Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




A severe neurologic syndrome accompained by intense neuronal pigmentation was described in sheep exposed to Asphodelus aestivus in Turkey. The clinical signs were similar in all the sheep affected, and the condition was usually characterized by progressive paresis, ataxia and convulsion. At necropsy, yellowish-brown discoloration in the brain and spinal cord were consistently seen. A microscopical examination revealed abundant yellowish-brown pigment granules in the cytoplasm of the larger neurons. Similar pigment granules were also observed in extraneuronal tissues. The histochemical features of the pigments were consistent with those of lipofuscin. The available evidence suggests that the tissue pigmentation was related to the consumption of A. aestivus. When the outbreaks occurred in both pastures, this plant was predominant and many A. aestivus leaves had been eaten by the sheep. The present study was the first to evaluate the clinical and pathological findings of neuronal lipofuscinosis in sheep associated with ingestion of A. aestivus in Turkey.


Asphodelus aestivus, neuron, lipofuscin, pathology, phytochemistry

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