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, 39 (2-3), 175-85

Taxines: A Review of the Mechanism and Toxicity of Yew (Taxus Spp.) Alkaloids


Taxines: A Review of the Mechanism and Toxicity of Yew (Taxus Spp.) Alkaloids

C R Wilson et al. Toxicon.


This literature review summarizes relevant information and recent progress regarding the scientific investigations of taxine alkaloids. Taxines are the active, poisonous constituents in yew plants (Taxus spp.) and have been implicated in animal and human poisonings. Several taxine alkaloids have been isolated and characterized through the use of high performance liquid chromatography, mass spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Recently, as a result of electrophysiological investigations, significant progress has been made with regard to their pharmacological and toxicological mechanisms of action. Current investigations suggest that their chief action is on cardiac myocytes resulting in heart failure and death in instances of animal and human poisoning.

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