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Sample records for ant venoms

  1. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

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    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  2. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

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    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-20

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  3. Widespread Chemical Detoxification of Alkaloid Venom by Formicine Ants.

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    LeBrun, Edward G; Diebold, Peter J; Orr, Matthew R; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2015-10-01

    The ability to detoxify defensive compounds of competitors provides key ecological advantages that can influence community-level processes. Although common in plants and bacteria, this type of detoxification interaction is extremely rare in animals. Here, using laboratory behavioral assays and analyses of videotaped interactions in South America, we report widespread venom detoxification among ants in the subfamily Formicinae. Across both data sets, nine formicine species, representing all major clades, used a stereotyped grooming behavior to self-apply formic acid (acidopore grooming) in response to fire ant (Solenopsis invicta and S. saevissima) venom exposure. In laboratory assays, this behavior increased the survivorship of species following exposure to S. invicta venom. Species expressed the behavior when exposed to additional alkaloid venoms, including both compositionally similar piperidine venom of an additional fire ant species and the pyrrolidine/pyrroline alkaloid venom of a Monomorium species. In addition, species expressed the behavior following exposure to the uncharacterized venom of a Crematogaster species. However, species did not express acidopore grooming when confronted with protein-based ant venoms or when exposed to monoterpenoid-based venom. This pattern, combined with the specific chemistry of the reaction of formic acid with venom alkaloids, indicates that alkaloid venoms are targets of detoxification grooming. Solenopsis thief ants, and Monomorium species stand out as brood-predators of formicine ants that produce piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrroline venom, providing an important ecological context for the use of detoxification behavior. Detoxification behavior also represents a mechanism that can influence the order of assemblage dominance hierarchies surrounding food competition. Thus, this behavior likely influences ant-assemblages through a variety of ecological pathways.

  4. Some enzymic activities of two Australian ant venoms: a jumper ant Myrmecia pilosula and a bulldog ant Myrmecia pyriformis.

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    Matuszek, M A; Hodgson, W C; King, R G; Sutherland, S K

    1994-12-01

    Venoms from two related Australian ants, a jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula) and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia pyriformis), were quantitatively analysed for the following enzymic activities: phospholipase A2, phospholipase B, phospholipase C, hyaluronidase, esterase, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and phosphodiesterase. Both venoms contained phospholipase A2, phospholipase B, hyaluronidase, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase activities. Myrmecia pyriformis venom had significantly greater phospholipase B, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase activities than Myrmecia pilosula venom. No detectable quantities of phospholipase C, esterase or phosphodiesterase activities were found in either venom.

  5. Alkaloid venom weaponry of three Megalomyrmex thief ants and the behavioral response of Cyphomyrmex costatus host ants.

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    Adams, Rachelle M M; Jones, Tappey H; Longino, John T; Weatherford, Robert G; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-04-01

    Social parasites exploit other societies by invading and stealing resources. Some enter protected nests using offensive chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom. We characterized the venoms of three Megalomyrmex thief ant species (M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides, and M. silvestrii) that parasitize the fungus-growing ants, and developed an ethogram to describe host ant reactions to raiding M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii parasites. We compared piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrolizidine venom alkaloid structures with synthetic samples from previous studies, and describe the novel stereochemistry of trans 2-hexyl-5-[8-oxononyl]-pyrrolidine (3) from M. mondabora. We showed that workers of Cyphomyrmex costatus, the host of M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii, react to a sting by Megalomyrmex parasites mainly with submissive behavior, playing dead or retreating. Host submission also followed brief antennal contact. The behavior of C. costatus ants observed in this study was similar to that of Cyphomyrmex cornutus, host of M. mondabora, suggesting that the alkaloidal venoms with pyrrolidines from M. mondabora, piperidines from M. mondaboroides, and pyrolizidines from M. silvestrii may function similarly as appeasement and repellent allomones against host ants, despite their different chemical structure. With the use of these chemical weapons, the Megalomyrmex thief ants are met with little host resistance and easily exploit host colony resources.

  6. Pharmacological studies of the venom of an Australian bulldog ant (Myrmecia pyriformis).

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    Matuszek, M A; Hodgson, W C; Sutherland, S K; King, R G

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine some of the pharmacological actions of venom from the Australian bulldog ant Myrmecia pyriformis. M. pyriformis venom was prepared by extraction of venom sacs in distilled water and centrifugation to remove insoluble material. Venom (2 micrograms/ml) produced a biphasic response of isolated guinea-pig ileum, i.e., an initial rapid contraction followed by a slower prolonged contraction. The histamine antagonist mepyramine (0.1 microM) inhibited the first phase of this response by approximately 80%. In the isolated rat stomach fundus strip (histamine-insensitive), venom (2-4 micrograms/ml) produced only a single contraction. Responses to venom of egg-albumin-sensitized guinea-pig ileum, were not significantly different before and after an anaphylactic response induced in vitro by egg albumin (0.5 mg/ml). Fluorometric assay showed that histamine accounted for 3.5 +/- 0.5% of the dry weight of M. pyriformis venom. Both the lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase inhibitor BW755C and the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin significantly inhibited the response to venom of guinea-pig ileum (second phase) and rat fundus strip. M. pyriformis venom caused hemolysis of guinea pig blood. The degree of hemolysis was reduced significantly when boiled venom was used. No evidence was found that the venom contains acetylcholine, bradykinin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine or that the venom releases histamine from guinea-pig ileum. However, the results indicate that the venom contains histamine-like activity. In addition the venom was found to cause the release of cyclooxygenase products and to contain a heat-sensitive hemolytic factor.

  7. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri

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    Mariana Ferreira Silva

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa. The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes.

  8. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri.

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    Silva, Mariana Ferreira; Mota, Caroline Martins; Miranda, Vanessa dos Santos; Cunha, Amanda de Oliveira; Silva, Maraísa Cristina; Naves, Karinne Spirandelli Carvalho; de Oliveira, Fábio; Silva, Deise Aparecida de Oliveira; Mineo, Tiago Wilson Patriarca; Santiago, Fernanda Maria

    2015-11-30

    Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa). The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes.

  9. Fire ant venom alkaloids act as key attractants for the parasitic phorid fly, Pseudacteon tricuspis (Diptera: Phoridae)

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    Chen, Li; Sharma, Kavita R.; Fadamiro, Henry Y.

    2009-12-01

    The phorid fly, Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier, is an introduced parasitoid of imported fire ants, Solenopsis spp., in the USA. Although the assumption that phorid flies use fire ant alarm pheromones for host location is probably true, we demonstrated in a previous study the possible involvement of other ant semiochemicals in the response of P. tricuspis to fire ants. This study was conducted to determine the glandular sources and identity of the semiochemicals mediating this interaction. First, we tested the electroantennogram response of P. tricuspis to extracts of key body parts and glands of workers of the red imported fire ant, S. invicta Buren. The results confirm that the poison (venom) gland/sac is the key source of compounds which elicited strong antennal activity in P. tricuspis. Follow-up studies were conducted by using a combination of bioassay-guided fractionation and behavioral bioassays to test the hypothesis that attraction of this parasitoid to fire ants is mediated by venom alkaloids. The results confirm the response of P. tricuspis to physiologically relevant amounts of the two venom alkaloid fractions ( cis and trans alkaloid fractions) of S. invicta. Further analysis by coupled gas chromatography-electroantennogram detection revealed nine venom alkaloid components including two novel 2,6-dialkylpiperideines that elicited significant antennal activity in P. tricuspis. This is the first demonstration of the role of venom alkaloids of ants as attractants for their natural enemies. We propose a semiochemical-mediated host location mechanism for P. tricuspis involving both alarm pheromones and venom alkaloids. The ecological significance of these findings, including the attraction of male P. tricuspis to fire ant venom alkaloids, possibly for mate location, is discussed.

  10. The Prokaryotic Expression and Bioactivity of the Recombinant Red Fire Ant Venom Allergen Soli4

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HAN Xue-qing; LIN Xiang-mei; CHEN Hong-jun; ZHANG Yong-guo; YE Gui-sheng; WU Shao-qiang; LI Jian; CHEN Nai-zhong; CHEN Yan; ZHU Shui-fang

    2009-01-01

    The sting of red imported fire ant (RIFA) could cause serious allergic response in fraction of people. These allergic reactions are mainly caused by its venom, especially venom allergen Sol I 1-4. To produce large amount of RIFA venom allergen Sol I 4 for diagnosis of RIFA allergy and allergen-specific immunotherapy, the gene encoding this protein was amplified and cloned into the prokaryotic expression vector pET43, la. The recombinant plasmid was used to transform competent cells and the recombinant proteins were expressed in E. Coli. SDS-PAGE and Western blotting analysis indicated that high-level expression of Sol I 4 protein was successfully achieved. Allergenic activity analysis of the recombinant allergen Sol I 4 was then performed on rabbit. The result showed that the recombinant protein obtained had significant allergenic activity. It indicated that the recombinant allergen Sol I 4 of RIFA venom was successfully expressed in E. Coli, which provided foundation for further developing therapeutic and diagnosis reagents of RIFA allergy.

  11. David and Goliath: potent venom of an ant-eating spider (Araneae) enables capture of a giant prey

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    Pekár, Stano; Šedo, Onřej; Líznarová, Eva; Korenko, Stanislav; Zdráhal, Zdeněk

    2014-07-01

    It is rare to find a true predator that repeatedly and routinely kills prey larger than itself. A solitary specialised ant-eating spider of the genus Zodarion can capture a relatively giant prey. We studied the trophic niche of this spider species and investigated its adaptations (behavioural and venomic) that are used to capture ants. We found that the spider captures mainly polymorphic Messor arenarius ants. Adult female spiders captured large morphs while tiny juveniles captured smaller morphs, yet in both cases ants were giant in comparison with spider size. All specimens used an effective prey capture strategy that protected them from ant retaliation. Juvenile and adult spiders were able to paralyse their prey using a single bite. The venom glands of adults were more than 50 times larger than those of juvenile spiders, but the paralysis latency of juveniles was 1.5 times longer. This suggests that this spider species possesses very potent venom already at the juvenile stage. Comparison of the venom composition between juvenile and adult spiders did not reveal significant differences. We discovered here that specialised capture combined with very effective venom enables the capture of giant prey.

  12. Anticonvulsant Effects of Fractions Isolated from Dinoponera quadriceps (Kempt Ant Venom (Formicidae: Ponerinae

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    Diana Aline Morais Ferreira Nôga

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural products, sources of new pharmacological substances, have large chemical diversity and architectural complexity. In this context, some toxins obtained from invertebrate venoms have anticonvulsant effects. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects about 65 million people worldwide, and approximately 30% of cases are resistant to pharmacological treatment. Previous studies from our group show that the denatured venom of the ant Dinoponera quadriceps (Kempt protects mice against bicuculline (BIC-induced seizures and death. The aim of this study was to investigate the anticonvulsant activity of compounds isolated from D. quadriceps venom against seizures induced by BIC in mice. Crude venom was fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC resulting in six fractions referred to as DqTx1–DqTx6. A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS analysis revealed a major 431 Da compound in fractions DqTx1 and DqTx2. Fractions DqTx3 and DqTx4 showed a compound of 2451 Da and DqTx5 revealed a 2436 Da compound. Furthermore, the DqTx6 fraction exhibited a major component with a molecular weight of 13,196 Da. Each fraction (1 mg/mL was microinjected into the lateral ventricle of mice, and the animals were observed in an open field. We did not observe behavioral alterations when the fractions were given alone. Conversely, when the fractions were microinjected 20 min prior to the administration of BIC (21.6 nM, DqTx1, DqTx4, and DqTx6 fractions increased the latency for onset of tonic-clonic seizures. Moreover, all fractions, except DqTx5, increased latency to death. The more relevant result was obtained with the DqTx6 fraction, which protected 62.5% of the animals against tonic-clonic seizures. Furthermore, this fraction protected 100% of the animals from seizure episodes followed by death. Taken together, these findings indicate that compounds from ant venom might be a potential source of new anticonvulsants molecules.

  13. Anticonvulsant Effects of Fractions Isolated from Dinoponera quadriceps (Kempt) Ant Venom (Formicidae: Ponerinae).

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    Nôga, Diana Aline Morais Ferreira; Brandão, Luiz Eduardo Mateus; Cagni, Fernanda Carvalho; Silva, Delano; de Azevedo, Dina Lilia Oliveira; Araújo, Arrilton; Dos Santos, Wagner Ferreira; Miranda, Antonio; da Silva, Regina Helena; Ribeiro, Alessandra Mussi

    2016-12-23

    Natural products, sources of new pharmacological substances, have large chemical diversity and architectural complexity. In this context, some toxins obtained from invertebrate venoms have anticonvulsant effects. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects about 65 million people worldwide, and approximately 30% of cases are resistant to pharmacological treatment. Previous studies from our group show that the denatured venom of the ant Dinoponera quadriceps (Kempt) protects mice against bicuculline (BIC)-induced seizures and death. The aim of this study was to investigate the anticonvulsant activity of compounds isolated from D. quadriceps venom against seizures induced by BIC in mice. Crude venom was fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) resulting in six fractions referred to as DqTx1-DqTx6. A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis revealed a major 431 Da compound in fractions DqTx1 and DqTx2. Fractions DqTx3 and DqTx4 showed a compound of 2451 Da and DqTx5 revealed a 2436 Da compound. Furthermore, the DqTx6 fraction exhibited a major component with a molecular weight of 13,196 Da. Each fraction (1 mg/mL) was microinjected into the lateral ventricle of mice, and the animals were observed in an open field. We did not observe behavioral alterations when the fractions were given alone. Conversely, when the fractions were microinjected 20 min prior to the administration of BIC (21.6 nM), DqTx1, DqTx4, and DqTx6 fractions increased the latency for onset of tonic-clonic seizures. Moreover, all fractions, except DqTx5, increased latency to death. The more relevant result was obtained with the DqTx6 fraction, which protected 62.5% of the animals against tonic-clonic seizures. Furthermore, this fraction protected 100% of the animals from seizure episodes followed by death. Taken together, these findings indicate that compounds from ant venom might be a potential source of new anticonvulsants molecules.

