Photosensitivity in South Africa. VI. The experimental induction of geeldikkop in sheep with crude steroidal saponins from Tribulus terrestris

18 Aug 2014

Geeldikkop was induced in sheep by the oral administration of crude steroidal saponins from Tribulus terrestris. Two of the sheep developed typical lesions of geeldikkop, including birefringent crystalloid material in bile ducts and concentric periductal lamellar fibrosis. The clinical pathological changes in these sheep were also consistent with those of geeldikkop: aspartate transaminase and gamma-glutamyl transferase activities in the sera of both were elevated, and one had bilirubinaemia. A third sheep became photosensitive without typical lesions of geeldikkop in the liver or changes in the activities of liver enzymes before euthanasia. The findings of these trials are consistent with reports from abroad that ovine hepatogenous photosensitization, caused by Agave lechuguilla and Narthecium ossifragum,can be induced with crude saponins from the respective plants.