Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

Lycorine
Identification Number: CASRN | 476-28-8

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.

    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.


  • CATEGORIES: Plant Toxin | Natural Toxin
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Alkaloids and Derivatives | Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids | | Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids
  • SYNONYMS: (-)-Lycorine | Amarylline | Galanthidine | Licorine | Narcissine
  • DESCRIPTION: Lycorine is a toxic crystalline alkaloid found in various Amaryllidaceae species, such as the cultivated bush lily (Clivia miniata), surprise lilies (Lycoris), and daffodils (Narcissus). It may be highly poisonous, or even lethal, when ingested in certain quantities. Symptoms of lycorine toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsions. Lycorine, definition at mercksource.com Regardless, it is sometimes used medicinally, a reason why some groups may harvest the very popular Clivia miniata.
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C16H17NO4
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: T3DB | PubChem
  • LAST UPDATE: 21/04/2015

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Symptoms of low dose exposure include excessive salivation and eye-watering. Acute dose symptoms include severe nausea/vomiting, salivation, sweating, bradycardia, hypotension, collapse, and convulsions. Increasing muscle weakness is a possibility and may result in death if respiratory muscles are involved. Hypertension, hypoglycemia, anxiety, headache, tremor and ataxia may also result.
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Acute exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors can cause a cholinergic crisis characterized by severe nausea/vomiting, salivation, sweating, bradycardia, hypotension, collapse, and convulsions. Increasing muscle weakness is a possibility and may result in death if respiratory muscles are involved. Accumulation of ACh at motor nerves causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression at the neuromuscular junction. When this occurs symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, fasciculation, and paralysis can be seen. When there is an accumulation of ACh at autonomic ganglia this causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression in the sympathetic system. Symptoms associated with this are hypertension, and hypoglycemia. Overstimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system, due to accumulation of ACh, results in anxiety, headache, convulsions, ataxia, depression of respiration and circulation, tremor, general weakness, and potentially coma. When there is expression of muscarinic overstimulation due to excess acetylcholine at muscarinic acetylcholine receptors symptoms of visual disturbances, tightness in chest, wheezing due to bronchoconstriction, increased bronchial secretions, increased salivation, lacrimation, sweating, peristalsis, and urination can occur. Certain reproductive effects in fertility, growth, and development for males and females have been linked specifically to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Most of the research on reproductive effects has been conducted on farmers working with pesticides and insecticdes in rural areas. In females menstrual cycle disturbances, longer pregnancies, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and some developmental effects in offspring have been linked to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Prenatal exposure has been linked to impaired fetal growth and development. Neurotoxic effects have also been linked to poisoning with OP pesticides causing four neurotoxic effects in humans: cholinergic syndrome, intermediate syndrome, organophosphate-induced delayed polyneuropathy (OPIDP), and chronic organophosphate-induced neuropsychiatric disorder (COPIND). These syndromes result after acute and chronic exposure to OP pesticides. | Paraoxonase (PON1) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of organophosphates. PON1 can inactivate some organophosphates through hydrolysis. PON1 hydrolyzes the active metabolites in several organophosphates insecticides as well as, nerve agents such as soman, sarin, and VX. The presence of PON1 polymorphisms causes there to be different enzyme levels and catalytic efficiency of this esterase, which in turn suggests that different individuals may be more susceptible to the toxic effect of OP exposure.
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Lycorine is a cholinesterase or acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. A cholinesterase inhibitor (or 'anticholinesterase') suppresses the action of acetylcholinesterase. Because of its essential function, chemicals that interfere with the action of acetylcholinesterase are potent neurotoxins, causing excessive salivation and eye-watering in low doses, followed by muscle spasms and ultimately death. Nerve gases and many substances used in insecticides have been shown to act by binding a serine in the active site of acetylcholine esterase, inhibiting the enzyme completely. Acetylcholine esterase breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is released at nerve and muscle junctions, in order to allow the muscle or organ to relax. The result of acetylcholine esterase inhibition is that acetylcholine builds up and continues to act so that any nerve impulses are continually transmitted and muscle contractions do not stop. Among the most common acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are phosphorus-based compounds, which are designed to bind to the active site of the enzyme. The structural requirements are a phosphorus atom bearing two lipophilic groups, a leaving group (such as a halide or thiocyanate), and a terminal oxygen. |
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Endoplasmic reticulum membrane", "Extracellular", "Mitochondrion", "Ribosome"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Lycorine is a toxic crystalline alkaloid found in various Amaryllidaceae species, such as the cultivated bush lily (Clivia miniata), surprise lilies (Lycoris), and daffodils (Narcissus). Lycorine, definition at mercksource.com Regardless, it is sometimes used medicinally, a reason why some groups may harvest the very popular Clivia miniata.

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  Exposure Routes

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