  14. Fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids act in concert to attract parasitic phorid flies, Pseudacteon spp.

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    Sharma, Kavita R; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2013-11-01

    Pseudacteon tricuspis, Pseudacteon obtusus and Pseudacteon curvatus are three species of parasitic phorid flies (Diptera: Phoridae), which have been introduced as classical biological control agents of imported, Solenopsis fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the southern USA. Previous studies demonstrated the behavioral response of P. tricuspis to the venom alkaloids and alarm pheromone of the fire ant, S. invicta. In the present study, we compared the responses of P. tricuspis, P. obtusus and P. curvatus to Solenopsis invicta alarm pheromone, venom alkaloids, or a mixture of both chemicals in four-choice olfactometer bioassays. The main hypothesis tested was that the fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids act in concert to attract Pseudacteon phorid flies. Both sexes of all three Pseudacteon species were attracted to low doses of the fire ant alarm pheromone or venom alkaloids (i.e. 1 ant worker equivalent) alone. However, the flies were significantly more attracted to a mixture of both chemicals (i.e., 1:1 mixture of alarm pheromone+alkaloids) than to either chemical. The results suggest an additive rather than a synergistic effect of combining both chemicals. Comparing the fly species, P. tricuspis showed relatively greater attraction to cis alkaloids, whereas the alkaloid mixture (cis+trans) was preferred by P. obtusus and P. curvatus. In general, no key sexual differences were recorded, although females of P. tricuspis and P. obtusus showed slightly higher response than conspecific males to lower doses of the alarm pheromone. The ecological significance of these findings is discussed, and a host location model is proposed for parasitic phorid flies involving the use of fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids as long range and short range attractants, respectively.

  15. Re-investigation of venom chemistry of Solenopsis fire ants. II. Identification of novel alkaloids in S. invicta.

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    Chen, Li; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2009-04-01

    The venom of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is dominated by trans stereoisomers of 2,6-dialkylpiperidines. cis Stereoisomers of alkaloids in the venom of S. invicta were separated from trans stereoisomers by using silica gel short column chromatography and identified by coupled gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Seven pairs of cis and trans sterecoisomers were identified based on relative retention times and mass spectral data. The GC trace of the cis stereoisomers of S. invicta alkaloids was presented for the first time. In addition to the previously described 2,6-dialkylpiperideines, eleven novel 2,6-dialkyl-delta1,2-piperideines and 2,6-dialkyl-delta1,6-piperideines were identified from S. invicta venom. The results are discussed in relation to the evolutionary significance of these piperideines and their possible biosynthetic pathways in Solenopsis fire ants.

  16. Crystal structure of Sol I 2: a major allergen from fire ant venom.

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    Borer, Aline S; Wassmann, Paul; Schmidt, Margit; Hoffman, Donald R; Zhou, Jing-Jiang; Wright, Christine; Schirmer, Tilman; Marković-Housley, Zora

    2012-01-27

    Sol i 2 is a potent allergen from the venom of red imported fire ant, which contains allergens Sol i 1, Sol i 2, Sol i 3, and Sol i 4 that are known to be powerful triggers of anaphylaxis. Sol i 2 causes IgE antibody production in about one-third of individuals stung by fire ants. Baculovirus recombinant dimeric Sol i 2 was crystallized as a native and selenomethionyl-derivatized protein, and its structure has been determined by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion at 2.6 Å resolution. The overall fold of each subunit consists of five helices that enclose a central hydrophobic cavity. The structure is stabilized by three intramolecular disulfide bridges and one intermolecular disulfide bridge. The nearest structural homologue is the sequence-unrelated odorant binding protein and pheromone binding protein LUSH of the fruit fly Drosophila, which may suggest a similar biological function. To test this hypothesis, we measured the reversible binding of various pheromones, plant odorants, and other ligands to Sol i 2 by the changes in N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine fluorescence emission upon binding of ligands that compete with N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine. The highest binding affinity was observed for hydrophobic ligands such as aphid alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene, analogs of ant alarm pheromones, and plant volatiles decane, undecane, and β-caryophyllene. Conceivably, Sol i 2 may play a role in capturing and/or transporting small hydrophobic ligands such as pheromones, odors, fatty acids, or short-living hydrophobic primers. Molecular surface analysis, in combination with sequence alignment, can explain the serological cross-reactivity observed between some ant species.

  17. Similarity in venom alkaloid chemistry of alate queens of imported fire ants: implication for hybridization between Solenopsis richteri and S. invicta in the Southern United States.

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    Chen, Li; Lu, Yong-Yue; Hu, Qiong-Bo; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2012-04-01

    Both cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-undecylpiperidines, MC11P, have been previously reported as the major components of the venom of alate queens of the imported fire ants, Solenopsis richteri (black) and S. invicta (red). To identify the minor components of venom alkaloids from alate queens and compare the venom alkaloid chemistry of alate queen of their hybrid (S. richteri×S. invicta) with that of the two parental fire ant species (S. richteri and S. invicta), silica-gel short-column chromatography was utilized for separating cis-stereoisomers of venom alkaloids from trans-stereoisomers. GC/MS Analyses of venom-alkaloid chemistry of alate queens demonstrated that fewer alkaloid peaks were detected in the chromatograms of the alate queens compared to those of workers. Three new compounds, 7, 12, and 13, were detected as minor components in the venom of alate queens of all three fire ant species. Alate queens of hybrid fire ants showed cis- and trans-alkaloid patterns similar to those of the parental species. Similarity in venom-alkaloid chemistry of alate queens of S. richteri and S. invicta, and their hybrid may indicate their reproductive compatibility in the hybrid zone in southern United States, where all three species occur sympatrically.

  18. Re-investigation of venom chemistry of Solenopsis fire ants. I. Identification of novel alkaloids in S. richteri.

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    Chen, Li; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2009-04-01

    Dialkylpiperidines are characteristic of fire ants in the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Workers of the black imported fire ant, S. richteri produce cis and trans stereoisomers of 2,6-dialkylpiperidines with the trans isomer predominating. We used silica gel short column chromatography to separate both stereoisomers (cis and trans) of S. richteri venom alkaloids and coupled gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify novel minor components. The identities of various peaks in GC-MS analyses of the venom fractions were based on relative retention times and mass spectral data. GC profiles verified the presence of both cis and trans stereoisomers of C15:1 and C15 in S. richteri. The GC trace of the cis stereoisomers of S. richteri alkaloids was presented for the first time. In addition to the previously described components of S. richteri venom, seven novel 2,6-dialkyl-delta1,2-piperideines and 2,6-dialkyl-delta1,6-piperideines were detected. The chemical identities of these minor components were determined by comparing with fragmentations of known compounds. Possible biosynthetic pathways for the production of cis and trans solenopsins by S. richteri are discussed.

  19. Fire Ant Bites

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    ... Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fire Ant Bites Share | Fire ants are aggressive, venomous insects that have pinching mandibles ... the United States, even into Puerto Rico. Fire ant stings usually occur on the feet or legs ...

  20. Intraspecific and Intracolonial Variation in the Profile of Venom Alkaloids and Cuticular Hydrocarbons of the Fire Ant Solenopsis saevissima Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

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    Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fire ants are aggressive Neotropical ants that are extensively similar in general biology and morphology, making species identification difficult. Some fire ant species are top-rated pests spreading throughout the world by trade vessels. Many researchers attempted to sort between invasive and native species by using chemical characters, including patterns of venom alkaloids. The present study is the first to report intraspecific variation in some chemical characters, namely, cuticular hydrocarbons and venom alkaloids, within the Brazilian fire ant species Solenopsis saevissima and also reports on within-nest variations among members of different castes. Two different haplotypes (cryptic species of S. saevissima were clearly identified, one presenting a predominant combination of the venom alkaloids cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-undecylpiperidine with the cuticular hydrocarbons C23, 3-Me-C23, 10-C25 : 1, C25, and 3-Me-C25, and the other a predominant combination of cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-tridecenylpiperidine with predominance of 12-C25 : 1, C25, 11-Me-C25, 3-Me-C25, 13-C27 : 1, C27, and 13-Me-C27. Intranest variations revealed that the proportions among these compounds varied sensibly among workers of different sizes, gynes, and males (no alkaloids were detected in the latter. Larva contained vestiges of the same compounds. The recorded chemical profiles are quite different from previous reports with S. saevissima samples from São Paulo. The finds thus support other recent claims that S. saevissima includes cryptic species; the study, moreover, adds the find that they can occur in the same geographical location.

  1. Identification, expression, and immuno-reactivity of Sol i 2 & Sol i 4 venom proteins of queen red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

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    Lockwood, Stephanie A; Haghipour-Peasley, Jilla; Hoffman, Donald R; Deslippe, Richard J

    2012-10-01

    We report on two low-molecular weight proteins that are stored in the venom of queen red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). Translated amino acid sequences identified one protein to have 74.8% identity with the Sol i 2w worker allergen, and the other protein was found to have 96/97% identity with Sol i 4.01w/4.02w worker allergens. Both Sol i 2 and Sol i 4 queen and worker proteins were expressed using pEXP1-DEST vector in SHuffle™ T7 Express lysY Escherichia coli. Proteins were expressed at significant concentrations, as opposed to the μg/ml amounts by our previous expression methods, enabling further study of these proteins. Sol i 2q protein bound weakly to human IgE, sera pooled from allergic patients, whereas Sol i 2w, Sol i 4.01w, and Sol i 4q proteins bound strongly. Despite Sol i 2w and Sol i 2q proteins having 74.8% identity, the queen protein is less immuno-reactive than the worker allergen. This finding is consistent with allergic individuals being less sensitive to queen than worker venom.

  2. Pharmacological action of Australian animal venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, W C

    1997-01-01

    1. Australia has some of the most venomous fauna in the world. Although humans are not usually perceived as being predators against these animals they are often envenomated, accidentally or otherwise. This has led to the development of antivenoms against some of the potentially lethal venoms. However, further understanding of the mechanism(s) of action of these and other venoms is important, not only for developing new treatment strategies but also in the search for novel research tools. 2. The present review discusses the pharmacology of some of the components found in venoms and outlines the research undertaken on some of Australia's venomous animals, with the exception of snakes. 3. Biogenic amines, peptides and enzymes are common venom components and produce a wide range of effects in envenomated humans. For example, respiratory failure observed after envenomation by the box jellyfish (Chirnex fleckeri) and Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus) is most likely due to potent neurotoxins in the venoms. Stonefish (Synanceja trachynis) and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) venoms, although not considered lethal, cause severe pain. However, the components responsible for these effects have not been isolated. Venom components, as yet unidentified, may be responsible for the cutaneous necrotic lesions that have been reported after some spider bites (e.g. Lampona cylindrata). Other venoms, such as those of the jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula) and bull ant (M. pyriformis), may produce only mild skin irritation to the majority of humans but a severe anaphylactic response in sensitized victims. 4. While there has been a renewed interest in toxinology, further research is required to fully elucidate the pharmacological action of many of these venoms.

  3. Analysis of Protein Composition and Bioactivity of Neoponera villosa Venom (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wallace Felipe Blohem Pessoa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Ants cause a series of accidents involving humans. Such accidents generate different reactions in the body, ranging from a mild irritation at the bite site to anaphylactic shock, and these reactions depend on the mechanism of action of the venom. The study of animal venom is a science known as venomics. Through venomics, the composition of the venom of several ant species has already been characterized and their biological activities described. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the protein composition and biological activities (hemolytic and immunostimulatory of the venom of Neoponera villosa (N. villosa, an ant widely distributed in South America. The protein composition was evaluated by proteomic techniques, such as two-dimensional electrophoresis. To assess the biological activity, hemolysis assay was carried out and cytokines were quantified after exposure of macrophages to the venom. The venom of N. villosa has a profile composed of 145 proteins, including structural and metabolic components (e.g., tubulin and ATPase, allergenic and immunomodulatory proteins (arginine kinase and heat shock proteins (HSPs, protective proteins of venom (superoxide dismutase (SOD and catalase and tissue degradation proteins (hyaluronidase and phospholipase A2. The venom was able to induce hemolysis in human erythrocytes and also induced release of both pro-inflammatory cytokines, as the anti-inflammatory cytokine release by murine macrophages. These results allow better understanding of the composition and complexity of N. villosa venom in the human body, as well as the possible mechanisms of action after the bite.

  4. Venomous Animals; Are They Important in Iran?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dehghani R.* PhD

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Many reports have indicated the medical importance of animal poisons in Iran. The significance numbers of Iranians are injured from high endemic to sporadic, by venomous snakes, scorpions, wasps, bees, fire and velvet ants, spiders and backswimmer bugs, so their nuisance prevention is an important task.

