Acute bracken fern toxicity in a calf was reproduced with ptaquiloside, a norsesquiterpene glucoside, isolated from the boiling water extract of bracken fern. Ptaquiloside was dissolved in 500 ml of saline and administered by drench at increasing dosages for six days out of every seven for the following periods: 400 mg/day for 24 days, 800 mg/day for 14 days and 1600 mg/day for four days. Neutrophilic granulocytes began to decrease markedly around 50 days after the start of the experiment, and granulocytopenia continued for a further 35 days until the autopsy, despite the discontinuance of ptaquiloside administration. Thrombocytes showed a relatively slow depression and reached 1 X 10(5)/mm3 at the lowest level. The calf was autopsied 86 days after the start of administration of ptaquiloside. Sternal bone marrow was found to be mostly replaced with fat marrow and only small foci of erythropoietic cells and a small number of megakaryocytes remained.
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