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Toxicon. 2014 Mar;80:47-57. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2014.01.005. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

Pharmacological and biochemical studies on the venom of a clinically important viper snake (Echis carinatus) of Pakistan.

Author information

  • 1Neuromuscular Research Unit, Department of Physiology, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan; H.E.J Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan.
  • 2H.E.J Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan. Electronic address: dr.syedabidali@gmail.com.
  • 3H.E.J Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan.
  • 4Neuromuscular Research Unit, Department of Physiology, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan.

Abstract

Echis carinatus (saw-scaled viper) has been the major culprit responsible for serious envenomation casualties throughout the subcontinent. The present study describes the electrophoretic and zymographic characterization of E. carinatus venom and its effect on mammalian smooth muscle. Crude venom showed the presence of disintegrin, PLA2, C-type lectin/lectin-like components, CRISP, Serine protease, l-amino acid oxidase and very high concentrations of SVMPs. E. carinatus venom (1, 10, 30, 50, 100 μg/ml) inhibited the active tension/force of muscle contraction in a time and concentration dependent manner. The observed effects abolished when the venom was heated at 100 °C for 5 min. However, a decrease in bath temperature from 37 °C to 26 °C or an increase in CaCl2 concentration to 5 mM did not prevent the inhibition of contractile activity. The contractile response elicited by exogenous application of 50 mM KCl and 1 μM acetylcholine (ACh) was also significantly inhibited by all venom concentrations. Prior administration of commercially available polyvalent anti-venom partially neutralized and prevented the effect of E. carinatus venom whereas addition of anti-venom at t50 failed to reverse the inhibitory effect. Studies on isolated intestinal muscle indicate involvement of myotoxic and apoptotic components in E. carinatus venom for irreversible damage to muscle tissue.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Acetylcholine; Active tension; Contracture; Echis carinatus venom; Potassium chloride; Rabbit ileum

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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