  5. [Ants: a chemical library of anticancer molecules].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vétillard, Angélique; Bouzid, Wafa

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are complex mixtures containing simple organic molecules, proteins, peptides, and other bioactive elements with extraordinary biological properties associated with their ability to act on a number of molecular receptors in the process of incapacitating their target organisms. In such a context, arthropod venoms are invaluable sources of bioactive substances, with therapeutic interest but the limited availability of some venom such as those from ants, has restricted the potential that these biomolecules could represent. We investigated for the first time transcriptomic expression from the ant species Tetramorium bicarinatum. Four hundred randomly selected clones from cDNA libraries were sequenced and a total of 374 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated. Based on the results of BLAST searches, these sequences were clustered and assembled into 269 contigs. About 72% (269) of these matched BLASTx hits with an interesting diversity and unusual abundance of cellular transcripts (48%) related to gene and protein expression reflecting the specialization of this tissue. In addition, transcripts encoding transposases were relatively highly expressed (14%). It may be that transposable elements are present and that their presence accounts for some of the variation in venom toxins. About twenty per cent of the ESTs were categorized as putative toxins, the major part represented by allergens (48% of the total venom toxins) such as pilosulin 5, sol i 3 and Myp p I and II. Several contigs encoding enzymes, including zinc-metalloproteases (17%) that are likely involved in the processing and activation of venom proteins/peptides, were also identified from the library. In addition, a number of sequences (8%) had no significant similarity to any known sequence which indicates a potential source of for the discovery of new toxins. In order to provide a global insight on the transcripts expressed in the venom gland of the Brazilian ant species Tetramorium

  6. Allergies to Insect Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allergies To Insect Venom Facts About Allergies The tendency to develop allergies may be inherited. If you have allergic tendencies and ... lives of those who are sensitive to it...insect venom! Although less common than pollen allergy, insect ...

  7. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  8. HYMENOPTERA ALLERGENS: FROM VENOM TO VENOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edzard eSpillner

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In Western Europe hymenoptera venom allergy primarily relates to venoms of the honeybee and the common yellow jacket. In contrast to other allergen sources, only a few major components of hymenoptera venoms had been characterized until recently. Improved expression systems and proteomic detection strategies have allowed the identification and characterization of a wide range of additional allergens. The field of hymenoptera venom allergy research has moved rapidly from focusing on venom extract and single major allergens to a molecular understanding of the entire venome as a system of unique and characteristic components. An increasing number of such components has been identified, characterized regarding function and assessed for allergenic potential. Moreover, advanced expression strategies for recombinant production of venom allergens allow selective modification of molecules and provide insight into different types of IgE reactivities and sensitization patterns. The obtained information contributes to an increased diagnostic precision in hymenoptera venom allergy and may serve for monitoring, reevaluation and improvement of current therapeutic strategies.

  9. Using time-resolved fluorescence to measure serum venom-specific IgE and IgG.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline E van Eeden

    Full Text Available We adapted DELFIA™ (dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluoroimmunoassay, a time resolved fluorescence method, to quantitate whole venom specific and allergenic peptide-specific IgE (sIgE, sIgG(1 and sIgG(4 in serum from people clinically allergic to Australian native ant venoms, of which the predominant cause of allergy is jack jumper ant venom (JJAV. Intra-assay CV was 6.3% and inter-assay CV was 13.7% for JJAV sIgE. DELFIA and Phadia CAP JJAV sIgE results correlated well and had similar sensitivity and specificity for the detection of JJAV sIgE against intradermal skin testing as the gold standard. DELFIA was easily adapted for detecting sIgE to a panel of other native ant venoms.

  10. Venomous and poisonous Australian animals of veterinary importance: a rich source of novel therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Margaret C; Cochrane, Jonathon; Allavena, Rachel E

    2014-01-01

    Envenomation and poisoning by terrestrial animals (both vertebrate and invertebrate) are a significant economic problem and health risk for domestic animals in Australia. Australian snakes are some of the most venomous animals in the world and bees, wasps, ants, paralysis ticks, and cane toads are also present as part of the venomous and poisonous fauna. The diagnosis and treatment of envenomation or poisoning in animals is a challenge and can be a traumatic and expensive process for owners. Despite the potency of Australian venoms, there is potential for novel veterinary therapeutics to be modeled on venom toxins, as has been the case with human pharmaceuticals. A comprehensive overview of envenomation and poisoning signs in livestock and companion animals is provided and related to the potential for venom toxins to act as therapeutics.

  11. Venomous and Poisonous Australian Animals of Veterinary Importance: A Rich Source of Novel Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret C. Hardy

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Envenomation and poisoning by terrestrial animals (both vertebrate and invertebrate are a significant economic problem and health risk for domestic animals in Australia. Australian snakes are some of the most venomous animals in the world and bees, wasps, ants, paralysis ticks, and cane toads are also present as part of the venomous and poisonous fauna. The diagnosis and treatment of envenomation or poisoning in animals is a challenge and can be a traumatic and expensive process for owners. Despite the potency of Australian venoms, there is potential for novel veterinary therapeutics to be modeled on venom toxins, as has been the case with human pharmaceuticals. A comprehensive overview of envenomation and poisoning signs in livestock and companion animals is provided and related to the potential for venom toxins to act as therapeutics.

  12. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjoern Marcus von Reumont

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms.

  13. Struggling Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Some of China’s college graduates are barely scraping by The village of Tangjialing, 20 km north of down town Beijing, was thrust into the public consciousness in November. Publishers that month released a book titled Ants

  14. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gâz Florea Şerban Andrei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III classes were separated in subclasses based on distinctive post-translational modifications. SVMPs are synthesized in a latent form, being activated through a Cys-switch mechanism similar to matrix metalloproteinases. Most of the metalloproteinases of the snake venom are responsible for the hemorrhagic events but also have fibrinogenolytic activity, poses apoptotic activity, activate blood coagulation factor II and X, inhibit platelet aggregation, demonstrating that SVMPs have multiple functions in addition to well-known hemorrhagic function.

  15. Workers and alate queens of Solenopsis geminata share qualitatively similar but quantitatively different venom alkaloid chemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qun-Hui eShi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Solenopsis geminata group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae encompasses ant species commonly called fire ants because of their painful sting. The many physiological effects of the venom are caused by 2-methyl-6-alkyl and/or alkenylpiperidine alkaloids. The variation in piperidine alkaloid structures has useful taxonomic characters. The most well studied Solenopsis species is S. invicta, which was accidentally imported into the USA in the 1930s from South America. It quickly spread throughout the southern USA and is now a major invasive pest ant in the USA and in other parts of the world. Interestingly, the invasive S. invicta has largely displaced a native USA fire ant, S. geminata, from the southern USA. We explore the possibility that differences in venom chemistry could be correlated with this displacement. The cis and trans alkaloids from body extracts of workers and alate queens of S. geminata were separated by silica gel chromatography, identified, and quantitated by GC-MS analysis. Both workers and alate queens produce primarily cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-n-undecyl-piperidines, as well as other minor alkaloid components. Imported fire ant, S. invicta, alate queens produce the same alkaloids as S. geminata alate queens, but in contrast S. invicta workers produce piperidine alkaloids with longer side chains, which are purported to be physiologically more effective. These results are discussed in relation to the evolutionary progression of fire ant venom alkaloids and displacement of S. geminata by S. invicta in the USA.

  16. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2016-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead...... us to reduce agency to causation and to conceptualize actor-networks as homogeneous ontologies of force. This article proposes to regard ANT’s inability to conceptualize reflexivity and the interrelatedness of different ontologies as the fundamental problem of the theory. Drawing on Günther......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT....

  17. Ant Farm

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition d’Ant Farm au Frac Centre du 12 au 23 décembre 2007, ce très beau catalogue, qui fait état des dix ans de création du collectif californien, propose un nombre important de documents iconographiques, de notices et de textes concernant leurs différents projets. Fondé en 1968 par Doug Michels et Chip Lord, rejoints par la suite par Curtis Schreier, Hudson Marquez, Douglas Hurr et d’autres encore, le collectif Ant Farm a marqué les esprits par quelques œuvres s...

  18. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  19. Scorpion venoms in gastric cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Ying; Zhang, Pei-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Venom secretions from snakes, scorpions, spiders and bees, have been widely applied in traditional medicine and current biopharmaceutical research. Possession of anticancer potential is another novel discovery for animal venoms and toxins. An increasing number of studies have shown the anticancer effects of venoms and toxins of snakes, and scorpions in vitro and in vivo, which were achieved mainly through the inhibition of cancer growth, arrest of cell cycle, induction of apoptosis and suppression of cancer metastasis. However, more evidence is needed to support this concept and the mechanisms of anticancer actions are not clearly understood. The present review is focused on the recant updates on anticancer venom research. PMID:27900054

  20. A list of and some comments about the trail pheromones of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerdá, Xim; van Oudenhove, Louise; Bernstein, Carlos; Boulay, Raphaël R

    2014-08-01

    Ants use many different chemical compounds to communicate with their nestmates. Foraging success depends on how efficiently ants communicate the presence of food and thus recruit workers to exploit the food resource. Trail pheromones, produced by different exocrine glands, are a key part of ant foraging strategies. By combing through the literature, we compiled a list of the identity and glandular origin of the chemical compounds found in the trail pheromones of 75 different ant species. Of the 168 compounds identified, more than 40% are amines. In the subfamily Myrmicinae, trail pheromones are mostly produced in the venom gland, while in the subfamily Formicinae, they come from the rectal gland.

  1. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A; Jones, Tappey H; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-09-24

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies.

  2. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

    Uses the GEMS guide, "Ants at Home Underground", to explore the life of ants and teach about them in a classroom setting. The activity applies students' knowledge of ants and students learn about ant colonies, what ants eat, and how they live. (SAH)

  3. Update on the defensive chemicals of the Little Black Ant, Monomorium minimum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkaloids, including 2,5-dialkylpyrrolidines and 2,5-dialkylpyrrolines, have been reported to be components in the venom of little black ants, Monomorium minimum (Buckley). Two fatty amines were recently reported as minor compounds. By analyzing the discharge collected from the stinger apparatus (...

  4. Privileged frameworks from snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeks, T A; Fry, B G; Alewood, P F

    2015-05-01

    Venom as a form of chemical prey capture is a key innovation that has underpinned the explosive radiation of the advanced snakes (Caenophidia). Small venom proteins are often rich in disulfide bonds thus facilitating stable molecular scaffolds that present key functional residues on the protein surface. New toxin types are initially developed through the venom gland over-expression of normal body proteins, their subsequent gene duplication and diversification that leads to neofunctionalisation as random mutations modify their structure and function. This process has led to preferentially selected (privileged) cysteine-rich scaffolds that enable the snake to build arrays of toxins many of which may lead to therapeutic products and research tools. This review focuses on cysteine-rich small proteins and peptides found in snake venoms spanning natriuretic peptides to phospholipase enzymes, while highlighting their three-dimensional structures and biological functions as well as their potential as therapeutic agents or research tools.

  5. Snake venom metalloproteinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markland, Francis S; Swenson, Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Recent proteomic analyses of snake venoms show that metalloproteinases represent major components in most of the Crotalid and Viperid venoms. In this chapter we discuss the multiple activities of the SVMPs. In addition to hemorrhagic activity, members of the SVMP family also have fibrin(ogen)olytic activity, act as prothrombin activators, activate blood coagulation factor X, possess apoptotic activity, inhibit platelet aggregation, are pro-inflammatory and inactivate blood serine proteinase inhibitors. Clearly the SVMPs have multiple functions in addition to their well-known hemorrhagic activity. The realization that there are structural variations in the SVMPs and the early studies that led to their classification represents an important event in our understanding of the structural forms of the SVMPs. The SVMPs were subdivided into the P-I, P-II and P-III protein classes. The noticeable characteristic that distinguished the different classes was their size (molecular weight) differences and domain structure: Class I (P-I), the small SVMPs, have molecular masses of 20-30 kDa, contain only a pro domain and the proteinase domain; Class II (P-II), the medium size SVMPs, molecular masses of 30-60 kDa, contain the pro domain, proteinase domain and disintegrin domain; Class III (P-III), the large SVMPs, have molecular masses of 60-100 kDa, contain pro, proteinase, disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domain structure. Another significant advance in the SVMP field was the characterization of the crystal structure of the first P-I class SVMP. The structures of other P-I SVMPs soon followed and the structures of P-III SVMPs have also been determined. The active site of the metalloproteinase domain has a consensus HEXXHXXGXXHD sequence and a Met-turn. The "Met-turn" structure contains a conserved Met residue that forms a hydrophobic basement for the three zinc-binding histidines in the consensus sequence.

  6. Extraction of venom and venom gland microdissections from spiders for proteomic and transcriptomic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garb, Jessica E

    2014-11-03

    Venoms are chemically complex secretions typically comprising numerous proteins and peptides with varied physiological activities. Functional characterization of venom proteins has important biomedical applications, including the identification of drug leads or probes for cellular receptors. Spiders are the most species rich clade of venomous organisms, but the venoms of only a few species are well-understood, in part due to the difficulty associated with collecting minute quantities of venom from small animals. This paper presents a protocol for the collection of venom from spiders using electrical stimulation, demonstrating the procedure on the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus). The collected venom is useful for varied downstream analyses including direct protein identification via mass spectrometry, functional assays, and stimulation of venom gene expression for transcriptomic studies. This technique has the advantage over protocols that isolate venom from whole gland homogenates, which do not separate genuine venom components from cellular proteins that are not secreted as part of the venom. Representative results demonstrate the detection of known venom peptides from the collected sample using mass spectrometry. The venom collection procedure is followed by a protocol for dissecting spider venom glands, with results demonstrating that this leads to the characterization of venom-expressed proteins and peptides at the sequence level.

