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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1989 Nov;192(2):153-6.

Oral, osmotic minipump, and intramuscular administration to sheep of the Veratrum alkaloid cyclopamine.

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USDA/ARS/Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Logan, Utah 84321.


Logistic and biologic aspects of three separate means of administration of cyclopamine for experimental induction of terata or embryonic death in sheep were examined. Oral capsule administration of crystalline cyclopamine is logistically simple and biologically effective, but costly in terms of amount of compound required. Embryos were affected in five of seven ewes dosed cyclopamine orally at higher levels (four nonpregnant and one with cyclopia). Intramuscular administration of cyclopamine dissolved in ethanol was logistically simple but without biologic effect at levels tested. Three of three treated ewes had normal offspring. Osmotic minipump administration of powdered cyclopamine suspended in propylene glycol was logistically unsatisfactory with serious delivery complications. Osmotic minipump administration of cyclopamine dissolved in ethanol was logistically very satisfactory, and one ewe among three treated animals was nonpregnant at term. There were no nonpregnant ewes nor deformed offspring in 17 controls.

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