The biodiversity of the marine environment and the associated chemical diversity constitute a practically unlimited source of new active substances in the field of the development of bioactive products. In our study, we have investigated the efficiency of the venom from the Mediterranean jellyfish, Pelagia noctiluca and its fractions for anti-proliferative and anti-cell adhesion to cell–extracellular matrix activities.
Our experiments have indicated that the separation of the Mediterranean jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca crude venom extract by sephadex G-75 chromatography led to four fractions (F1, F2, F3, and F4). Among the four fractions F1 and F3 were cytotoxic against U87 cells with IC50 values of 125 and 179 μg/ml respectively. The venom, F1, F2 and F 3 showed significant anti-proliferative activity in time-dependent manner. Our results also suggest that these fractions and the venom are able to inhibit cell adhesion to fibrinogen in dose-dependent manner. This inhibition is reliant on its ability to interact with integrins.
To conclude, we have demonstrated for the first time that Pelagia noctiluca venom and its fractions especially (F1 and F2) display potent anti-tumoral properties. Separation by sephadex G-75 chromatography give rise to more active fractions than the crude venom extract. The purification and the determination of chemical structures of compounds of these active fractions are under investigation. Overall, Pelagia noctiluca venom may has the potential to serve as a template for future anticancer-drug development.
Pelagia noctiluca; Venom; Sephadex G-75; Cell proliferation; Cell adhesion
The toxicity of Cnidaria is a subject of concern due to its influence on humans. In particular, jellyfish blooms can highly affect human economical activities, such as bathing, fishery, tourism, etc., as well as the public health. Stinging structures of Cnidaria (nematocysts) produce remarkable effects on human skin, such as erythema, swelling, burning and vesicles, and at times further severe dermonecrotic, cardio- and neurotoxic effects, which are particularly dangerous in sensitive subjects. In several zones the toxicity of jellyfish is a very important health problem, thus it has stimulated the research on these organisms; to date toxicological research on Cnidarian venoms in the Mediterranean region is not well developed due to the weak poisonousness of venoms of jellyfish and anemones living in this area. In spite of this, during last decades several problems were also caused in the Mediterranean by stinging consequent to Cnidarian blooms mainly caused by Pelagia noctiluca (Forsskål, 1775) which is known to be the most venomous Mediterranean jellyfish. This paper reviews the knowledge on this jellyfish species, particularly considering its occurrence and toxicity.
Jellyfish; Pelagia noctiluca; venom; nematocysts; distribution; ecology
Just over a century ago, animal responses to injections of jellyfish extracts unveiled the phenomenon of anaphylaxis. Yet, until very recently, understanding of jellyfish sting toxicity has remained limited. Upon contact, jellyfish stinging cells discharge complex venoms, through thousands of barbed tubules, into the skin resulting in painful and, potentially, lethal envenomations. This review examines the immunological and toxinological responses to stings by prominent species of jellyfish including Physalia sp. (Portuguese Man-o-War, Blue-bottle), Cubozoan jellyfish including Chironex fleckeri, several Carybdeids including Carybdea arborifera and Alatina moseri, Linuche unguiculta (Thimble jellyfish), a jellyfish responsible for Irukandji syndrome (Carukia barnesi) and Pelagia noctiluca. Jellyfish venoms are composed of potent proteinaceous porins (cellular membrane pore-forming toxins), neurotoxic peptides, bioactive lipids and other small molecules whilst the tubules contain ancient collagens and chitins. We postulate that immunologically, both tubular structural and functional biopolymers as well as venom components can initiate innate, adaptive, as well as immediate and delayed hypersensitivity reactions that may be amenable to topical anti-inflammatory-immunomodifier therapy. The current challenge for immunotoxinologists is to deconstruct the actions of venom components to target therapeutic modalities for sting treatment.