  7. Fatty Amines from Little Black Ants, Monomorium minimum, and Their Biological Activities Against Red Imported Fire Ants, Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Chen, Jian

    2015-08-01

    Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, are significant invasive pests. Certain native ant species can compete with S. invicta, such as the little black ant, Monomorium minimum. Defensive secretions may contribute to the competition capacity of native ants. The chemistry of ant defensive secretions in the genus Monomorium has been subjected to extensive research. The insecticidal alkaloids, 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolidines and 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolines have been reported to dominate the venom of M. minimum. In this study, analysis of defensive secretions of workers and queens of M. minimum revealed two primary amines, decylamine and dodecylamine. Neither amine has been reported previously from natural sources. Toxicity and digging suppression by these two amines against S. invicta were examined. Decylamine had higher toxicity to S. invicta workers than dodecylamine, a quicker knockdown effect, and suppressed the digging behavior of S. invicta workers at lower concentration. However, the amount of fatty amines in an individual ant was not enough to knockdown a fire ant or suppress its digging behavior. These amines most likely work in concert with other components in the chemical defense of M. minimum.

  8. Venomic and pharmacological activity of Acanthoscurria paulensis (Theraphosidae) spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourão, Caroline Barbosa F; Oliveira, Fagner Neves; e Carvalho, Andréa C; Arenas, Claudia J; Duque, Harry Morales; Gonçalves, Jacqueline C; Macêdo, Jéssica K A; Galante, Priscilla; Schwartz, Carlos A; Mortari, Márcia R; Almeida Santos, Maria de Fátima M; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we conducted proteomic and pharmacological characterizations of the venom extracted from the Brazilian tarantula Acanthoscurria paulensis, and evaluated the cardiotoxicity of its two main fractions. The molecular masses of the venom components were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) after chromatographic separation (HPLC). The lethal dose (LD(50)) was determined in mice. Nociceptive behavior was evaluated by intradermal injection in mice and the edematogenic activity by the rat hind-paw assay. Cardiotoxic activity was evaluated on in situ frog heart and on isolated frog ventricle strip. From 60 chromatographic fractions, 97 distinct components were identified, with molecular masses between 601.4 and 21,932.3 Da. A trimodal molecular mass distribution was observed: 30% of the components within 500-1999 Da, 38% within 3500-5999 Da and 21% within 6500-7999 Da. The LD(50) in mice was 25.4 ± 2.4 μg/g and the effects observed were hypoactivity, anuria, constipation, dyspnea and prostration until death, which occurred at higher doses. Despite presenting a dose-dependent edematogenic activity in the rat hind-paw assay, the venom had no nociceptive activity in mice. Additionally, the venom induced a rapid blockage of electrical activity and subsequent diastolic arrest on in situ frog heart preparation, which was inhibited by pretreatment with atropine. In the electrically driven frog ventricle strip, the whole venom and its low molecular mass fraction, but not the proteic one, induced a negative inotropic effect that was also inhibited by atropine. These results suggest that despite low toxicity, A. paulensis venom can induce severe physiological disturbances in mice.

  9. Venom gland transcriptomics for identifying, cataloging, and characterizing venom proteins in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brahma, Rajeev Kungur; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kini, R Manjunatha; Doley, Robin

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms are cocktails of protein toxins that play important roles in capture and digestion of prey. Significant qualitative and quantitative variation in snake venom composition has been observed among and within species. Understanding these variations in protein components is instrumental in interpreting clinical symptoms during human envenomation and in searching for novel venom proteins with potential therapeutic applications. In the last decade, transcriptomic analyses of venom glands have helped in understanding the composition of various snake venoms in great detail. Here we review transcriptomic analysis as a powerful tool for understanding venom profile, variation and evolution.

  10. Toxicity of crude and detoxified Tityus serrulatus venom in anti-venom-producing sheep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Marina G.; Duarte, Clara G.; Oliveira, Maira S.; Castro, Karen L. P.; Teixeira, Maílson S.; Reis, Lílian P. G.; Zambrano, José A.; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Michel, Ana Flávia R. M.; Soto-Blanco, Benito; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Specific anti-venom used to treat scorpion envenomation is usually obtained from horses after hyperimmunization with crude scorpion venom. However, immunized animals often become ill because of the toxic effects of the immunogens used. This study was conducted to evaluate the toxic and immunogenic activities of crude and detoxified Tityus serrulatus (Ts) venom in sheep during the production of anti-scorpionic anti-venom. Sheep were categorized into three groups: G1, control, immunized with buffer only; G2, immunized with crude Ts venom; and G3, immunized with glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom. All animals were subjected to clinical exams and supplementary tests. G2 sheep showed mild clinical changes, but the other groups tolerated the immunization program well. Specific antibodies generated in animals immunized with either Ts crude venom or glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom recognized the crude Ts venom in both assays. To evaluate the lethality neutralization potential of the produced sera, individual serum samples were pre-incubated with Ts crude venom, then subcutaneously injected into mice. Efficient immune protection of 56.3% and 43.8% against Ts crude venom was observed in G2 and G3, respectively. Overall, the results of this study support the use of sheep and glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom for alternative production of specific anti-venom. PMID:27297422

  11. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inácio L. M. Junqueira-de-Azevedo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among “colubrids” is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs, C-type lectins (CTLs, CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs, are broadly distributed among “colubrid” venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs, appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto. Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets.

  12. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Campos, Pollyanna F.; Ching, Ana T. C.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among “colubrids” is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs), C-type lectins (CTLs), CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are broadly distributed among “colubrid” venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs), appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto). Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets. PMID:27455326

  13. Poisons, toxungens, and venoms: redefining and classifying toxic biological secretions and the organisms that employ them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelsen, David R; Nisani, Zia; Cooper, Allen M; Fox, Gerad A; Gren, Eric C K; Corbit, Aaron G; Hayes, William K

    2014-05-01

    Despite extensive study of poisonous and venomous organisms and the toxins they produce, a review of the literature reveals inconsistency and ambiguity in the definitions of 'poison' and 'venom'. These two terms are frequently conflated with one another, and with the more general term, 'toxin.' We therefore clarify distinctions among three major classes of toxins (biological, environmental, and anthropogenic or man-made), evaluate prior definitions of venom which differentiate it from poison, and propose more rigorous definitions for poison and venom based on differences in mechanism of delivery. We also introduce a new term, 'toxungen', thereby partitioning toxic biological secretions into three categories: poisons lacking a delivery mechanism, i.e. ingested, inhaled, or absorbed across the body surface; toxungens delivered to the body surface without an accompanying wound; and venoms, delivered to internal tissues via creation of a wound. We further propose a system to classify toxic organisms with respect to delivery mechanism (absent versus present), source (autogenous versus heterogenous), and storage of toxins (aglandular versus glandular). As examples, a frog that acquires toxins from its diet, stores the secretion within cutaneous glands, and transfers the secretion upon contact or ingestion would be heteroglandular-poisonous; an ant that produces its own toxins, stores the secretion in a gland, and sprays it for defence would be autoglandular-toxungenous; and an anemone that produces its own toxins within specialized cells that deliver the secretion via a penetrating wound would be autoaglandular-venomous. Adoption of our scheme should benefit our understanding of both proximate and ultimate causes in the evolution of these toxins.

  14. Anaphylaxis to Insect Venom Allergens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollert, Markus; Blank, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anaphylaxis due to Hymenoptera stings is one of the most severe consequences of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Although allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings are often considered as a general model for the underlying principles of allergic disease, diagnostic tests are still hampered......, and to contribute to the understanding of the immunological mechanisms elicited by insect venoms....

  15. Poison and alarm: the Asian hornet Vespa velutina uses sting venom volatiles as an alarm pheromone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Ya-Nan; Wen, Ping; Dong, Shi-Hao; Tan, Ken; Nieh, James C

    2017-02-15

    In colonial organisms, alarm pheromones can provide a key fitness advantage by enhancing colony defence and warning of danger. Learning which species use alarm pheromone and the key compounds involved therefore enhances our understanding of how this important signal has evolved. However, our knowledge of alarm pheromones is more limited in the social wasps and hornets compared with the social bees and ants. Vespa velutina is an economically important and widespread hornet predator that attacks honey bees and humans. This species is native to Asia and has now invaded Europe. Despite growing interest in V. velutina, it was unknown whether it possessed an alarm pheromone. We show that these hornets use sting venom as an alarm pheromone. Sting venom volatiles were strongly attractive to hornet workers and triggered attacks. Two major venom fractions, consisting of monoketones and diketones, also elicited attack. We used gas chromatography coupled to electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) to isolate 13 known and 3 unknown aliphatic ketones and alcohols in venom that elicited conspicuous hornet antennal activity. Two of the unknown compounds may be an undecen-2-one and an undecene-2,10-dinone. Three major compounds (heptan-2-one, nonan-2-one and undecan-2-one) triggered attacks, but only nonan-2-one did so at biologically relevant levels (10 hornet equivalents). Nonan-2-one thus deserves particular attention. However, the key alarm releasers for V. velutina remain to be identified. Such identification will help to illuminate the evolution and function of alarm compounds in hornets.

  16. Exploring the therapeutic potential of jellyfish venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Norelle L; Seymour, Jamie; Wilson, David

    2014-10-01

    The venom of certain jellyfish has long been known to be potentially fatal to humans, but it is only recently that details of the proteomes of these fascinating creatures are emerging. The molecular contents of the nematocysts from several jellyfish species have now been analyzed using proteomic MS approaches and include the analysis of Chironex fleckeri, one of the most venomous jellyfish known. These studies suggest that some species contain toxins related to peptides and proteins found in other venomous creatures. The detailed characterization of jellyfish venom is likely to provide insight into the diversification of toxins and might be a valuable resource in drug design.

  17. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konno, Katsuhiro; Kazuma, Kohei; Nihei, Ken-ichi

    2016-01-01

    Solitary wasps paralyze insects or spiders with stinging venom and feed the paralyzed preys to their larva. Accordingly, the venoms should contain a variety of constituents acting on nervous systems. However, only a few solitary wasp venoms have been chemically studied despite thousands of species inhabiting the planet. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms found in Japan and discovered a variety of novel bioactive peptides. Pompilidotoxins (PMTXs), in the venoms of the pompilid wasps Anoplius samariensis and Batozonellus maculifrons, are small peptides consisting of 13 amino acids without a disulfide bond. PMTXs slowed Na+ channel inactivation, in particular against neuronal type Na+ channels, and were rather selective to the Nav1.6 channel. Mastoparan-like cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides are the major components of eumenine wasp venoms. They are rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids, adopting a α-helical secondary structure, and showing mast cell degranulating, antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The venom of the spider wasp Cyphononyx fulvognathus contained four bradykinin-related peptides. They are hyperalgesic and, dependent on the structure, differently associated with B1 or B2 receptors. Further survey led to the isolation of leucomyosuppressin-like FMRFamide peptides from the venoms of the digger wasps Sphex argentatus and Isodontia harmandi. These results of peptide toxins in solitary wasp venoms from our studies are summarized. PMID:27096870

  18. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuhiro Konno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Solitary wasps paralyze insects or spiders with stinging venom and feed the paralyzed preys to their larva. Accordingly, the venoms should contain a variety of constituents acting on nervous systems. However, only a few solitary wasp venoms have been chemically studied despite thousands of species inhabiting the planet. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms found in Japan and discovered a variety of novel bioactive peptides. Pompilidotoxins (PMTXs, in the venoms of the pompilid wasps Anoplius samariensis and Batozonellus maculifrons, are small peptides consisting of 13 amino acids without a disulfide bond. PMTXs slowed Na+ channel inactivation, in particular against neuronal type Na+ channels, and were rather selective to the Nav1.6 channel. Mastoparan-like cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides are the major components of eumenine wasp venoms. They are rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids, adopting a α-helical secondary structure, and showing mast cell degranulating, antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The venom of the spider wasp Cyphononyx fulvognathus contained four bradykinin-related peptides. They are hyperalgesic and, dependent on the structure, differently associated with B1 or B2 receptors. Further survey led to the isolation of leucomyosuppressin-like FMRFamide peptides from the venoms of the digger wasps Sphex argentatus and Isodontia harmandi. These results of peptide toxins in solitary wasp venoms from our studies are summarized.

  19. Cytotoxicity of Southeast Asian snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Jamunaa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytotoxicity of venoms from eleven medically important snakes found in Southeast Asia (Naja kaouthia, Naja siamensis, Naja sumatrana, Ophiophagus hannah, Bungarus candidus, Bungarus fasciatus, Enhydrina schistosa, Calloselasma rhodostoma, Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus and Tropidolaemus sumatranus was determined, based on the MTS cytotoxicity assay, which determines the survival of viable cells in monolayer MDCK and Vero cell cultures upon exposure to the snake venoms. Snake venom toxicity was expressed as the venom dose that killed 50% of the cells (CTC50 under the assay conditions. Venoms of C. rhodostoma (2.6 µg/mL, 1.4 µg/mL and O. hannah were the most cytotoxic (3.8 µg/mL, 1.7 µg/mL whereas N. siamensis venom showed the least cytotoxicity (51.9 µg/mL, 45.7 µg/mL against Vero and MDCK cells, respectively. All the viper venoms showed higher cytotoxic potency towards both Vero and MDCK cell lines, in comparison to krait and cobra venoms. E. schistosa did not cause cytotoxicity towards MDCK or Vero cells at the tested concentrations. The cytotoxicity correlates well with the known differences in the composition of venoms from cobras, kraits, vipers and sea snakes.

