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The Furocoumarins - A Family Of Phototoxic Compounds.
Biochemistry of Some Foodborne Microbial Toxins, Mateles 1967:109-118
The phototoxicity of furocoumarins is reviewed. The nomenclature of the compounds is discussed and the natural occurrence of the compounds is considered. Furocoumarins occur in a wide variety of plants, seeds, and fruits either in the free form or conjugated as the glucoside. Two furocoumarins are produced by the symbiotic growth of the mold Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on the celery plant. The isolation and synthesis of the compounds are examined and the biological effects of the compounds are considered. The compounds, when activated by ultraviolet radiation in the wavelength range of 340 to 380 millimicrons cause erythema following topical or oral administration to humans or animals. Liver function studies on humans receiving 30 milligram oral doses of 8-methoxypsoralen (298817) show no abnormalities. Psoralen (66977) and 8- methoxypsoralen inhibit seed germination and root and seedling growth. Other studies have shown psoralen to be a very effective antifungal agent. The author recommends further research on the formation of furocoumarins during food spoilage.
NIOSH-Author; Biology; Biochemical-analysis; Physiological-measurements; Toxicology; Analytical-methods; Physical-properties; Chemical-properties; Chemical-analysis;
Biochemistry of Some Foodborne Microbial Toxins, Mateles
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division