Jellyfish; envenomation; sting; allergy; toxin; immunology
The long-lasting and abundant blooming of Pelagia noctiluca in Tunisian coastal waters compromises both touristic and fishing activities and causes substantial economic losses. Determining their molecular mode of action is, important in order to limit or prevent the subsequent damages. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the propensity of Pelagia noctiluca venom to cause oxidative damage in HCT 116 cells and its associated genotoxic effects.
Our results indicated an overproduction of ROS, an induction of catalase activity and an increase of MDA generation. We looked for DNA fragmentation by means of the comet assay. Results indicated that venom of Pelagia noctiluca induced DNA fragmentation. SDS-PAGE analysis of Pelagia noctiluca venom revealed at least 15 protein bands of molecular weights ranging from 4 to 120 kDa.
Oxidative damage may be an initiating event and contributes, in part, to the mechanism of toxicity of Pelagia noctiluca venom.
Pelagia noctiluca; Jellyfish; Venom; Cytotoxicity; Oxidative stress; DNA fragmentation
A long-term time series of plankton records collected by the continuous plankton recorder (CPR) Survey in the northeast Atlantic indicates an increased occurrence of Cnidaria since 2002. In the years 2007 and 2008, outbreaks of the warm-temperate scyphomedusa, Pelagia noctiluca, appeared in CPR samples between 45° N to 58° N and 1° W to 26° W. Knowing the biology of this species and its occurrence in the adjacent Mediterranean Sea, we suggest that P. noctiluca may be exploiting recent hydroclimatic changes in the northeast Atlantic to increase its extent and intensity of outbreaks. In pelagic ecosystems, Cnidaria can affect fish recruitment negatively. Since P. noctiluca is a highly venomous species, outbreaks can also be detrimental to aquaculture and make bathing waters unusable, thus having profound ecological and socio-economic consequences.
climate; jellyfish blooms; Pelagia noctiluca; plankton; temperature
Platelet aggregation inhibitory effect and anticoagulant properties of fractions separated from the venoms of Cerastes persicus fieldi and Echis carinatus were investigated.
The partial fractionation was performed on a Sephadex G-100 column. Two fractions separated from Cerastes persicus fieldi showed anti platelet aggregation activity on ADP (200 μM)-induced platelet aggregation (ca 80% inhibition). Attempts to measure the antiplatelet aggregation activity of crude Echis carinatus venom and its fractions were not successful due to the protein coagulation of the plasma samples after the addition of venom. Anticoagulant activities of venoms were also evaluated. Total venom of Echis carinatus showed anti coagulant activity in PT test, while its fractions showed procoagulant activity.
Anticoagulant; Antiplatelet aggregation; Snake venom; Echis carinatus; Cerastes persicus fieldi; Gel filtration
Jellyfish blooms have increased in coastal areas around the world and the outbreaks have become longer and more frequent over the past few decades. The Mediterranean Sea is among the heavily affected regions and the common bloom - forming taxa are scyphozoans Aurelia aurita s.l., Pelagia noctiluca, and Rhizostoma pulmo. Jellyfish have few natural predators, therefore their carcasses at the termination of a bloom represent an organic-rich substrate that supports rapid bacterial growth, and may have a large impact on the surrounding environment. The focus of this study was to explore whether jellyfish substrate have an impact on bacterial community phylotype selection. We conducted in situ jellyfish - enrichment experiment with three different jellyfish species. Bacterial dynamic together with nutrients were monitored to assess decaying jellyfish-bacteria dynamics. Our results show that jellyfish biomass is characterized by protein rich organic matter, which is highly bioavailable to ‘jellyfish - associated’ and ‘free - living’ bacteria, and triggers rapid shifts in bacterial population dynamics and composition. Based on 16S rRNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis, we observed a rapid shift in community composition from unculturable Alphaproteobacteria to culturable species of Gammaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria. The results of sequence analyses of bacterial isolates and of total bacterial community determined by culture independent genetic analysis showed the dominance of the Pseudoalteromonadaceae and the Vibrionaceae families. Elevated levels of dissolved proteins, dissolved organic and inorganic nutrient release, bacterial abundance and carbon production as well as ammonium concentrations characterized the degradation process. The biochemical composition of jellyfish species may influence changes in the amount of accumulated dissolved organic and inorganic nutrients. Our results can contribute insights into possible changes in bacterial population dynamics and nutrient pathways following jellyfish blooms which have important implications for ecology of coastal waters.