  20. Researching nature's venoms and poisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warrell, David A

    2009-09-01

    Our environment hosts a vast diversity of venomous and poisonous animals and plants. Clinical toxinology is devoted to understanding, preventing and treating their effects in humans and domestic animals. In Sri Lanka, yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana, Sinhala 'kaneru'), a widespread and accessible ornamental shrub, is a popular means of self-harm. Its toxic glycosides resemble those of foxglove, against which therapeutic antibodies have been raised. A randomised placebo-controlled trial proved that this treatment effectively reversed kaneru cardiotoxicity. There are strong scientific grounds for the use of activated charcoal, but encouraging results with multiple-dose activated charcoal were not confirmed by a recent more powerful study. Venom of Russell's viper (Daboia siamensis) in Burma (Myanmar) produces lethal effects in human victims. The case of a 17-year-old rice farmer is described with pathophysiological interpretations. During the first 9 days of hospital admission he suffered episodes of shock, coagulopathy, bleeding, acute renal failure, local tissue necrosis, generally increased capillary permeability and acute symptomatic hypoglycaemia with evidence of acute pituitary/adrenal insufficiency. Antivenom rapidly restored haemostatic function but failed to correct other effects of venom toxins incurred during the 3h before he could be treated.

  1. In-vitro diagnostics of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rueff, F.; Vos, B.; Przybilla, B.

    2013-01-01

    In-vitro diagnostics of Hymenoptera venom allergy Patients with a history of anaphylactic sting reactions require an allergological work-up (history, in-vitro tests, and skin tests) to clarify indications on venom immunotherapy and on the type of venom to be used. To demonstrate a venom sensitisatio

  2. Dietary and prey-capture adaptations by which Zodarion germanicum, an ant-eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae), specialises on the Formicinae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, S.; Toft, S.; Hrušková, M.; Mayntz, D.

    2008-03-01

    There has been considerable recent interest in the biology of spiders that specialise on ants as prey, but previous studies have tended to envisage the level of adaptation as being to ants as a group. In this paper, we provide evidence that Zodarion germanicum is a spider that has dietary and venom adaptations by which it targets a particular subset of ants, the subfamily Formicinae. We reared spiders from first instar in the laboratory on three different diets: formicine ants only, myrmicine ants only and mixed (both formicine and myrmicine ants). Fitness-related life-history parameters were determined, and we found that the spiders on the formicine-only diet lived longer and grew at a faster rate. Lipid, carbon and nitrogen compositions of ants were analysed, but we found no evidence of formicines differing from myrmicines in macro-nutrient content. This suggests that effects on longevity and growth depended on more specific nutrients or on compounds the prey uses for defence. We investigated how efficient Z. germanicum was at paralysing different ants and our findings suggest that the spider’s venom is especially effective against formicines. Taken together, our findings suggest that Z. germanicum has evolved specialisation at the level of targeting a particular ant subfamily, the Formicinae.

  3. Moving pieces in a venomic puzzle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verano-Braga, Thiago; Dutra, Alexandre A A; León, Ileana R

    2013-01-01

    Besides being a public health problem, scorpion venoms have a potential biotechnological application since they contain peptides that may be used as drug leads and/or to reveal novel pharmacological targets. A comprehensive Tityus serrulatus venom proteome study with emphasis on the phosphoproteome...

  4. Quantitative analysis of alkaloidal constituents in imported fire ants by gas chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yu-Ting; Wei, Hong-Yi; Fadamiro, Henry Y; Chen, Li

    2014-06-25

    A method based on silica gel chromatography and GC-MS/GC-FID analyses was developed for the quantitation of alkaloidal compounds in imported fire ants, Solenopsis richteri, S. invicta, and their hybrid found in the southern United States. The cis and trans alkaloids from fire ant body extracts were successfully separated by silica gel chromatography, identified by GC-MS, and quantitated by GC-FID. Piperideine compounds were eluted together with the cis and trans piperidines, but were well-resolved on a nonpolar GC column. Eight pairs of piperidine isomers and 12 piperideines were quantitated. The ratios of trans alkaloids to corresponding cis isomers ranged from 87 to 378:1 in S. invicta and were significantly higher than in S. richteri and hybrid ants. The results were discussed in relation to the evolution of fire ant venom alkaloids and their role as host location cues for parasitic Pseudacteon phorid flies.

  5. Reappraisal of Vipera aspis venom neurotoxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Ferquel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The variation of venom composition with geography is an important aspect of intraspecific variability in the Vipera genus, although causes of this variability remain unclear. The diversity of snake venom is important both for our understanding of venomous snake evolution and for the preparation of relevant antivenoms to treat envenomations. A geographic intraspecific variation in snake venom composition was recently reported for Vipera aspis aspis venom in France. Since 1992, cases of human envenomation after Vipera aspis aspis bites in south-east France involving unexpected neurological signs were regularly reported. The presence of genes encoding PLA(2 neurotoxins in the Vaa snake genome led us to investigate any neurological symptom associated with snake bites in other regions of France and in neighboring countries. In parallel, we used several approaches to characterize the venom PLA(2 composition of the snakes captured in the same areas. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted an epidemiological survey of snake bites in various regions of France. In parallel, we carried out the analysis of the genes and the transcripts encoding venom PLA(2s. We used SELDI technology to study the diversity of PLA(2 in various venom samples. Neurological signs (mainly cranial nerve disturbances were reported after snake bites in three regions of France: Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Genomes of Vipera aspis snakes from south-east France were shown to contain ammodytoxin isoforms never described in the genome of Vipera aspis from other French regions. Surprisingly, transcripts encoding venom neurotoxic PLA(2s were found in snakes of Massif Central region. Accordingly, SELDI analysis of PLA(2 venom composition confirmed the existence of population of neurotoxic Vipera aspis snakes in the west part of the Massif Central mountains. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The association of epidemiological studies to

  6. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn F. King

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Spiders are the most successful venomous animals and the most abundant terrestrial predators. Their remarkable success is due in large part to their ingenious exploitation of silk and the evolution of pharmacologically complex venoms that ensure rapid subjugation of prey. Most spider venoms are dominated by disulfide-rich peptides that typically have high affinity and specificity for particular subtypes of ion channels and receptors. Spider venoms are conservatively predicted to contain more than 10 million bioactive peptides, making them a valuable resource for drug discovery. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against a wide range of pathophysiological conditions including cardiovascular disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and erectile dysfunction.

  7. Pharmacological evaluation of bee venom and melittin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila G. Dantas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to identify the pharmacological effects of bee venom and its major component, melittin, on the nervous system of mice. For the pharmacological analysis, mice were treated once with saline, 0.1 or 1.2 mg/kg of bee venom and 0.1 mg/kg of melittin, subcutaneously, 30 min before being submitted to behavioral tests: locomotor activity and grooming (open-field, catalepsy, anxiety (elevated plus-maze, depression (forced swimming test and apomorphine-induced stereotypy. Haloperidol, imipramine and diazepam were administered alone (positive control or as a pre-treatment (haloperidol.The bee venom reduced motor activity and promoted cataleptic effect, in a similar manner to haloperidol.These effects were decreased by the pretreatment with haloperidol. Both melittin and bee venom decreased the apomorphine-induced stereotypies. The data indicated the antipsychotic activity of bee venom and melittin in a murine model.

  8. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer.

  9. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-08

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins.

  10. Pharmacological Aspects of Vipera xantina palestinae Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momic, Tatjana; Arlinghaus, Franziska T.; Arien-Zakay, Hadar; Katzhendler, Jeoshua; Eble, Johannes A.; Marcinkiewicz, Cezary; Lazarovici, Philip

    2011-01-01

    In Israel, Vipera xantina palestinae (V.x.p.) is the most common venomous snake, accounting for several hundred cases of envenomation in humans and domestic animals every year, with a mortality rate of 0.5 to 2%. In this review we will briefly address the research developments relevant to our present understanding of the structure and function of V.x.p. venom with emphasis on venom disintegrins. Venom proteomics indicated the presence of four families of pharmacologically active compounds: (i) neurotoxins; (ii) hemorrhagins; (iii) angioneurin growth factors; and (iv) different types of integrin inhibitors. Viperistatin, a α1β1selective KTS disintegrin and VP12, a α2β1 selective C-type lectin were discovered. These snake venom proteins represent promising tools for research and development of novel collagen receptor selective drugs. These discoveries are also relevant for future improvement of antivenom therapy towards V.x.p. envenomation. PMID:22174978

  11. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A.P.M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N.C.; Groenewald, J.Z.; Crous, P.W.; Pagnocca, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  12. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    2016-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  13. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years.

  14. Low cost venom extractor based on Arduino(®) board for electrical venom extraction from arthropods and other small animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Thomas; Debayle, Delphine; Diochot, Sylvie; Salinas, Miguel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2016-08-01

    Extracting venom from small species is usually challenging. We describe here an affordable and versatile electrical venom extractor based on the Arduino(®) Mega 2560 Board, which is designed to extract venom from arthropods and other small animals. The device includes fine tuning of stimulation time and voltage. It was used to collect venom without apparent deleterious effects, and characterized for the first time the venom of Zoropsis spinimana, a common spider in French Mediterranean regions.

  15. Expression of venom gene homologs in diverse python tissues suggests a new model for the evolution of snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Card, Daren C; Andrew, Audra L; Shaney, Kyle J; Adams, Richard H; Schield, Drew R; Casewell, Nicholas R; Mackessy, Stephen P; Castoe, Todd A

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom gene evolution has been studied intensively over the past several decades, yet most previous studies have lacked the context of complete snake genomes and the full context of gene expression across diverse snake tissues. We took a novel approach to studying snake venom evolution by leveraging the complete genome of the Burmese python, including information from tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. We identified the orthologs of snake venom genes in the python genome, and conducted detailed analysis of gene expression of these venom homologs to identify patterns that differ between snake venom gene families and all other genes. We found that venom gene homologs in the python are expressed in many different tissues outside of oral glands, which illustrates the pitfalls of using transcriptomic data alone to define "venom toxins." We hypothesize that the python may represent an ancestral state prior to major venom development, which is supported by our finding that the expansion of venom gene families is largely restricted to highly venomous caenophidian snakes. Therefore, the python provides insight into biases in which genes were recruited for snake venom systems. Python venom homologs are generally expressed at lower levels, have higher variance among tissues, and are expressed in fewer organs compared with all other python genes. We propose a model for the evolution of snake venoms in which venom genes are recruited preferentially from genes with particular expression profile characteristics, which facilitate a nearly neutral transition toward specialized venom system expression.

  16. The first mesozoic ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, E O; Carpenter, F M; Brown, W L

    1967-09-01

    Two worker ants preserved in amber of Upper Cretaceous age have been found in New Jersey. They are the first undisputed remains of social insects of Mesozoic age, extending the existence of social life in insects back to approximately 100 million years. They are also the earliest known fossils that can be assigned with certainty to aculeate Hymenoptera. The species, Sphecomyrma freyi, is considered to represent a new subfamily (Sphecomyrminae), more primitive than any previously known ant group. It forms a near-perfect link between certain nonsocial tiphiid wasps and the most primitive myrmecioid ants.

  17. Black Bear Reactions to Venomous and Non-venomous Snakes in Eastern North America

    OpenAIRE

    Rogers, Lynn L.; Mansfield, Susan A; Hornby, Kathleen; Hornby, Stewart; Debruyn, Terry D; Mize, Malvin; Clark, Rulon; Gordon M. Burghardt

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon b...

  18. Protease inhibitor in scorpion (Mesobuthus eupeus) venom prolongs the biological activities of the crude venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Hakim; Xiao-Peng, Tang; Yang, Shi-Long; Lu, Qiu-Min; Lai, Ren

    2016-08-01

    It is hypothesized that protease inhibitors play an essential role in survival of venomous animals through protecting peptide/protein toxins from degradation by proteases in their prey or predators. However, the biological function of protease inhibitors in scorpion venoms remains unknown. In the present study, a trypsin inhibitor was purified and characterized from the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which enhanced the biological activities of crude venom components in mice when injected in combination with crude venom. This protease inhibitor, named MeKTT-1, belonged to Kunitz-type toxins subfamily. Native MeKTT-1 selectively inhibited trypsin with a Kivalue of 130 nmol·L(-1). Furthermore, MeKTT-1 was shown to be a thermo-stable peptide. In animal behavioral tests, MeKTT-1 prolonged the pain behavior induced by scorpion crude venom, suggesting that protease inhibitors in scorpion venom inhibited proteases and protect the functionally important peptide/protein toxins from degradation, consequently keeping them active longer. In conclusion, this was the first experimental evidence about the natural existence of serine protease inhibitor in the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which preserved the activity of venom components, suggests that scorpions may use protease inhibitors for survival.

