Phylloerythrin occurs as a normal byproduct of rumen function, when large amounts of chlorophyll are decomposed by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and are absorbed through the rumen into the bloodstream where they are removed by conjugation and excretion in bile (12).
Scheie et al (15), in studies on sheep, established normal phylloerythrin plasma concentrations at less than 0.
This mycotoxin belongs to the class of epipolythiodioxypiperazine toxic compounds and is considered highly hepatotoxic and causes in the host a hepatocyte immune response mediated by foamy macrophages, which when swallowed form "digestion chambers" that occlude bile ducts and impede phylloerythrin excretion with subsequent photosensitization.
induce migration of foamy macrophages and stimulate the formation of crystals in hepatocytes and bile ducts, obstructing bile canaliculi with the consequent accumulation of phylloerythrin in circulation and in the skin, which causes phototoxic dermatitis.
The intrahepatic cholestasis in lantana poisoning causes photosensitization due to retention of phylloerythrin which is normally excreted in bile.
Significantly lower values of plasma Vitamin C value in group I as compared to group II were recorded which may be due to hepatic damages caused by increase levels of phylloerythrin in circulation and eventually in skin due to and subsequent excitation of phylloerythrin by sun light.
If the animal eats sufficient quantities of plant, photosensitisation sets in with liver damage and accumulation of phylloerythrin
in blood, which sensitises animal's skin to ultra-violet light.
The normal conjugation and conjugation of phylloerythrin
(a breakdown product of chlorophyll) is prevented leading to accumulation in blood and body tissues.
Lantana toxicity is manifested in three phases-release and absorption of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, hepatic phase (cholestasis, hyperbilirubinaemia, hyperphyllo-erythrinaemia) and the tissue phase wherein cell injury results from accumulation of bilirubin and phylloerythrin
(Sharma et al.
In hepatitis or biliary obstruction, phylloerythrin
accumulates in body and may reach levels in skin that makes it sensitive to light.