Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. D.L. Harmon


Endophyte-infected tall fescue produces many ergot alkaloids, which have been shown to be vasoconstrictive in various vessel types of bovine. On the other hand, substantial evidence has been reported on the vasodilative effects of formononetin and biochanin A in different vessel types in humans and rats. So, a study was conducted using mesenteric vasculature collected from heifers shortly after slaughter. After 2-h incubation with formononetin (F), biochanin A (B), or an ergovaline-containing tall fescue seed extract (EXT) and their combinations, vessels were mounted in a multi-myograph to determine their ergotamine-induced contractility. Results indicated that F and B at 1 × 10-6 M and their combination did not impact the contractile response to ergotamine in mesenteric vasculature. The pre-myograph incubation of mesenteric vasculature with EXT altered the contractile response manner to ergotamine. However, at higher concentration, F and B may alleviate the reduction of vasoconstriction caused by prior exposure to EXT. To our knowledge, this study was the first to investigate the interaction of ergot alkaloids and isoflavones on in vitro bovine mesenteric vasculature. However, further investigations are necessary to understand the mechanism behind the interaction of ergot alkaloids and isoflavones on vasoactivity.