  19. Hemostatic properties of Venezuelan Bothrops snake venoms with special reference to Bothrops isabelae venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Sánchez, Elda E; Márquez, Adriana; Carvajal, Zoila; Salazar, Ana M; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Gil, Amparo; Guerrero, Belsy

    2010-11-01

    In Venezuela, Bothrops snakes are responsible for more than 80% of all recorded snakebites. This study focuses on the biological and hemostatic characteristics of Bothrops isabelae venom along with its comparative characteristics with two other closely related Bothrops venoms, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops colombiensis. Electrophoretic profiles of crude B. isabelae venom showed protein bands between 14 and 100 kDa with the majority in the range of 14-31 kDa. The molecular exclusion chromatographic profile of this venom contains five fractions (F1-F5). Amidolytic activity evaluation evidenced strong thrombin-like followed by kallikrein-like activities in crude venom and in fractions F1 and F2. The fibrinogenolytic activity of B. isabelae venom at a ratio of 100:1 (fibrinogen/venom) induced a degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 15 min and 2 h, respectively. At a ratio of 100:10, a total degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 5 min and of gamma chains at 24 h was apparent. This current study evidences one of rarely reported for Bothrops venoms, which resembles the physiologic effect of plasmin. B. isabelae venom as well as F2 and F3 fractions, contain fibrinolytic activity on fibrin plate of 36, 23.5 and 9.45 mm(2)/microg, respectively using 25 microg of protein. Crude venom and F1 fraction showed gelatinolytic activity. Comparative analysis amongst Venezuelan bothropoid venoms, evidenced that the LD(50) of B. isabelae (5.9 mg/kg) was similar to B. atrox-Puerto Ayacucho 1 (6.1 mg/kg) and B. colombiensis-Caucagua (5.8 mg/kg). B. isabelae venom showed minor hemorrhagic activity, whereas B. atrox-Parguasa (Bolivar state) was the most hemorrhagic. In this study, a relative high thrombin-like activity was observed in B. colombiensis venoms (502-568 mUA/min/mg), and a relative high factor Xa-like activity was found in B. atrox venoms (126-294 mUA/min/mg). Fibrinolytic activity evaluated with 10 microg protein, showed that B. isabelae venom contained higher

  20. [Venomous and poisonous animals--I. Overview].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chippaux, J P; Goyffon, M

    2006-06-01

    Venomous animals that are able to innoculate or inject venom and poisonous animals that cannot inject venom but are toxic when ingested belong to all zoological groups. They can be encountered worldwide in any ecosystem on land and at sea but they are more common and more dangerous in tropical areas. This first article of a series to appear in the next issues of Medecine Tropicale presents an overview of species involved in envenomations and poisonings. In addition to a brief reviewing geographic risks and circumstances in which bites, stings or ingestion occur, some information is provided about antivenim therapy, the only etiological treatment.

  1. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.;

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we...... show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from...... day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results...

  2. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, N; Lefèvre, T; Jensen, A B; d'Ettorre, P

    2012-02-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results provide evidence for the evolution of unsociability following pathogen infection in a social animal and suggest an important role of inclusive fitness in driving such evolution.

  3. Characterizing Tityus discrepans scorpion venom from a fractal perspective: Venom complexity, effects of captivity, sexual dimorphism, differences among species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Suze, Gina; Sandoval, Moisés; Sevcik, Carlos

    2015-12-15

    A characteristic of venom elution patterns, shared with many other complex systems, is that many their features cannot be properly described with statistical or euclidean concepts. The understanding of such systems became possible with Mandelbrot's fractal analysis. Venom elution patterns were produced using the reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with 1 mg of venom. One reason for the lack of quantitative analyses of the sources of venom variability is parametrizing the venom chromatograms' complexity. We quantize this complexity by means of an algorithm which estimates the contortedness (Q) of a waveform. Fractal analysis was used to compare venoms and to measure inter- and intra-specific venom variability. We studied variations in venom complexity derived from gender, seasonal and environmental factors, duration of captivity in the laboratory, technique used to milk venom.

  4. Ecological venomics: How genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics can shed new light on the ecology and evolution of venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Morgenstern, David; Reitzel, Adam M; Moran, Yehu

    2016-03-01

    Animal venom is a complex cocktail of bioactive chemicals that traditionally drew interest mostly from biochemists and pharmacologists. However, in recent years the evolutionary and ecological importance of venom is realized as this trait has direct and strong influence on interactions between species. Moreover, venom content can be modulated by environmental factors. Like many other fields of biology, venom research has been revolutionized in recent years by the introduction of systems biology approaches, i.e., genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The employment of these methods in venom research is known as 'venomics'. In this review we describe the history and recent advancements of venomics and discuss how they are employed in studying venom in general and in particular in the context of evolutionary ecology. We also discuss the pitfalls and challenges of venomics and what the future may hold for this emerging scientific field.

  5. Extreme diversity of scorpion venom peptides and proteins revealed by transcriptomic analysis: implication for proteome evolution of scorpion venom arsenal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yibao; He, Yawen; Zhao, Ruiming; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2012-02-16

    Venom is an important genetic development crucial to the survival of scorpions for over 400 million years. We studied the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal by means of comparative transcriptome analysis of venom glands and phylogenetic analysis of shared types of venom peptides and proteins between buthids and euscorpiids. Fifteen types of venom peptides and proteins were sequenced during the venom gland transcriptome analyses of two Buthidae species (Lychas mucronatus and Isometrus maculatus) and one Euscorpiidae species (Scorpiops margerisonae). Great diversity has been observed in translated amino acid sequences of these transcripts for venom peptides and proteins. Seven types of venom peptides and proteins were shared between buthids and euscorpiids. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that at least five of the seven common types of venom peptides and proteins were likely recruited into the scorpion venom proteome before the lineage split between Buthidae and Euscorpiidae with their corresponding genes undergoing individual or multiple gene duplication events. These are α-KTxs, βKSPNs (β-KTxs and scorpines), anionic peptides, La1-like peptides, and SPSVs (serine proteases from scorpion venom). Multiple types of venom peptides and proteins were demonstrated to be continuously recruited into the venom proteome during the evolution process of individual scorpion lineages. Our results provide an insight into the recruitment pattern of the scorpion venom arsenal for the first time.

  6. Echidna venom gland transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of monotreme venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S W Wong

    Full Text Available Monotremes (echidna and platypus are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence, we compared the deeply sequenced transcriptome of an in-season echidna crural gland to that of a platypus and searched for putative venom genes to provide clues into the function of echidna venom and the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. We found that the echidna venom gland transcriptome was markedly different from the platypus with no correlation between the top 50 most highly expressed genes. Four peptides found in the venom of the platypus were detected in the echidna transcriptome. However, these genes were not highly expressed in echidna, suggesting that they are the remnants of the evolutionary history of the ancestral venom gland. Gene ontology terms associated with the top 100 most highly expressed genes in echidna, showed functional terms associated with steroidal and fatty acid production, suggesting that echidna "venom" may play a role in scent communication during the breeding season. The loss of the ability to erect the spur and other unknown evolutionary forces acting in the echidna lineage resulted in the gradual decay of venom components and the evolution of a new role for the crural gland.

  7. Snake oil and venoms for medical research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolpert, H. D.

    2011-04-01

    Some think that using derivatives of snake venom for medical purposes is the modern version of snake oil but they are seriously misjudging the research potentials of some of these toxins in medicines of the 2000's. Medical trials, using some of the compounds has proven their usefulness. Several venoms have shown the possibilities that could lead to anticoagulants, helpful in heart disease. The blood clotting protein from the taipan snake has been shown to rapidly stop excessive bleeding. The venom from the copperhead may hold an answer to breast cancer. The Malaysian pit viper shows promise in breaking blood clots. Cobra venom may hold keys to finding cures for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. Rattlesnake proteins from certain species have produced blood pressure medicines. Besides snake venoms, venom from the South American dart frog, mollusks (i.e. Cone Shell Snail), lizards (i.e. Gila Monster & Komodo Dragon), some species of spiders and tarantulas, Cephalopods, mammals (i.e. Platypus & Shrews), fish (i.e. sting rays, stone fish, puffer fish, blue bottle fish & box jelly fish), intertidal marine animals (echinoderms)(i.e. Crown of Thorn Star Fish & Flower Urchin) and the Honeybee are being investigated for potential medical benefits.

  8. On the venom system of centipedes (Chilopoda), a neglected group of venomous animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, Eivind A B; King, Glenn F

    2011-03-15

    Centipedes are among the oldest extant terrestrial arthropods and are an ecologically important group of soil and leaf litter predators. Despite their abundance and frequent, often painful, encounters with humans, little is known about the venom and venom apparatus of centipedes, although it is apparent that these are both quite different from other venomous lineages. The venom gland can be regarded as an invaginated cuticle and epidermis, consisting of numerous epithelial secretory units each with its own unique valve-like excretory system. The venom contains several different enzymes, but is strikingly different to most other arthropods in that metalloproteases appear to be important. Myotoxic, cardiotoxic, and neurotoxic activities have been described, most of which have been attributed to high molecular weight proteins. Neurotoxic activities are also unusual in that G-protein coupled receptors often seem to be involved, either directly as targets of neurotoxins or indirectly by activating endogenous agonists. These relatively slow responses may be complemented by the rapid effects caused by histamines present in the venom and from endogenous release of histamines induced by venom cytotoxins. The differences probably reflect the ancient and independent evolutionary history of the centipede venom system, although they may also be somewhat exaggerated by the paucity of information available on this largely neglected group.

  9. Black Bear Reactions to Venomous and Non-venomous Snakes in Eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Lynn L; Mansfield, Susan A; Hornby, Kathleen; Hornby, Stewart; Debruyn, Terry D; Mize, Malvin; Clark, Rulon; Burghardt, Gordon M

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon becoming aware of venomous and non-venomous snakes; but in northern Michigan and Minnesota where venomous snakes have been absent for millennia, black bears showed little or no fear in four encounters with non-venomous snakes of three species. The possible roles of experience and evolution in bear reactions to snakes and vice versa are discussed. In all areas studied, black bears had difficulty to recognize non-moving snakes by smell or sight. Bears did not react until snakes moved in 11 of 12 encounters with non-moving timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and four species of harmless snakes. However, in additional tests in this study, bears were repulsed by garter snakes that had excreted pungent anal exudates, which may help explain the absence of snakes, both venomous and harmless, in bear diets reported to date. PMID:25635152

  10. Venom components from Citharischius crawshayi spider (Family Theraphosidae): exploring transcriptome, venomics, and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego-García, Elia; Peigneur, Steve; Waelkens, Etienne; Debaveye, Sarah; Tytgat, Jan

    2010-08-01

    Despite strong efforts, knowledge about the composition of the venom of many spider species remains very limited. This work is the first report of transcriptome and venom analysis of the African spider Citharischius crawshayi. We used combined protocols of transcriptomics, venomics, and biological assays to characterize the venom and genes expressed in venom glands. A cDNA library of the venom glands was constructed and used to generate expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Sequence comparisons from 236 ESTs revealed interesting and unique sequences, corresponding to toxin-like and other components. Mass spectrometrical analysis of venom fractions showed more than 600 molecular masses, some of which showed toxic activity on crickets and modulated sodium currents in DmNa(v)1 and Na(v)1.6 channels as expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Taken together, our results may contribute to a better understanding of the cellular processes involved in the transcriptome and help us to discover new components from spider venom glands with therapeutic potential.

  11. Record dynamics in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O Richardson

    Full Text Available The success of social animals (including ourselves can be attributed to efficiencies that arise from a division of labour. Many animal societies have a communal nest which certain individuals must leave to perform external tasks, for example foraging or patrolling. Staying at home to care for young or leaving to find food is one of the most fundamental divisions of labour. It is also often a choice between safety and danger. Here we explore the regulation of departures from ant nests. We consider the extreme situation in which no one returns and show experimentally that exiting decisions seem to be governed by fluctuating record signals and ant-ant interactions. A record signal is a new 'high water mark' in the history of a system. An ant exiting the nest only when the record signal reaches a level it has never perceived before could be a very effective mechanism to postpone, until the last possible moment, a potentially fatal decision. We also show that record dynamics may be involved in first exits by individually tagged ants even when their nest mates are allowed to re-enter the nest. So record dynamics may play a role in allocating individuals to tasks, both in emergencies and in everyday life. The dynamics of several complex but purely physical systems are also based on record signals but this is the first time they have been experimentally shown in a biological system.

  12. A study of bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Garcia-Lima

    1987-03-01

    Full Text Available The authors studied the bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom isolated from snakes in captivity and wild snakes caught recently. The captive snakes showed a relatively high incidence of bacterial contamination of their venom.

  13. Venom and cnidome ontogeny of the cubomedusae Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClounan, S; Seymour, J

    2012-12-15

    This is the first study to explore venom and cnidome variation of individual cubomedusae, Chironex fleckeri, of different ages and from different regional locations in relation to feeding ecology. As medusae matured the proportion of mastigophores (those nematocysts containing the lethal venom component) in the cnidome increased, along with proportion of the vertebrate toxic fraction, in the venom profile. This switch in cnidome and venom occurred at the seven to ten tentacle stage. Whole venom was found to be toxic specifically to vertebrate cardiac cells, as opposed to vertebrate skeletal cells, and dose dependent, along with the vertebrate toxic fraction. The venom and cnidome ontogeny, along with venom toxicity, is correlated with C. fleckeri's known feeding ecology. Large and mature C. fleckeri feed predominantly on vertebrates, and have a greater proportion of mastigophores in their cnidome along with more vertebrate toxic fraction in their venom, compared to when they are young and small feeding on invertebrates.

