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J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2016 Jul 15;23:2. doi: 10.1186/s40409-016-0076-5. eCollection 2017.

Cardiorespiratory alterations in rodents experimentally envenomed with Hadruroides lunatus scorpion venom.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, CP: 486 CEP: 31270-901 MG Brazil.
2
College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG Brazil.
3
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG Brazil.
4
Instituto Nacional de Salud, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos y Universidad Científica del Sur, Lima, Peru.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hadruroides lunatus is the most abundant scorpion species in the Peruvian central coast, where most of the accidents involving humans are registered. In spite of its prevalence, there are only very few studies on H. lunatus envenomation. The aim of the present study was to analyze the cardiorespiratory alterations caused by H. lunatus envenomation in rodents.

METHODS:

Wistar rats injected with H. lunatus scorpion venom were submitted to electrocardiography. After euthanasia, rat lungs were collected and histopathologically analyzed. Mouse cardiomyocytes were used to perform immunofluorescence and calcium transient assays. Data were analyzed by ANOVA or Student's t-test. The significance level was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS:

It was observed that H. lunatus venom increased heart rate and caused arrhythmia, thereby impairing the heart functioning. Lungs of envenomed animals showed significant alterations, such as diffuse hemorrhage. In addition, immunofluorescence showed that H. lunatus venom was capable of binding to cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes incubated with H. lunatus venom showed a significant decrease in calcium transient, confirming that H. lunatus venom exerts a toxic effect on heart.

CONCLUSION:

Our results showed that H. lunatus venom is capable of inducing cardiorespiratory alterations, a typical systemic effect of scorpionism, stressing the importance of medical monitoring in envenomation cases.

KEYWORDS:

Calcium transient; Cardiorespiratory alterations; Electrocardiography; Hadruroides lunatus venom; Immunofluorescence

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