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Toxicon. 1990;28(4):435-44.

Effect of Diamphidia toxin, a Bushman arrow poison, on ionic permeability in nucleated cells.

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Institute of Physiology, University of Oslo, Norway.


The effect of Diamphidia toxin, isolated from pupae of Diamphidia nigro-ornata, was tested on two different cell lines (GH4C1 cells and HL-60 cells) and on human lymphocytes. The toxin raised intracellular Ca2+ concentration, as assessed with quin 2, in a dose-related manner in all three cell types. The effect was abolished when extracellular Ca2+ was chelated by EGTA. Low concentrations of the toxin evoked a delayed as well as a smaller response. The response time was also temperature-dependent, with a Q10 of about 2. Low, but effective concentrations of the toxin did not affect cell membrane integrity, as tested with Trypan blue, and induced a seemingly physiological release of prolactin from the GH4C1 cells. Diamphidia toxin's effect on the membrane permeability of GH4C1 cells was further investigated with patch-clamp techniques. The toxin appeared to increase the conductance for all small ions without affecting the normal ionic channels present in these cells. We conclude that Diamphidia toxin has a general effect on the plasma membrane of different cell types and thereby increases, probably non-specifically, the permeability for small ions.

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