  14. Antimicrobial peptides from arachnid venoms and their microbicidal activity in the presence of commercial antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Francia; Villegas, Elba; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel; Rodriguez, Alexis; Paniagua-Solis, Jorge F; Sandoval-Lopez, Gabriel; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Two antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), named La47 and Css54, were isolated from the venom of the spider Lachesana sp. and from the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus, respectively. The primary structures of both La47 and Css54 were determined using N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry. La47 is identical to the AMP latarcin 3a obtained previously from the venom of the spider Lachesana tarabaevi, but the primary structure of Css54 is unique having 60% identities to the AMP ponericin-W2 from the venom of the ant Pachycondyla goeldii. Both La47 and Css54 have typical α-helix secondary structures in hydrophobic mimicking environments. The biological activities of both La47 and Css54 were compared with the AMP Pin2 isolated from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator. La47 has lower antimicrobial and hemolytic activities compared with Css54 and Pin2. In addition, La47 and Pin2 were evaluated in the presence of the commercial antibiotics, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, novobiocin, streptomycin and kanamycin. Interestingly, the best antimicrobial combinations were obtained with mixtures of La47 and Pin2 with the antibiotics chloramphenicol, streptomycin and kanamycin, respectively. Furthermore, the novel peptide Css54 was evaluated in the presence of antibiotics used for the treatment of tuberculosis, isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. Although the mixtures of Css54 with isoniazid, pyrazinamide or ethambutol inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the best effect was found with rifampicin. Overall, these data show a motivating outlook for potential clinical treatments of bacterial infections using AMPs and commercial antibiotics.

  15. Factors underlying the natural resistance of animals against snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Moussatché

    1989-01-01

    Full Text Available The existence of mammals and reptilia with a natural resistance to snake venoms is known since a long time. This fact has been subjected to the study by several research workers. Our experiments showed us that in the marsupial Didelphis marsupialis, a mammal highly resistant to the venom of Bothrops jararaca, and other Bothrops venoms, has a genetically origin protein, a alpha-1, acid glycoprotein, now highly purified, with protective action in mice against the jararaca snake venom.

  16. Utilization of Anting-Anting (Acalypha indica) Leaves as Antibacterial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batubara, Irmanida; Wahyuni, Wulan Tri; Firdaus, Imam

    2016-01-01

    Anting-anting (Acalypha indica) plants is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. This research aims to utilize anting-anting as antibacterial toward Streptococcus mutans and degradation of biofilm on teeth. Anting-anting leaves were extracted by maceration technique using methanol, chloroform, and n-hexane. Antibacterial and biofilm degradation assays were performed using microdilution technique with 96 well. n-Hexane extracts of anting-anting leaves gave the best antibacterial potency with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration value of 500 μg/mL and exhibited good biofilm degradation activity. Fraction of F3 obtained from fractionation of n-hexane's extract with column chromatography was a potential for degradation of biofilm with IC50 value of 56.82 μg/mL. Alkaloid was suggested as antibacterial and degradation of biofilm in the active fraction.

  17. Venom proteomic and venomous glands transcriptomic analysis of the Egyptian scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus (Arachnida: Scorpionidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Quintero-Hernandez, Veronica; Possani, Lourival D

    2013-11-01

    Proteomic analysis of the scorpion venom Scorpio maurus palmatus was performed using reverse-phase HPLC separation followed by mass spectrometry determination. Sixty five components were identified with molecular masses varying from 413 to 14,009 Da. The high percentage of peptides (41.5%) was from 3 to 5 KDa which may represent linear antimicrobial peptides and KScTxs. Also, 155 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were analyzed through construction the cDNA library prepared from a pair of venomous gland. About 77% of the ESTs correspond to toxin-like peptides and proteins with definite open reading frames. The cDNA sequencing results also show the presence of sequences whose putative products have sequence similarity with antimicrobial peptides (24%), insecticidal toxins, β-NaScTxs, κ-KScTxs, α-KScTxs, calcines and La1-like peptides. Also, we have obtained 23 atypical types of venom molecules not recorded in other scorpion species. Moreover, 9% of the total ESTs revealed significant similarities with proteins involved in the cellular processes of these scorpion venomous glands. This is the first set of molecular masses and transcripts described from this species, in which various venom molecules have been identified. They belong to either known or unassigned types of scorpion venom peptides and proteins, and provide valuable information for evolutionary analysis and venomics.

  18. ANT i arbejdslivsforskningen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    for Tidsskrift for Arbejdsliv at stille skarpt på, hvorledes teknologi kan forstås og udforskes, og her står nyere teoridannelser som STS (Science- and Technology Studies) og ANT (Actor-Network Theory) centralt. Dette temanummer af tidsskriftet har derfor disse teorier og deres anvendelse i studier af arbejdsliv...

  19. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

    Peering through a thematic science lens--elementary students embarked on a one-week study of ants during a month-long summer school program. This integrated unit addressed reading and writing skills while developing the science-process skills of observation, inferring, and communicating in a motivating and authentic way. Pre- and post-assessments…

  20. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  1. Scorpion Venom and the Inflammatory Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera L. Petricevich

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Scorpion venoms consist of a complex of several toxins that exhibit a wide range of biological properties and actions, as well as chemical compositions, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics. These venoms are associated with high morbility and mortality, especially among children. Victims of envenoming by a scorpion suffer a variety of pathologies, involving mainly both sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation as well as central manifestations such as irritability, hyperthermia, vomiting, profuse salivation, tremor, and convulsion. The clinical signs and symptoms observed in humans and experimental animals are related with an excessive systemic host inflammatory response to stings and stings, respectively. Although the pathophysiology of envenomation is complex and not yet fully understood, venom and immune responses are known to trigger the release of inflammatory mediators that are largely mediated by cytokines. In models of severe systemic inflammation produced by injection of high doses of venom or venoms products, the increase in production of proinflammatory cytokines significantly contributes to immunological imbalance, multiple organ dysfunction and death. The cytokines initiate a cascade of events that lead to illness behaviors such as fever, anorexia, and also physiological events in the host such as activation of vasodilatation, hypotension, and increased of vessel permeability.

  2. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cassandra M Modahl

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Envenomation of humans by snakes is a complex and continuously evolving medical emergency, and treatment is made that much more difficult by the diverse biochemical composition of many venoms. Venomous snakes and their venoms also provide models for the study of molecular evolutionary processes leading to adaptation and genotype-phenotype relationships. To compare venom complexity and protein sequences, venom gland transcriptomes are assembled, which usually requires the sacrifice of snakes for tissue. However, toxin transcripts are also present in venoms, offering the possibility of obtaining cDNA sequences directly from venom. This study provides evidence that unknown full-length venom protein transcripts can be obtained from the venoms of multiple species from all major venomous snake families. These unknown venom protein cDNAs are obtained by the use of primers designed from conserved signal peptide sequences within each venom protein superfamily. This technique was used to assemble a partial venom gland transcriptome for the Middle American Rattlesnake (Crotalus simus tzabcan by amplifying sequences for phospholipases A2, serine proteases, C-lectins, and metalloproteinases from within venom. Phospholipase A2 sequences were also recovered from the venoms of several rattlesnakes and an elapid snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus, and three-finger toxin sequences were recovered from multiple rear-fanged snake species, demonstrating that the three major clades of advanced snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae, Colubridae have stable mRNA present in their venoms. These cDNA sequences from venom were then used to explore potential activities derived from protein sequence similarities and evolutionary histories within these large multigene superfamilies. Venom-derived sequences can also be used to aid in characterizing venoms that lack proteomic profiles and identify sequence characteristics indicating specific envenomation profiles. This approach, requiring only

  3. Variability of Venom-Neutralizing Properties of Serum from Snakes of the Colubrid Genus Lampropeltis

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    venoms of C. atrx , S. m. bar- potentials for C s. scauhatus (type B) venom bouri, or A. c. mokasen showed persistent (Table 2). inflammation and/or edema...tested, those injected with venom alone. This suggests Harvey (1960) described inhibition of C. atrx that elapid venom myolytic phospholipases Al venom

  4. The Comparison of Effectiveness between Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom Therapy on Low back pain with Radiating pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Tae-ho

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective : The aim of this study is to investigate if Sweet Bee Venom therapy has the equal effect in comparison with Bee Venom Therapy on Low back pain with Radiation pain. Methods : Clinical studies were done 24 patients who were treated low back pain with radiation pain to Dept. of Acupuncture & Moxibusition, of Oriental Medicine Se-Myung University from April 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups ; Bee Venom treated group(Group A, n=10, Sweet Bee Venom treatred group(Group B, n=14. In Bee Venom treated group(Group A, we treated patients with dry needle acupuncture and Bee Venom therapy. In Sweet Bee Venom treatred group(Group B, we treated patients with dry needle acupuncture and Sweet Bee Venom therapy. All process of treatment were performed by double blinding method. To estimate the efficacy of controlling pain. we checked Visual Analog Scale(VAS. For evaluating functional change of patients, Straight Leg Raising Test(S.L.R.T was measured. Results :1. In controlling pain, Sweet Bee Venom treatred group(Group B had similar ability in comparison with Bee Venom treated group(Group A. 2. In promoting function, Sweet Bee Venom treatred group(Group B had similar ability in comparison with Bee Venom treated group(Group A. Conclusions : It may be equal effects as compared with using Bee Venom to treat low back pain with radiation pain using Sweet Bee Venom. We can try to treat other disease known to have effect with Bee Venom.

  5. Centipede Venoms and Their Components: Resources for Potential Therapeutic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Abdul Hakim

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals have evolved with sophisticated bio-chemical strategies to arrest prey and defend themselves from natural predators. In recent years, peptide toxins from venomous animals have drawn considerable attention from researchers due to their surprising chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological diversity. Similar to other venomous animals, centipedes are one of the crucial venomous arthropods that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years in China. Despite signifying pharmacological importance, very little is known about the active components of centipede venoms. More than 500 peptide sequences have been reported in centipede venomous glands by transcriptome analysis, but only a small number of peptide toxins from centipede has been functionally described. Like other venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, and spiders, the venom of centipedes could be an excellent source of peptides for developing drugs for treatments as well as bio-insecticides for agrochemical applications. Although centipede venoms are yet to be adequately studied, the venom of centipedes as well as their components described to date, should be compiled to help further research. Therefore, based on previous reports, this review focusses on findings and possible therapeutic applications of centipede venoms as well as their components.

  6. Dynamic evolution of venom proteins in squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Huttley, Gavin A; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of toxin gene families have revolutionised our understanding of the origin and evolution of reptile venoms, leading to the current hypothesis that venom evolved once in squamate reptiles. However, because of a lack of homologous squamate non-toxin sequences, these conclusions rely on the implicit assumption that recruitments of protein families into venom are both rare and irreversible. Here we use sequences of homologous non-toxin proteins from two snake species to test these assumptions. Phylogenetic and ancestral-state analyses revealed frequent nesting of 'physiological' proteins within venom toxin clades, suggesting early ancestral recruitment into venom followed by reverse recruitment of toxins back to physiological roles. These results provide evidence that protein recruitment into venoms from physiological functions is not a one-way process, but dynamic, with reversal of function and/or co-expression of toxins in different tissues. This requires a major reassessment of our previous understanding of how animal venoms evolve.

  7. Urea in Weaver Ant Feces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjaer, Nanna H.; Wollenweber, Bernd; Jensen, Karl-Martin V.;

    2016-01-01

    investigate the interactions of weaver ants with the host plants with respect to plant nutrition. Here, we report the identification and quantification of urea, a highly effective foliar nutrient present in the fecal depositions of O. smaragdina. Feces samples obtained from six O. smaragdina colonies were......Weaver ants are tropical insects that nest in tree canopies, and for centuries these ants have been used for pest control in tropical orchards. Trees hosting weaver ants might benefit not only from the pest protective properties of these insects but also an additional supply of nutrients from ant...

  8. Inflammatory effects of snake venom metalloproteinases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina de Fátima Pereira Teixeira

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Metalloproteinases are abundant enzymes in crotaline and viperine snake venoms. They are relevant in the pathophysiology of envenomation, being responsible for local and systemic hemorrhage frequently observed in the victims. Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP are zinc-dependent enzymes of varying molecular weights having multidomain organization. Some SVMP comprise only the proteinase domain, whereas others also contain a disintegrin-like domain, cysteine-rich, and lectin domains. They have strong structural similarities with both mammalian matrix metalloproteinases (MMP and members of ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase group. Besides hemorrhage, snake venom metalloproteinase induce local myonecrosis, skin damage, and inflammatory reaction in experimental models. Local inflammation is an important characteristic of snakebite envenomations inflicted by viperine and crotaline snake species. Thus, in the recent years there is a growing effort to understand the mechanisms responsible for SVMP-induced inflammatory reaction and the structural determinants of this effect. This short review focuses the inflammatory effects evoked by SVMP.

  9. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders;

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Hereditary congenital cataract varies immensely concerning location and form of the lens opacities. A specific and very rare phenotype is called "ant-egg" cataract first described in 1900. "Ant-eggs" have previously been examined using light microscopy, backscattered electron imaging and X......-ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT......-egg" structures in "ant-egg" cataract. Eighteen of these proteins are not natively found in the human lens. Moreover, "ant-eggs" do not vary over time, after cataract extraction, regarding size and location....

