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Fate of the dietary terpene, p-cymene, in the male koala


Boyle, RR and McLean, SR and Foley, W and Moore, B and Davies, NW and Brandon, S, Fate of the dietary terpene, p-cymene, in the male koala, Journal of Chemical Ecology, 26, (5) pp. 1095-1111. ISSN 0098-0331 (2000) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1023/A:1005482207995


The fate of the dietary terpene, p-cymene, is reported in a specialist Eucalyptus leaf folivore, the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Six male koalas were given two single oral doses of p-cymene (0.37 mmol/kg and 1.49 mmol/kg). Urine and feces were collected for two 24-hr periods after each dose and analyzed for metabolites by extraction, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry. A total of six metabolites were detected in the urine. A novel, extensively oxidized metabolite, 4-(1,2-dihydroxy-1-methylethyl)-benzoic acid, was identified and its structure elucidated by high resolution and chemical ionization mass spectrometry. Minor amounts of two glycine conjugated metabolites were also detected. Five metabolites were present in sufficient amounts to quantify, using isolated urinary metabolites as reference standards. The mean fractional recovery of administered p-cymene was 0.77 0.09 and 0.84 0.12 for the low and high dose, respectively. The major metabolite excreted was the novel carboxy diol compound. No fecal metabolites were found. Thus, the koala employs a strategy in the metabolism of p-cymene that promotes the production of extensively oxidized metabolites that consequently have increased polarity and enhanced renal excretion. This strategy is compared with that employed by other Eucalyptus leaf folivores.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Phascolarctos cinereus (Goldfuss) - koala - p-cymene - metabolism - detoxification - Eucalyptus - terpene
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Boyle, RR (Dr Rebecca Boyle)
UTAS Author:McLean, SR (Professor Stuart McLean)
UTAS Author:Davies, NW (Associate Professor Noel Davies)
UTAS Author:Brandon, S (Mrs Susan Brandon)
ID Code:19950
Year Published:2000
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2011-05-31
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