Isolation and identification of two potent neurotoxins, aspartic acid and glutamic acid, from yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)

Dwijendra N. Roy, David H. Peyton, Peter S. Spencer

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11 Scopus citations


Horses grazins for prolonged periods on yellow star thistle (YST), a plant which grows wild in western parts of the United States, develop an extrapyramidal disorder known as nigropallidal encephalomalacia (NPE). Attempts have been made to identify, isolate, and characterize the toxins responsible for the disease in animals. Using the organotypic tissue culture system on mouse cortical explants as a specific assay method for neurotoxicological evaluation, it has been possible to isolate and characterize two potent neuroexcitotoxic compounds, aspartic and glutamic acids, the former being the major toxic component in the alcoholic extract of the plant. There is also evidence that other neurotoxic compounds are present in the extract. The detailed procedure for isolation and characterization of these compounds is given here. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-180
Number of pages7
JournalNatural Toxins
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995



  • Aqueous extract
  • Aspartic acid
  • Glutamic acid
  • Neurotoxic compounds
  • Yellow star thistle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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