For centuries, plants have been used in traditional medicines and there has been recent interest in the chemopreventive properties of compounds derived from plants. In the present study, we investigated the antibutyrylcholinestrasic (anti-BuChE) and antioxidant (against some free radicals) activities of extracts from Rhus pentaphyllum. Aqueous extracts were prepared from powdered R. pentaphyllum roots, leaves and seeds and characterized for the presence of tannins, flavonoids and coumarins. Seeds aqueous extract contained the highest quantities of both flavonoids and tannins (21.12% and 17.45% respectively). In the same way, seeds extracts displayed remarkable inhibition against BuChE over 95%, at 100 μg/ml and with IC50 0.74 μg/ml. In addition, compared to leaves and roots extracts, seeds aqueous extract revealed relatively strong antiradical activity towards the ABTS.+ (IC50 = 0.25 μg/ml) and DPPH (IC50 = 2.71 μg/ml) free radicals and decreased significantly the reactive oxygen species such O2.- (IC50 = 2.9 μg/ml) formation evaluated by the non-enzymatic generating O2.- system (Nitroblue tetrazolium/riboflavine). These data suggest that the anti-BuChE activities mechanism of these extracts occurs through a free radical scavenging capacities.
The present study indicates that extracts of Rhus pentaphyllum leaves, seeds and roots are a significant source of compounds, such as tannins, flavonoids and coumarins, with anti-BuChE and antioxidant activities, and thus may be useful for chemoprevention.
Rhus pentaphyllum; anti-Butyrylcholinesterasic activity; free radical scavenging activity; antioxidant activity
Heterometrus xanthopus (Scorpion) is one of the most venomous and ancient arthropods. Its venom contains anti-microbial peptides like hadrurin, scorpine, Pandinin 1, and Pandinin 2 that are able to effectively kill multidrug-resistant pathogens. The present study was conducted to evaluate the anti-bacterial activity of H. xanthopus venom. Six Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains were tested against 1/100, 1/10, and 1/1 fractions of distilled water diluted and crude venom. 1/100 and 1/10 dilutions were not successful in any of the six bacterial strains studied while the 1/1 dilution was effective on Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Salmonella typhimurium ATCC 14028, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853 with highest zone of inhibition were obtained on B. subtilis. Crude venom was effective against Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 14506, B. subtilis, S. typhimurium, and P. aeruginosa. The most effective results were observed on B. subtilis.
Antibiotics; antimicrobial activity; extracts; Heterometrus xanthopus venom
Chironex fleckeri (Australian box jellyfish) stings can cause acute cardiovascular collapse and death. We developed methods to recover venom with high specific activity, and evaluated the effects of both total venom and constituent porins at doses equivalent to lethal envenomation. Marked potassium release occurred within 5 min and hemolysis within 20 min in human red blood cells (RBC) exposed to venom or purified venom porin. Electron microscopy revealed abundant ∼12-nm transmembrane pores in RBC exposed to purified venom porins. C57BL/6 mice injected with venom showed rapid decline in ejection fraction with progression to electromechanical dissociation and electrocardiographic findings consistent with acute hyperkalemia. Recognizing that porin assembly can be inhibited by zinc, we found that zinc gluconate inhibited potassium efflux from RBC exposed to total venom or purified porin, and prolonged survival time in mice following venom injection. These findings suggest that hyperkalemia is the critical event following Chironex fleckeri envenomation and that rapid administration of zinc could be life saving in human sting victims.
