Pavetamine, the active principle of plants causing gousiekte in ruminants, was found in this study to be an inhibitor of protein synthesis in the rat heart. Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intra-peritoneally with 8-10 mg/kg pavetamine and the levels of protein synthesis in the different organs determined utilizing L-[4-³H]phenylalanine incorporation. In contrast to the more than 23% inhibition found in heart tissue at 4, 24 and 48 h after administration of pavetamine, the effect on the kidney, liver, spleen, intestine and skeletal muscle was minimal or returned to pretreatment levels within 48 h. These results may offer an explanation for the clinical signs observed in ruminants with gousiekte, where the heart only is affected.
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