Chapter 27. Ricin and Abrin Poisoning

  1. Timothy C. Marrs OBE, MD, DSc, FRCP, FRCPath4,5,6,
  2. Robert L. Maynard CBE, FRCP, FRCPath7 and
  3. Frederick R. Sidell MD8
  1. Sally M. Bradberry1,
  2. J. Michael Lord2,
  3. Paul Rice3 and
  4. J. Allister Vale1

Published Online: 2 APR 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470060032.ch27

Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment, Second Edition

Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment, Second Edition

How to Cite

Bradberry, S. M., Lord, J. M., Rice, P. and Vale, J. A. (2007) Ricin and Abrin Poisoning, in Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment, Second Edition (eds T. C. Marrs, R. L. Maynard and F. R. Sidell), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470060032.ch27

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Edentox Associates, Pinehurst, Four Elms Road, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 6AQ, UK

  2. 5

    National Poisons Information Service (Birmingham Centre) and West Midlands Poisons Unit, City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK

  3. 6

    Lancashire School of Health and Postgraduate Medicine, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE, UK

  4. 7

    Health Protection Agency, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0RQ, UK

  5. 8

    US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5400, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Poisons Information Service, (Birmingham Centre) and West Midlands Poison Unit, City Hospital, Birmingham, B18 7QH, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV4 7AL, UK

  3. 3

    Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 0JQ, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 APR 2007
  2. Published Print: 23 MAR 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470013595

Online ISBN: 9780470060032



  • ricin and abrin poisoning;
  • A chain and ricin catalytic activity;
  • ricin endocytosis;
  • ricin exposure toxicokinetics;
  • abrin poison management


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Ricin

  • The Potential Use of Ricin as a Chemical Weapon

  • Ricin Structure

  • Ricin Biosynthesis

  • The Substrate for Ricin

  • Mode of Action of Ricin a Chain

  • Binding of Ricin to Mammalian Cells

  • Endocytosis of Ricin

  • Transport of Ricin from Endosomes to the Endoplasmic Reticulum

  • Release of Ricin into the Cytosol

  • Toxicokinetics of Ricin Exposure

  • Clinical Features of Ricin Poisoning

  • Diagnosis of Ricin Poisoning

  • Management of Ricin Poisoning

  • Experimental Strategies for Protecting against Ricin Toxicity

  • Abrin

  • Structure and Mechanisms of Toxicity of Abrin

  • Toxicokinetics of Abrin Exposure

  • Clinical Features of Abrin Exposure

  • Diagnosis

  • Management of Abrin Poisoning

  • Conclusions

  • References