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Cornell Vet. 1977 Apr;67(2):229-35.

Pine needle toxicity in pregnant mice.


Eight groups of pregnant mice were fed various preparations of ground pine needles or aqueous extracts thereof. An additional group was fed only Purina mouse cubes. Ground pine needles were more toxic to both adult mice and embryos than were the various water extracts. Reproductive failure occurred early in the gestational period. A water soluble and heat labile toxin suggestive of a mycotoxin was demonstrated in water extracts. Pine needle fiber contained a heat stable toxin which was insoluble in water. Evidence suggested the possible presence of a third toxin lethal for adult mice. Results suggested that the heat stable toxin is the one of greatest importance as a source of reproductive failure in mice. Toxins produced by fungi were considered to be of secondary importance.

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