Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Embriotoxic effects of maternal exposure to Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom

A. S. Barão, A.L. A. Nencioni, A.A. C. Dorce, V.

Tityus serrulatus is the most venomous scorpion in Brazil; however, it is not known whether its venom causes any harm to the offspring whose mothers have received it. This study investigates whether the venom of T. serrulatus may lead to deleterious effects in the offspring, when once administered to pregnant rats at a dose that causes moderate envenomation (3mg/kg). The venom effects were studied on the 5th and on the 10th gestation day (GD5 and GD10). The maternal reproductive parameters of the group that received the venom on GD5 showed no alteration. The group that received the venom on GD10 presented an increase in post-implantation losses. In this group, an increase in the liver weight was also observed and one-third of the fetuses presented incomplete ossification of skull bones. None of the groups that received the venom had any visceral malformation or delay in the fetal development of their offspring. The histopathological analysis revealed not only placentas and lungs but also hearts, livers and kidneys in perfect state. Even having caused little effect on the dams, the venom may act in a more incisive way on the offspring, whether by stress generation or by a direct action.

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