The phylum Cnidaria is an ancient group of venomous animals, specialized in the production and delivery of toxins. Many species belonging to the class Anthozoa have been studied and their venoms often contain a group of peptides, less than 10 kDa, that act upon ion channels. These peptides and their targets interact with high affinity producing neurotoxic and cardiotoxic effects, and even death, depending on the dose and the administration pathway. Zoanthiniaria is an order of the Subclass Hexacorallia, class Anthozoa, and unlike sea anemone (order Actiniaria), neither its diversity of toxins nor the in vivo effects of the venoms has been exhaustively explored. In this study we assessed some toxicological tests on mice with a low molecular weight fraction obtained by gel filtration in Sephadex G-50 from Zoanthus sociatus crude extract. The gel filtration chromatogram at 280 nm revealed two major peaks, the highest absorbance corresponding to the low molecular weight fraction. The toxicological effects seem to be mostly autonomic and cardiotoxic, causing death in a dose dependent manner with a LD50 of 792 μg/kg. Moreover, at a dose of 600 μg/kg the active fraction accelerated the KCl-induced lethality in mice.
biological activity; toxins; Zoanthus sociatus; Anthozoa; Cnidaria; LD50 mice
Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom (TSV)
consists of a very complex mixture of molecules and demonstrates
significant immunomodulatory activities capable of stimulating
immune functions in vivo. The purpose of this study was to
compare the crude TSV with fractionated toxins extracted from
this venom in order to determine which toxin(s) presented
immunomodulatory effects on peritoneal macrophages. TSV was
fractionated using gel filtration chromatography resulting in 5
heterogeneous fractions. The effects of these different fractions
were analysed in vitro using detection by means of cytokines,
oxygen intermediate metabolites (H2O2), and nitric oxide
(NO) in supernatants of peritoneal macrophages. Several
functional bioassays were employed: tumor necrosis factor (TNF)
activity was assayed by measuring its cytotoxic activity in L929
cells, and other cytokines were assayed by enzyme-linked
immunosorbent assay, whereas NO levels were detected by
Griess colorimetric reactions in culture supernatant of
macrophages exposed to different fractions. In vitro studies
revealed that all fractions studied here presented an increment
in H2O2, NO, and cytokines levels. The more
pronounced increments were observed in macrophage cultures
exposed to fraction FII which demonstrated that (a) the highest
levels of IL-1α, IL-β, and TNF were observed after
12 hours and that (b) the maximum levels of IFN-γ
and NO were observed after 72 hours. Taken together, these
data indicate that fractions have a differential immunomodulating
effect on macrophage secretion, and that FII is a potent
activator of TNF production of macrophages.
The Ethiopian mountain adder (Bitis parviocula) is a viperid known only from a few locations in southwestern Ethiopia.
a total of 30 μg of B. arietans and B. parviocula venoms were run on a 10–20% Tricine gel. To assay lethality dose fifty (LD50), five groups of eight mice for each venom were used. Hemorrhagic activity for crude venom was tested. Fibrinogenolytic activity of crude venom was measured using (2.5 mg/mL) of fibrinogen solution and (0.03 mg/mL) of crude venom. Gelatinase activity of the venom was tested on a Kodak X-OMAT™ film. Crude venoms of B. parviocula and B. arietans were tested for their abilities to affect clotting time, clotting rate and platelet function on whole human blood.
The (SAIMR) antivenom was confirmed in this study to neutralize the lethal activity of venom from Bitis parviocula. The ED50s of SAIMR antivenom on B. parviocula and B. arietans neutralized half of 18.2 and 66.7 mg of venom, respectively. The hemorrhagic activities (MHDs) of B. parviocula and B. arietans were 0.88 and 1.7 μg, respectively. Bitis arietans and B. parviocula venoms degradated α and β chains at different times. The γ chains remained unaffected. Bitis parviocula venom did not exhibit gelatinase activity, while B. arietans had a MGD of 6.9 μg. At 3 mg/mL, the crude venoms of B. parviocula and B. arietans did not significantly affect clotting time or clotting rate.
The SAIMR antivenom is very effective in neutralizing the venom of B. parviocula and should be considered in treating envenomations by these snakes.
