One adenoma and one adenocarcinoma of the islet cells and one adenoma of the exocrine pancreas were found in 3 out of 15 rats given a single dose (500 to 1500 mg/kg body weight) of pyrrolizidine alkaloids from Amsinckia intermedia Fisch and Mey (Boraginaceae), tarweed, a plant known to cause livestock losses from liver damage in the United States.

Among rats treated with Heliotropium supinum L. (Boraginaceae), a hepatotoxic Ethiopian plant (known to be used in East Africa by women after childbirth), one islet cell adenoma was found in one out of six rats that were given a single dose of its crude alkaloidal fraction (300 mg/kg body weight) and one adenocarcinoma in one out of two rats that had the dried plant H. supinum in their diet for 1 month.

The five rats with pancreatic tumors were 26 to 31.5 months old when killed. Such tumors have not been noticed among control rats of similar ages.

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