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RESPONSES OF SHEEP TO ZYGADENUS GRAMINEUS, "DEATH CAMAS"

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Science  30 Jan 1931:
Vol. 73, Issue 1883, pp. 135-136
DOI: 10.1126/science.73.1883.135

Abstract

An extract of Zygadenus gramineus, "death camas," from which most of the resins had been removed was given intravenously to sheep prepared for recording blood-pressure and respiratory movements.

Following the intravenous injection of this extract there occurred a respiratory inhibition which in the case of the injection of larger amounts of the extract was followed by asphyxia-like rises of blood-pressure.

The graphic record of this asphyxial condition was practically duplicated by closing the tracheal cannula for a short time following the recovery of the animal from the effects of the plant extract.

Although, from a field standpoint, no satisfactory antidote has been found, it has been demonstrated that caffein sodio-benzoate possesses marked powers of stimulation for the respiratory center affected by the depressive substances found in Zygadenus gramineus.