Induction of a Neurological Disorder by Cycasin in Mice

Abstract

SINCE an unusually high incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurological disease, was found on the island of Guam by Kurland and Mulder1, the search for the cause of the disease has been focused on Cycas circinalis, which the Guamanians have long utilized as a source of food starch. Ingestion of cycad plant material in the tropics and subtropics where cycads are indigenous has been reported to cause posterior weakness and ataxia, with a characteristic “goose-stepping” gait in cattle2. Numerous feeding experiments have been conducted to evaluate the disputed conditions in which cycad paralysis occurs, but one cannot be sure that the test animals were not exposed to other risks which could produce locomotor difficulties, except for the experiments which were carried out in controlled conditions. Recently, Anderson and Hall3 reported that cattle which had been fed fresh cycad leaves showed a slight lack of co-ordination in the hindquarters which resulted in a swaying gait. None of the glycosides which are contained in cycads, however, has been shown, to be responsible for producing such neurological disorders.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Kurland, L. T., and Mulder, D. W., Neurology, 4, 355 (1954).

  2. 2

    Whiting, M. G., Econ. Bot., 17, 271 (1963).

  3. 3

    Anderson, J. L., and Hall, W. T., Fed. Proc., 23, 1349 (1964).

  4. 4

    Laqueur, G. L., Mickelsen, O., Whiting, M. G., and Kurland, L. T., J. Nat. Cancer Inst., 31, 919 (1963).

  5. 5

    Laqueur, G. L., Fed. Proc., 23, 1386 (1964).

  6. 6

    Spatz, M., Fed. Proc., 23, 1384 (1964).

  7. 7

    O'gara, R. W., Brown, J. M., and Whiting, M. G., Fed. Proc., 23, 1383 (1964).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

HIRONO, I., SHIBUYA, C. Induction of a Neurological Disorder by Cycasin in Mice. Nature 216, 1311–1312 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161311a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.