Content of atropine and scopolamine in poisonous solanaceae plants from Slovenia
Background: Some species from the Solanaceae family are still the cause of serious poisoning among youth in Slovenia. Usually intoxication is due to abuse of these plants to provoke hallucinations. There is still not enough data about the alkaloid content of these plants growing in Slovenia.
Methods: Different plant samples were analyzed for the content of atropine and scopolamine with capillary electrophoresis after solid phase extraction of alkaloids. Plants were gathered from different areas of Slovenia between April and September 2004.
Results: Results were compared and possible correlations between the alkaloid content and species, plant parts, growth conditions, and time of harvest were suggested. Atropine and scopolamine contents were assessed in deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna L.), thorn apple (Datura stramonium L.), scopolia (Scopolia carniolica Jacq.) and angel trumpet. The common name angel trumpet is used for Datura inoxia Mill. as well as for different Brugmansia Pers. species. The most intriguing results were the variable alkaloid content in various Brugmansia species and generally great differences in alkaloid content among various plants and their plant parts.
Conclusions: All investigated plants have noticeable atropine and/or scopolamine content. The content is variable between various plants and their plant parts and therefore special care should be taken in cases of possible intoxication. It was shown that smaller or greater amounts of ingested drug can cause the same level of intoxication due to the variability in alkaloid content.
Hardman JG, Limbird LE, Goodman-Gilman A. Goodman and Gilman’s the pharmacological basis of therapeutics, tenth edition. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2001.
D’Arcy WG. Solanaceae biology and systematics. New York: Columbia University Press; 1986.
Miraldi E, Masti A, Ferri S, Barni-Comparini I. Distribution of hyoscyamine and scopolamine in Datura stramonium. Fitoterapia 2001; 72: 644–8.
Petauer T. Leksikon rastlinskih bogastev. Ljubljana: TZS; 1993.
Martinčič A, Sušnik F. Mala flora Slovenije. Ljubljana: DZS; 1984.
The RHS Gardeners. The RHS Gardener’s encyclopedia of plants and flowers, new revised edition 1989. London: Dorling Kindersley; 1994.
Sanders R. Description and identification of brugmansia species and hybrids. American Brugmansia & Datura Society (ABADS) 2003. Dosegljivo na: www.americanbrugmansia-daturasociety.org/
Bohinc P. Koren lečen, koren strupen. Ljubljana: DZS; 1992.
Brvar M, Grenc D, Jamšek M, Bunc M, Možina M. Zdravljenje zastrupitev s halucinogenimi gobami in rastlinami. In: Bručan A, Gričar M, Vajd R, eds. Urgentna medicina, izbrana poglavja 2004, zbornik. 11. mednarodni simpozij o urgentni medicini; 2004 Jun 9-12; Portorož. Ljubljana: Slovensko združenje za urgentno medicino; 2004. p. 208–10.
Draeger B. Analysis of tropane and related alkaloids. J Chromatogr A 2002; 978: 1–35.
Hartmann T, White L, Oprach F, Toppel G. Reinvestigation of the alkaloid composition of Atropa Belladonna plants, root cultures and cell suspension cultures. Planta Med 1986; 52: 390–5.
Cherkaoui S, Mateus L, Christen P, Veuthey JL. Developement and validation of atropine, homatropine and scopolamine in ophthalmic solutions. J Chromatogr B 1997; 696: 283–90.
Dhar AK, Bhat BK. Ontogenic variability in alkaloid synthesis and other morphological characters in five genotypes of Belladonna. J Nat Prod 1982; 45: 525–31.
Blaschek W, Ebel S, Hackenthal E, Holzgrabe U, Keller K, Reichling J, Schulz V. HagerROM 2004 – Hagers Handbuch der Drogen und Arzneistoffe, CD-ROM. Berlin, Heidelberg: SpringerVerlag; 2005.
Mutchler E, Derendorf H. Drug actions: basic principles and therapeutic aspects. Stuttgart: Medpharm; 1995.
Griffin WJ, Lin GD. Chemotaxonomy and geographical distribution of tropane alkaloids. Phytochemistry 2000; 53: 623–37.
Ketchum JS, Sidell FR, Crowell EB Jr, Aghajanian GK, Hayes AH Jr. Atropine, scopolamine, and Ditran: Comparative pharmacology and antagonists in man. Psychopharmacologia 1973; 28: 121–45.
Baričevič D, Umek A, Kreft S, Matičič B, Zupančič A. Effect of water stress and nitrogen fertilization on the content of hyoscyamine and scopolamine in the roots of deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna). Environ Exp Bot 1999; 42: 17–24.
The Author transfers to the Publisher (Zdravniški vestnik/Slovenian Medical Journal) all economic copyrights following form Article 22 of the Slovene Copyright and Related Rights Act (ZASP), including the right of reproduction, the right of distribution, the rental right, the right of public performance, the right of public transmission, the right of public communication by means of phonograms and videograms, the right of public presentation, the right of broadcasting, the right of rebroadcasting, the right of secondary broadcasting, the right of communication to the public, the right of transformation, the right of audiovisual adaptation and all other rights of the author according to ZASP.
The aforementioned rights are transferred non-exclusively, for an unlimited number of editions, for the term of the statutory
The Author can make use of his work himself or transfer subjective rights to others only after 3 months from date of first publishing in the journal Zdravniški vestnik/Slovenian Medical Journal.
The Publisher (Zdravniški vestnik/Slovenian Medical Journal) has the right to transfer the rights, acquired parties without explicit consent of the Author.
The Author consents that the Article be published under the Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 (attribution-non-commercial) or comparable licence.