Bitis parviocula; Bitis arietans; South African Vaccine Producers (SAVP); South African Institute of Medical Research (SAIMR) antivenom; Venom
The venom of the rhinoceros horned viper (Bitis nasicornis) has been studied in vitro and has been shown to be anticoagulant. This action appeared to be due to an effect on both the extrinsic and intrinsic blood thromboplastin mechanisms. The venom was also proteolytic and in purified caseinolytic systems activated plasminogen, enhanced the activation of plasminogen by streptokinase, and potentiated the action of plasmin. In the euglobulin clot lysis system high concentrations of venom produced inhibition. The crude venom increased platelet adhesiveness but in high concentrations delayed the snowstorm effect in the Chandler's tube system and inhibited platelet adenosine diphosphate reactivity. Passage through carboxymethylcellulose yielded six fractions. One possessed anticoagulant activity, inhibited plasmin, and increased the optical density of platelet-rich plasma. The other five fractions shortened the plasma recalcification time but had no effect on plasmin activity. Four fractions aggregated platelets and enhanced platelet adenosine diphosphate reactivity.
Previously, we have reported that most, if not all, of the Scyphozoan jellyfish venoms contain multiple components of metalloproteinases, which apparently linked to the venom toxicity. Further, it is also well known that there is a positive correlation between the inflammatory reaction of dermal tissues and their tissue metalloproteinase activity. Based on these, the use of metalloproteinase inhibitors appears to be a promising therapeutic alternative for the treatment of jellyfish envenomation.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Tetracycline (a metalloproteinase inhibitor) has been examined for its activity to reduce or prevent the dermal toxicity induced by Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) jellyfish venom (NnV) using in vitro and in vivo models. HaCaT (human keratinocyte) and NIH3T3 (mouse fibroblast) incubated with NnV showed decreases in cell viability, which is associated with the inductions of metalloproteinase-2 and -9. This result suggests that the use of metalloproteinase inhibitors, such as tetracycline, may prevent the jellyfish venom-mediated local tissue damage. In vivo experiments showed that comparing with NnV-alone treatment, tetracycline pre-mixed NnV demonstrated a significantly reduced progression of dermal toxicity upon the inoculation onto rabbit skin.
It is believed that there has been no previous report on the therapeutic agent of synthetic chemical origin for the treatment of jellyfish venom-induced dermonecrosis based on understanding its mechanism of action except the use of antivenom treatment. Furthermore, the current study, for the first time, has proposed a novel mechanism-based therapeutic intervention for skin damages caused by jellyfish stings.
Gelatinous zooplankton play an important role in marine food webs both as major consumers of metazooplankton and as prey of apex predators (e.g., tuna, sunfish, sea turtles). However, little is known about the effects of crude oil spills on these important components of planktonic communities. We determined the effects of Louisiana light sweet crude oil exposure on survival and bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in adult stages of the scyphozoans Pelagia noctiluca and Aurelia aurita and the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, and on survival of ephyra larvae of A. aurita and cydippid larvae of M. leidyi, in the laboratory. Adult P. noctiluca showed 100% mortality at oil concentration ≥20 µL L−1 after 16 h. In contrast, low or non-lethal effects were observed on adult stages of A. aurita and M. leidyi exposed at oil concentration ≤25 µL L−1 after 6 days. Survival of ephyra and cydippid larva decreased with increasing crude oil concentration and exposition time. The median lethal concentration (LC50) for ephyra larvae ranged from 14.41 to 0.15 µL L−1 after 1 and 3 days, respectively. LC50 for cydippid larvae ranged from 14.52 to 8.94 µL L−1 after 3 and 6 days, respectively. We observed selective bioaccumulation of chrysene, phenanthrene and pyrene in A. aurita and chrysene, pyrene, benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, and benzo[a]anthracene in M. leidyi. Overall, our results indicate that (1) A. aurita and M. leidyi adults had a high tolerance to crude oil exposure compared to other zooplankton, whereas P. noctiluca was highly sensitive to crude oil, (2) larval stages of gelatinous zooplankton were more sensitive to crude oil than adult stages, and (3) some of the most toxic PAHs of crude oil can be bioaccumulated in gelatinous zooplankton and potentially be transferred up the food web and contaminate apex predators.
