Definition of pyrrolizidine alkaloid in English:

pyrrolizidine alkaloid

noun

Chemistry
  • Any of a large class of toxic alkaloids with a structure based on pyrrolizidine, which occur widely in plants and can cause liver damage in humans and livestock if ingested.

    The alkaloids occur chiefly in the genera Senecio, Crotalaria, and Heliotropium.

Origin

1950s; earliest use found in Journal of the Chemical Society.