taxine alkaloid

Japanese Yew

Plants containing Tropane alkaloids (atropine, hyoscine, hyoscyamine)

Jimsonweed, Devil's trumpet, Angel's trumpet, Henbane

MOA of Xanthine alkaloids (coffee, theophylline, theobromine

Blocking adenosine A receptors, inhibiting phosphodiesterase

Plants containing xanthine alkaloids

Cocoa, Coffee

Clinical signs of cocoa

Vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias, muscle tremors, seizures, coma, death

Clinical signs of coffee

GI signs, CNS stim, muscle tremors, urination, tachycardia

MOA of anthraquinones


Toxic principle of Coffee senna

anthraquinone, unknown principle that causes skeletal and cardiac muscle degeneration and urine may be coffee colored due to myoglobineuria which may cause kidney damage.

Plants that contain anthraquinones

Cascara sagrada, coffee senna

MOA of calciongenic glycosides


Plants containing calcinogenic glycosides

Day Blooming Jasmine, Turkey berry

Clinical signs of Day Blooming Jasmine

Calcinosis and lameness

MOA of carboxyatracyloside

hepatotoxicity, excessive salivation due to mechanical injury of the mouth, may be renal damage and hypoglycemia

Plants containing carboxylatracyloside


clinical signs of cocklebur

liver damage, local mechanical irritation of skin

MOA of cardiac glycosides

Cardiotoxic by inhibiting Na/K ATPase

Plants that contain Cardiac glycosides

Fox glove, oleander, yellow oleander, Squill, Lily of the valley, milkweed, kallanchoe

MOA of Coumarin glycosides

Form dicoumarol in spoiled plants, hemorrhage due to antagonism of vit K

Plants containing coumarin glycosides

Sweet clover

MOA of cyanogenic glycosides

Release HCN on hydrolysis in damaged plants, HCN metabolized in liver to thiocynates, inhibits cellular respiration and causes vasoconstriction

Plants containing cyanogenic glycosides

Wild cherries, Johnsongrass, sudan grass, sorghum, elderberry

Clinical signs of elderberry

Vomiting and diarrhea

MOA of Cycasin

GI irritation, liver damage and is teratogenic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic.

Plants containing Cycasin

Sago palm, Japanese cycad, cardboard palm, Coontie

Toxic principle of the Sago Palm

Cycasin, BMAA is a neurotoxic amino acid, unknown toxin causes axonal degeneration in the CNS

MOA of Glucosinolate (thiocynate glycosides)


Plants containing glucosinolate

Rape seed, kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, turnip cauliflower, Soybean, flax

MOA of Nitropropanol glycoside

Interferes with cellular respiration, causes resp and nerologic signs in ruminants, neurologic signs in horses

Plants that contain Nitropropanol glycoside

Milkvetch, violets, lotus, indigo

MOA of phytoestrogens

Bind to estrogen receptors causing infertility

Plants containing pytoestrogens

White clover, subterranean clover, Alfalfa

MOA of protoanemonin

severe irritation of GI mucosa and dermatitis

What is protoaneomin

a volatile oil released by hydrolysis of glycoside

Plants contianing protoaneomin

Buttercup family

MOA of ptaquiloside

Death of precursor cells in bone marrow causing aplasic anemia in cattle and sheep, causes tumors of the the upper digestive tract and retinal degeneration, neoplasia in the urinary tract causing enzootic bovine hematuria

Plants containing ptaquiloside

Bracken fern

MOA of steroidal saponins

Liver damage and inability to eliminate phylloerthrin, hepatogenic photosensitization

Plants containing steroidal saponins

agave, nolina, panicum

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