The objective of the study is to investigate the anti-snake venom activities of a local plant, Hibiscus aethiopicus L. The H. aethiopicus was dried and extracted with ethanol. Different assays were performed according to standard techniques, to evaluate the plant's acute toxicity and its antivenom activities. The results of evaluating the systemic acute toxicity of the H. aethiopicus extract using “oral and intra-peritoneal” route were normal even at the highest dose (24 g/kg) tested. All guinea pigs (n = 3) when treated with venoms E. c. sochureki (75 μg) alone induced acute skin haemorrhage. In contrast, all guinea pigs (n = 18) treated with both venom and the plant extract at a concentration between 500 and 1000 mg/kg showed no signs of haemorrhage. Moreover, all guinea pigs (n = 18) treated with venom and the plant extract below 400 mg/kg showed acute skin haemorrhage. All guinea pigs treated with venom E. c. sochureki (75 μg) alone induced acute skin haemorrhage after both 24 and 32 hours. In contrast, all guinea pigs treated with both venom and the plant extract (administered independently) at concentrations between 500 and 1000 mg/kg showed no signs of haemorrhage after 32 hours. However, after 24 hours all tested guinea pigs showed less inhibition (<60%) compared to that obtained after 32 hours. The outcome of this study reflects that the extract of H. aethiopicus plant may contain an endogenous inhibitor of venom induced local haemorrhage.
The venom of Centruroides limpidus limpidus (Cll) is a mixture of pharmacologically active principles. The most important of these are toxic proteins that interact both selectively and specifically with different cellular targets such as ion channels. Recently, anticancer properties of the venom from other scorpion species have been described. Studies in vitro have shown that scorpion venom induces cell death, inhibits proliferation and triggers the apoptotic pathway in different cancer cell lines. Herein, after treating human cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells with Cll crude venom, their cytotoxic activity and apoptosis induction were assessed.
Cll crude venom induced cell death in normal macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. However, through viability assays, HeLa cells showed high survival rates after exposure to Cll venom. Also, Cll venom did not induce apoptosis after performing ethidium bromide/acridine orange assays, nor was there any evidence of chromatin condensation or DNA fragmentation.
Crude Cll venom exposure was not detrimental to HeLa cell cultures. This may be partially attributable to the absence of specific HeLa cell membrane targets for molecules present in the venom of Centruroides limpidus limpidus. Although these results might discourage additional studies exploring the potential of Cll venom to treat human papilloma cervical cancer, further research is required to explore positive effects of crude Cll venom on other cancer cell lines.
Scorpion venoms; Cytotoxic tests; Apoptosis; HeLa cells; Anticancer agents; Centruroides toxins
The production of natural toxins is an interesting aspect, which characterizes the physiology and the ecology of a number of marine species that use them for defence/offence purposes. Cnidarians are of particular concern from this point of view; their venoms are contained in specialized structures–the nematocysts–which, after mechanical or chemical stimulation, inject the venom in the prey or in the attacker. Cnidarian stinging is a serious health problem for humans in the zones where extremely venomous jellyfish or anemones are common, such as in temperate and tropical oceanic waters and particularly along several Pacific coasts, and severe cases of envenomation, including also lethal cases mainly induced by cubomedusae, were reported. On the contrary, in the Mediterranean region the problem of jellyfish stings is quite modest, even though they can have anyhow an impact on public health and be of importance from the ecological and economic point of view owing to the implications on ecosystems and on some human activities such as tourism, bathing and fishing. This paper reviews the knowledge about the various aspects related to the occurrence and the stinging of the Mediterranean scyphozoan jellyfish as well as the activity of their venoms.
jellyfish; venom; Mediterranean Sea; Scyphomedusae
Honeybee venom is a complicated defensive toxin that has a wide range of pharmacologically active compounds. Some of these compounds are useful for human therapeutics. There are two major forms of honeybee venom used in pharmacological applications: manually (or reservoir disrupting) extracted glandular venom (GV), and venom extracted through the use of electrical stimulation (ESV). A proteome comparison of these two venom forms and an understanding of the phosphorylation status of ESV, are still very limited. Here, the proteomes of GV and ESV were compared using both gel-based and gel-free proteomics approaches and the phosphoproteome of ESV was determined through the use of TiO2 enrichment.
