Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Age-related biological activity of South American rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrificus) venom

F. D. Furtado, M.C. Santos, M.S. Kamiguti, A.

An in vitro and in vivo comparative study was performed on the effects of Crotalus durissus terrificus venoms from a mother and its 15 newborns. The venoms were tested for protein content, lethality, proteolytic, myotoxic, hemorrhagic, and phospholipase A2 activity. The minimum coagulant dose in plasma and human fibrinogen, protrhombin, and Factor II activations were analyzed. The venoms were also analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). This showed that despite similar total protein content, the biological effects of the venoms were different. Venom from young snakes exhibited higher enzymatic and coagulant activities and higher myotoxicity compared to the mothers. In addition, the PLA2 content paralleled myotoxicity. However, no difference could be detected in their toxicity (LD50 0.08 mg/Kg). High incidence of blood coagulation disorders and elevated circulating myoglobin may characterize systemic envenoming by young C. d. terrificus.

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