Send to

Choose Destination
Toxicon. 1994 Jun;32(6):657-63.

An uptake system for dietary alkaloids in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae).

Author information

Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The skin of poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) contains a wide variety of alkaloids that presumably serve a defensive role. These alkaloids persist for years in captivity, but are not present in captive-raised frogs. Alkaloids fed to poison frogs (Dendrobates, Phyllobates, Epipedobates) are readily accumulated into skin, where they remain for months. The process can be selective; an ant indolizidine is accumulated, while an ant pyrrolidine is not. Frogs (Colostethus) of the same family, which do not normally contain alkaloids, do not accumulate alkaloids. Such an alkaloid uptake system provides a means of maintaining skin alkaloids and suggests that some if not all such 'dendrobatid alkaloids' may have a dietary origin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center