Of the 43 proteins identified in GV, < 40% were venom toxins, and > 60% of the proteins were non-toxic proteins resulting from contamination by gland tissue damage during extraction and bee death. Of the 17 proteins identified in ESV, 14 proteins (>80%) were venom toxic proteins and most of them were found in higher abundance than in GV. Moreover, two novel proteins (dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 11-like and histone H2B.3-like) and three novel phosphorylation sites (icarapin (S43), phospholipase A-2 (T145), and apamin (T23)) were identified.
Our data demonstrate that venom extracted manually is different from venom extracted using ESV, and these differences may be important in their use as pharmacological agents. ESV may be more efficient than GV as a potential pharmacological source because of its higher venom protein content, production efficiency, and without the need to kill honeybee. The three newly identified phosphorylated venom proteins in ESV may elicit a different immune response through the specific recognition of antigenic determinants. The two novel venom proteins extend our proteome coverage of honeybee venom.
Honeybee; Venom; Proteome; Phosphoproteome
Lethal dose 50% is a classical index of toxicity that usually employs small rodents as experimental animals. Therefore, scarce data are available on the effects of venom on invertebrates, particularly the impact of wasp venom on its own species.
In the present study, the lethality of Vespa crabro venom on its own species was studied. Lethal dose 50% values of crude venom on workers of hornet Vespa crabro were estimated to be 4.0 mg/kg of body weight.
Wasps can use their venom apparatus effectively when attacking foreign workers that appear in the immediate vicinity of their nest. The toxins released during stinging are potent enough to kill. The result of this study eliminates the popular myth that venomous animals can be resistant to their own venom.
European hornet; Vespa crabro; Hornet venoms; LD50
The venom of the snake Bothrops asper, the most important poisonous snake in Central America, evokes an inflammatory response, the mechanisms of which are not well characterized. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether B. asper venom and its purified toxins--phospholipases and metalloproteinase--activate the complement system and the contribution of the effect on leucocyte recruitment. In vitro chemotaxis assays were performed using Boyden's chamber model to investigate the ability of serum incubated with venom and its purified toxins to induce neutrophil migration. The complement consumption by the venom was evaluated using an in vitro haemolytic assay. The importance of complement activation by the venom on neutrophil migration was investigated in vivo by injecting the venom into the peritoneal cavity of C5-deficient mice. Data obtained demonstrated that serum incubated with crude venom and its purified metalloproteinase BaP-1 are able to induce rat neutrophil chemotaxis, probably mediated by agent(s) derived from the complement system. This hypothesis was corroborated by the capacity of the venom to activate this system in vitro. The involvement of C5a in neutrophil chemotaxis induced by venom-activated serum was demonstrated by abolishing migration when neutrophils were pre-incubated with antirat C5a receptor antibody. The relevance of the complement system in in vivo leucocyte mobilization was further demonstrated by the drastic decrease of this response in C5-deficient mice. Pre-incubation of serum with the soluble human recombinant complement receptor type 1 (sCR 1) did not prevent the response induced by the venom, but abolished the migration evoked by metalloproteinase-activated serum. These data show the role of the complement system in bothropic envenomation and the participation of metalloproteinase in the effect. Also, they suggest that the venom may contain other component(s) which can cause direct activation of C5a.
