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J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2011 Nov-Dec;25(6):377-81. doi: 10.1002/jbt.20404. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Inactivation of Crotalus atrox venom hemorrhagic activity by direct current exposure using hens' egg assay.

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Department of Biology, Università di Genova, Viale Benedetto XV 3, 16132 Genova, Italy.


The hemotoxic venoms of Viperidae and Crotalidae are responsible for most of the evenomations in the United States, West Africa, India, South-East Asia, New Guinea, and Latin America. We previously reported that a short exposure of Crotalus atrox venom to direct electric current (dc) from a low-voltage generator, in solution, causes consistent and irreversible inactivation of venom phospholipase A(2) and metalloproteases. Here we report by in vivo assay on chicken embryos at stage 18 of development according to Hamburger and Hamilton that the hemorrhagic activity of C. atrox venom is lost after exposure to dc (from low voltage). Venom was exposed to dc ranging between 0 and 1 mA. dc values above 0.7 mA abolished hemorrhage. Such in vivo data, showing that dc neutralizes C. atrox venom hemorrhagic activity suggest that a deeper knowledge is needed to understand the relationship among dc and biological matter.

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