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Toxicon. 2013 Apr;65:9-14. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2012.12.020. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Genotoxic effect of Bothrops snake venoms and isolated toxins on human lymphocyte DNA.

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Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Toxicológicas e Bromatológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, USP, Ribeirão Preto-SP, Brazil.


In the present study, micronucleus with cytokinesis blocking and comet assays were used to evaluate the genotoxic potential of Bothrops jararacussu, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops alternatus (Rhinocerophis alternatus) and Bothrops brazili snake venoms, and also of some isolated toxins (MjTX-I, BthTX-I and II myotoxins, BjussuMP-II metalloprotease, and BatxLAAO l-amino acid oxidase) on human lymphocytes. Significant DNA damages were observed, indicating genotoxic potential after exposure of the lymphocytes to the toxins BthTX-I, II and BatxLAAO compared to untreated and Cisplatin-treated controls, which were able to induce greater formation of micronuclei. B. brazili, B. jararacussu and B. atrox crude venoms also presented genotoxic potential, and the latter two induced DNA breakage 5 times more often than in normal environmental conditions (control without treatment). B. jararacussu venom and its isolated toxins, as well as an LAAO from B. atrox, were able to cause lymphocyte DNA breakage in the comet test with more than 85% damage levels. The DNA damage evaluation allows a widening of the toxic-pharmacological characterization of snake venoms and their toxins and also contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms of action of these molecules in several human pathologies.

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