Duration of ergovaline exposure influences serotonin-mediated vasoactivity of bovine mesenteric vasculature
By: Ronald J Trotta, David L Harmon, Huihua Ji, James L Klotz
Consumption of ergot alkaloids found in endophyte-infected tall fescue can lead to symptoms of fescue toxicosis, such as vasoconstriction, in ruminant livestock species. Ergovaline is one of the primary ergot alkaloids responsible for causing vasoconstriction when toxic varieties of fescue are consumed. It has been previously shown that ergovaline causes vasoconstriction by interacting with vascular serotonin receptors in cattle and sheep. Depending on when ergovaline exposure occurs, ergovaline can function as an agonist (stimulant) or antagonist (inhibitor) of vascular activity. However, it is unclear how the duration of ergovaline exposure affects vasoconstriction caused by serotonin. Experiments were conducted using the bovine mesenteric artery and mesenteric vein that were exposed to either 0, 0.01, or 0.1 μM ergovaline for 24-h prior to serotonin additions or simultaneously with serotonin additions. Maximum contractile response data were recorded using a multimyograph system and normalized as a percentage of the contractile response produced by the reference compound, KCl. The results of these experiments demonstrated that the duration of ergovaline exposure influences serotonin-mediated vasoconstriction and possibly vasorelaxation in bovine mesenteric vasculature. If ergovaline and serotonin exposure occur simultaneously, ergovaline can act as an agonist or antagonist of serotonin-mediated vasoconstriction. If serotonin exposure occurs after prior ergovaline exposure, serotonin can induce vasorelaxation of blood vessels. Understanding how complex interactions between ergovaline and serotonin occur and affect vascular function will aid in the development of strategies to mitigate sustained vasoconstriction caused during fescue toxicosis.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.