Buthotus schach is one of the most dangerous scorpions in tropical part of Iran. The effects of its crude venom at 1, 3, 10 μg/mL and its obtained fractions by gel filtrations were investigated on neuromuscular transmission. CBC and MHD indirectly and directly stimulated preparations techniques were used to study their possible pre or post junctional activities. At 3 and 10 μg/mL (not at 1 μg/mL), BS venom caused initiall increase in twitch height followed by blockage due to large contraction that responded gradually at the same time. Contracture responses to exogenous Ach (1-2 mM, 30 sec) and Carb (30-40 μM, 60 sec) in the presence of the venom were not increased which does show no anticholinstrease effects. Furthermore Contracture response to KCl (20-40 mM, 30 sec) does changed exposure to venom in CBC preparations. On the other hand the effects of the venom in response to directly stimulated preparations was shallower than in indirect stimulated preparations. So in agreement with KCL response BS venom affects mostly prejunctionally to facilitate the neurotransmitter release rather than postjunctionally effects. To access bioactive components, seven fractions were collected by gel filtrations techniques. Among the fractions F6, LD50=21 μg < F4, LD50= 35.5 μg < Venom LD50= 84 μg per mice were more toxic respectively. Both fractions show the same effects but stronger than venom on twitch height responses in indirectly stimulated CBC preparations.
Finally, according to our results venom as well as fractions F4 and F6 act mostly prejunctionally on Ach release. More attempt is carrying out to study their effects on ion channel activities.
Twitch; Purification; Crude venom; Contracture; Buthotus schach
The venom of the family Viperidae, including the saw-scaled viper, is rich in serine proteinases and metalloproteinases, which affect the nervous system, complementary system, blood coagulation, platelet aggregation and blood pressure. One of the most prominent effects of the snake venom of Echis carinatus (Ec) is its coagulation activity, used for killing prey.
Materials and methods
Subfractions F1A and F1B were isolated from Ec crude venom by a combination of gel chromatography (Sephadex G-75) and ion exchange chromatography on a DEAE-Sepharose (DE-52). These subfractions were then intravenously (IV) injected into NIH male mice. Blood samples were taken before and after the administration of these subfractions. Times for prothrombin, partial thromboplastin and fibrinogen were recorded.
Results and conclusions
Comparison of the prothrombin time before and after F1A and F1B administrations showed that time for blood coagulation after injection is shorter than that of normal blood coagulation and also reduced coagulation time after Ec crude venom injection. This difference in coagulation time shows the intense coagulation activity of these subfractions that significantly increase the coagulation cascade rate and Causes to quick blood coagulation. The LD50 of the Ec crude venom was also determined to be 11.1 μg/mouse. Different crude venom doses were prepared with physiological serum and injected into four mice. Comparison of the prothrombin times after injection of subfractions F1A and F1B showed that the rate of mouse blood coagulation increases considerably. Comparing the partial thromboplastin times after injecting these subfractions with this normal test time showed that the activity rate of intrinsic blood coagulation system rose sharply in mice. Finally, by comparing the fibrinogen time after subfraction injections and normal test time, we can infer intense activation of coagulation cascade and fibrin production.
Snake venom; Procoagulant activity; Blood coagulation; Echis carinatus; Chromatography; LD50
Nano-medical approaches to develop drugs have attracted much attention in different arenas to design nanoparticle conjugates for better efficacy of the potential bio-molecules. A group of promising candidates of this category would be venom-toxins of animal origin of potential medicinal value. Traditional systems of medicine as well as folklores mention the use of venom-toxins for the treatment of various diseases. Research has led to scientific validation of medicinal applications of venoms-toxins and many active constituents derived from venoms-toxins are already in clinical use or under clinical trial. Nanomedicine is an emerging field of medicine where nanotechnology is used to develop molecules of nano-scale dimension, so that these molecules can be taken up by the cells more easily and have better efficacy, as compared to large molecules that may tend to get eliminated. This review will focus on some of the potential venoms and toxins along with nanoparticle conjugated venom-toxins of snakes, amphibians, scorpions and bees, etc., for possible therapeutic clues against emerging diseases.
Venoms; toxins; nano-technology; nano-particles; nano-conjugation; nano-medicine; therapeutic potential