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Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2008 Aug;60(4-5):373-80. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2008.03.006. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Pathophysiological effects of Androctonus australis hector scorpion venom: tissue damages and inflammatory response.

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Faculté des Sciences Biologiques, Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumédienne Bab Ezzouar, 16111, BP 63, El Alia, Alger, Algeria.


In this study, the effects of sublethal dose of Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom on the enzymatic activities (creatine phospho-kinase and lactate dehydrogenase) and histopathological changes of heart and lungs' organs were determined 24h following envenoming NMRI mice. The effects of Aah venom on the lytic activity of the complement system, plasma cytokine rates (IL1-beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-4 and IL-10) and the peripheral blood cell infiltration were also studied. Microscopically, treated animals showed severe myocardial edema, hemorrhages and necroses and severe acute bronchopneumonia with alveolar edema and hemorrhages. High serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase correlate to the tissue lesions. The results showed fast kinetics of production of pro-inflammatory (IL1-beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha) and anti-inflammatory (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokines at 30min in blood sera. An increase in serum lytic activity of envenomed animals and leucocytosis in peripheral blood with predominance of mononuclear and neutrophil cells were also observed. In conclusion, the results reported in the present study suggest that pathophysiological manifestations of Aah envenomation may be mediated sequentially or simultaneously by cytokines and the complement system, which in turn activate leukocyte to produce tissue damage.

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