Steven M. Colegate, Dale R. Gardner, T. Zane Davis, Joseph M. Betz and Kip E. Panter
Prompted by a livestock poisoning outbreak near Kingman, Arizona, analysis of Cryptantha inequata and C. utahensis revealed dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids at approximately 0.05 % and 0.09% w/w respectively. Cryptantha inequata produced mainly echimidine, acetylechimidine and echiuplatine; dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids previously associated with Echium plantagineum. Echiuplatine was elucidated as an amphoteric, open chain diester with angelic acid and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaric acid. Along with lycopsamine, intermedine and dihydroxyechiumine, C. utahensis produced cryptanthine, an open chain diester with angelic acid and 2,3-dihydroxy-2-methylbutanoic acid. All pyrrolizidine alkaloids detected were present in the plants mainly as their N-oxides. The dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids detected are expected to be toxic but the low levels in the plants potentially mitigate the risk. The identification of the amphoteric echiuplatine provides a cautionary note with respect to the analysis of total dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloid content.