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Br J Pharmacol. 1973 Jan;47(1):141-6.

Effects of an isolated toxin from Australian tiger snake (Notechis scutatus scutatus) venom at the mammalian neuromuscular junction.


1. The acute effects of a purified toxin from Australian Tiger snake (Notechis scutatus scutatus) venom have been investigated at the mammalian neuromuscular junction.2. The toxin was injected into the tail vein of mice. Death was due to respiratory paralysis.3. The resting membrane potential, and action potential of muscle fibres in muscles from in vivo intoxicated animals were normal.4. The frequency of miniature end plate potentials (m.e.p.p.s) from intoxicated nerve-muscle preparations was reduced, although m.e.p.p. amplitude was unaltered.5. Nerve stimulation resulted in end plate potentials (e.p.p.s) of quantal amplitude; only rarely was the e.p.p. large enough to give rise to an action potential.6. High (20 mM) K(+) did not increase m.e.p.p. frequency in intoxicated preparations.7. The toxin was largely ineffective in vitro.8. The similarities and differences between this toxin, beta-bungarotoxin and botulinum toxin are discussed.

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