  10. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Venoms from Russian Vipers of Pelias Group: Phospholipases A2 are the Main Venom Components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey I. Kovalchuk

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Venoms of most Russian viper species are poorly characterized. Here, by quantitative chromato-mass-spectrometry, we analyzed protein and peptide compositions of venoms from four Vipera species (V. kaznakovi, V. renardi, V. orlovi and V. nikolskii inhabiting different regions of Russia. In all these species, the main components were phospholipases A2, their content ranging from 24% in V. orlovi to 65% in V. nikolskii. Altogether, enzyme content in venom of V. nikolskii reached ~85%. Among the non-enzymatic proteins, the most abundant were disintegrins (14% in the V. renardi venom, C-type lectin like (12.5% in V. kaznakovi, cysteine-rich venom proteins (12% in V. orlovi and venom endothelial growth factors (8% in V. nikolskii. In total, 210 proteins and 512 endogenous peptides were identified in the four viper venoms. They represented 14 snake venom protein families, most of which were found in the venoms of Vipera snakes previously. However, phospholipase B and nucleotide degrading enzymes were reported here for the first time. Compositions of V. kaznakovi and V. orlovi venoms were described for the first time and showed the greatest similarity among the four venoms studied, which probably reflected close relationship between these species within the “kaznakovi” complex.

  11. Allergen immunotherapy for insect venom allergy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dhami, S; Zaman, H; Varga, Eva-Maria

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is in the process of developing the EAACI Guidelines on Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT) for the management of insect venom allergy. To inform this process, we sought to assess the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety...... of AIT in the management of insect venom allergy. METHODS: We undertook a systematic review, which involved searching 15 international biomedical databases for published and unpublished evidence. Studies were independently screened and critically appraised using established instruments. Data were...

  12. THE USE OF THE ANTI-VENOM SPECIFIC ANTIBODIES ISOLATED FROM DUCK EGGS FOR INACTIVATION OF THE VIPER VENOM

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    ADRIANA CRISTE

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The activity of specific anti-venom can be demonstrated using protection test in laboratory mice. Our study aimed to emphasize the possibility of viper venom inactivation by the antibodies produced and isolated from duck eggs and also to the activation concentration of these antibodies. The venom used for inoculation was harvested from two viper species (Vipera ammodytes and Vipera berus. The immunoglobulin extract had a better activity on the venom from Vipera berus compared to the venom from Vipera ammodytes. This could be the result of a better immunological response, as consequence of the immunization with this type of venom, compared to the response recorded when the Vipera ammodytes venom was used. Besides the advantages of low cost, high productivity and reduced risk of anaphylactic shock, the duck eggs also have high activity up to dilutions of 1/16, 1/32, respectively, with specific activity and 100 surviving in individuals which received 3 x DL50.

  13. Long-term primary culture of secretory cells of Bothrops jararaca venom gland for venom production in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanouye, Norma; Kerchove, Celine Marie; Moura-da-Silva, Ana Maria; Carneiro, Sylvia M; Markus, Regina P

    2006-01-01

    This protocol details the optimal conditions to establish a long-term primary culture of secretory cells from the venom gland of the Bothrops jararaca snake. Furthermore, these conditions allow the production and secretion of venom into the culture medium. Snake venom is a rich source of active molecules and has been used for bioprospection studies. However, obtaining enough venom from snakes is a major obstacle. Secretory cells of venom glands are capable of producing active toxins. Therefore, a culture of secretory cells is a good in vitro system to acquire the venom of snakes without capturing the animal from the wild. The protocol described here provides a rapid (approximately 4 h) and reproducible means of producing sufficient amounts of snake venom for biological investigations.

  14. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Ante las puertas de la ley hay un guardian. Un campesino se llega hasta ese guardian y le pide que le permita entra en la ley, pero el guardian le dice que por ahora no se lo puede permitir. El hombre reflexiona y entonces pregunta si podria entrar despues. Es posible -dice el guardian-; pero no ahora. La puerta de entrada a la ley esta abierta como siempre.

  15. Fossilized venom: the unusually conserved venom profiles of Heloderma species (beaded lizards and gila monsters).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N W; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G

    2014-12-22

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  16. Fossilized Venom: The Unusually Conserved Venom Profiles of Heloderma Species (Beaded Lizards and Gila Monsters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Koludarov

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum. Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences. While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  17. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  18. Mediterranean Jellyfish Venoms: A Review on Scyphomedusae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gian Luigi Mariottini

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The production of natural toxins is an interesting aspect, which characterizes the physiology and the ecology of a number of marine species that use them for defence/offence purposes. Cnidarians are of particular concern from this point of view; their venoms are contained in specialized structures–the nematocysts–which, after mechanical or chemical stimulation, inject the venom in the prey or in the attacker. Cnidarian stinging is a serious health problem for humans in the zones where extremely venomous jellyfish or anemones are common, such as in temperate and tropical oceanic waters and particularly along several Pacific coasts, and severe cases of envenomation, including also lethal cases mainly induced by cubomedusae, were reported. On the contrary, in the Mediterranean region the problem of jellyfish stings is quite modest, even though they can have anyhow an impact on public health and be of importance from the ecological and economic point of view owing to the implications on ecosystems and on some human activities such as tourism, bathing and fishing. This paper reviews the knowledge about the various aspects related to the occurrence and the stinging of the Mediterranean scyphozoan jellyfish as well as the activity of their venoms.

  19. Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, Freek Jacobus

    2012-01-01

    in this thesis I have shown that snakes have undergone multiple changes in their genome and embryonic development that has provided them with the variation to which natural selection could act. This thesis provides evidence for the variable mechanisms of venom gene evolution, which presumably is muc

  20. Bee venom hypersensitivity and its management: patients perception of venom desensitisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lui, C L; Heddle, R J; Kupa, A; Coates, T; Roberts-Thomson, P J

    1995-12-01

    The objectives of the study were to review bee venom immunotherapy from the patient's perspective: in particular its benefits and its problems, and to investigate any genetic tendency for bee venom hypersensitivity. A self administered, 9 item questionnaire was sent to 219 patients who had undergone either inpatient or outpatient bee venom immunotherapy at Flinders Medical Center. The clinic records of these patients were also reviewed. The controls for the genetic study were sought from patients, staff and students at Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre. One hundred and forty-six questionnaires (some incomplete and anonymous) were received. The female to male ratio was 1:2.5. The age at the time of the initial anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting ranged between 2 to 59 years, with 67% of patients being less then 20 years old. Forty percent of patients underwent venom immunotherapy for a period less than 2 years with only 11% maintaining therapy for the recommended period of 5 years or more. Thirty three percent of patients stopped their therapy on their own accord. Bee stings occurring during bee venom immunotherapy (n = 56) were generally well tolerated except in 8 subjects, 7 of whom had not reached the maintenance dose. The reduction in systemic reactions to subsequent bee stings was significantly better in the study group receiving bee venom than in an historic control group treated with whole bee extract (p = 0.03). Fear of bee stings and restricted life styles were improved during or after venom immunotherapy. The frequency of a positive family history of systemic reactions to bee stings in the patient cohort was 31%, whereas in controls it was 15% (p = 0.013). Bee venom immunotherapy has dual benefits: patients are protected from subsequent sting anaphylaxis and there is reduced psychological morbidity. However, to be effective, venom immunotherapy requires a prolonged period of carefully supervised treatment and each venom injection can cause

  1. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG...... is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional...

  2. Study on Bee venom and Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyoung-Seok Yun

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to study Bee venom and Pain, We searched Journals and Internet. The results were as follows: 1. The domestic papers were total 13. 4 papers were published at The journal of korean acupuncture & moxibustion society, 3 papers were published at The journal of korean oriental medical society, Each The journal of KyoungHee University Oriental Medicine and The journal of korean sports oriental medical society published 1 papers and Unpublished desertations were 3. The clinical studies were 4 and the experimental studies were 9. 2. The domestic clinical studies reported that Bee venom Herbal Acupuncture therapy was effective on HIVD, Subacute arthritis of Knee Joint and Sequale of sprain. In the domestic experimental studies, 5 were related to analgesic effect of Bee vnom and 4 were related to mechanism of analgesia. 3. The journals searched by PubMed were total 18. 5 papers were published at Pain, Each 2 papers were published at Neurosci Lett. and Br J Pharmacol, and Each Eur J Pain, J Rheumatol, Brain Res, Neuroscience, Nature and Toxicon et al published 1 paper. 4. In the journals searched by PubMed, Only the experimental studies were existed. 8 papers used Bee Venom as pain induction substance and 1 paper was related to analgesic effects of Bee venom. 5. 15 webpage were searched by internet related to Bee Venom and pain. 11 were the introduction related to arthritis, 1 was the advertisement, 1 was the patient's experience, 1 was the case report on RA, 1 was review article.

  3. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

    Use of honey and other bee products in human treatments traced back thousands of years and healing properties are included in many religious texts including the Veda, Bible and Quran. Apitherapy is the use of honey bee products for medical purposes, this include bee venom, raw honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and beeswax. Whereas bee venom therapy is the use of live bee stings (or injectable venom) to treat various diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, sciatica, low back pain, and tennis elbow to name a few. It refers to any use of venom to assist the body in healing itself. Bee venom contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including various enzymes, peptides and amines. Sulfur is believed to be the main element in inducing the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands and in protecting the body from infections. Contact with bee venom produces a complex cascade of reactions in the human body. The bee venom is safe for human treatments, the median lethal dose (LD50) for an adult human is 2.8 mg of venom per kg of body weight, i.e. a person weighing 60 kg has a 50% chance of surviving injections totaling 168 mg of bee venom. Assuming each bee injects all its venom and no stings are quickly removed at a maximum of 0.3 mg venom per sting, 560 stings could well be lethal for such a person. For a child weighing 10 kg, as little as 93.33 stings could be fatal. However, most human deaths result from one or few bee stings due to allergic reactions, heart failure or suffocation from swelling around the neck or the mouth. As compare with other human diseases, accidents and other unusual cases, the bee venom is very safe for human treatments.

  4. Modern trends in animal venom research - omics and nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2017-01-01

    Animal venom research is a specialized investigation field, in which a number of different methods are used and this array is constantly expanding. Thus, recently emerged omics and nanotechnologies have already been successfully applied to venom research. Animal venoms have been studied for quite a long time. The traditional reductionist approach has been to isolate individual toxins and then study their structure and function. Unfortunately, the characterization of the venom as a whole system and its multiple effects on an entire organism were not possible until recent times. The development of new methods in mass spectrometry and sequencing have allowed such characterizations of venom, encompassing the identification of new toxins present in venoms at extremely low concentrations to changes in metabolism of prey organisms after envenomation. In particular, this type of comprehensive research has become possible due to the development of the various omics technologies: Proteomics, peptidomics, transcriptomics, genomics and metabolomics. As in other research fields, these omics technologies ushered in a revolution for venom studies, which is now entering the era of big data. Nanotechnology is a very new branch of technology and developing at an extremely rapid pace. It has found application in many spheres and has not bypassed the venom studies. Nanomaterials are quite promising in medicine, and most studies combining venoms and nanomaterials are dedicated to medical applications. Conjugates of nanoparticles with venom components have been proposed for use as drugs or diagnostics. For example, nanoparticles conjugated with chlorotoxin - a toxin in scorpion venom, which has been shown to bind specifically to glioma cells - are considered as potential glioma-targeted drugs, and conjugates of neurotoxins with fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles or quantum dots may be used to detect endogenous targets expressed in live cells. The data on application of omics and

  5. Animal venom studies: Current benefits and future developments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuri; N; Utkin

    2015-01-01

    Poisonous organisms are represented in many taxa, including kingdom Animalia. During evolution, animals have developed special organs for production and injection of venoms. Animal venoms are complex mixtures, compositions of which depend on species producing venom. The most known and studied poisonous terrestrial animals are snakes, scorpions and spiders. Among marine animals, these are jellyfishes, anemones and cone snails. The toxic substances in the venom ofthese animals are mainly of protein and peptide origin. Recent studies have indicated that the single venom may contain up to several hundred different components producing diverse physiological effects. Bites or stings by certain poisonous species result in severe envenomations leading in some cases to death. This raises the problem of bite treatment. The most effective treatment so far is the application of antivenoms. To enhance the effectiveness of such treatments, the knowledge of venom composition is needed. On the other hand, venoms contain substances with unique biological properties, which can be used both in basic science and in clinical applications. The best example of toxin application in basic science is α-bungarotoxin the discovery of which made a big impact on the studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Today compositions of venom from many species have already been examined. Based on these data, one can conclude that venoms contain a large number of individual components belonging to a limited number of structural types. Often minor changes in the amino acid sequence give rise to new biological properties. Change in the living conditions of poisonous animals lead to alterations in the composition of venoms resulting in appearance of new toxins. At the same time introduction of new methods of proteomics and genomics lead to discoveries of new compounds, which may serve as research tools or as templates for the development of novel drugs. The application of these sensitive and

  6. Oxyopinins, large amphipathic peptides isolated from the venom of the wolf spider Oxyopes kitabensis with cytolytic properties and positive insecticidal cooperativity with spider neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corzo, Gerardo; Villegas, Elba; Gómez-Lagunas, Froylan; Possani, Lourival D; Belokoneva, Olga S; Nakajima, Terumi

    2002-06-28

    Five amphipathic peptides with antimicrobial, hemolytic, and insecticidal activity were isolated from the crude venom of the wolf spider Oxyopes kitabensis. The peptides, named oxyopinins, are the largest linear cationic amphipathic peptides from the venom of a spider that have been chemically characterized at present. According to their primary structure Oxyopinin 1 is composed of 48 amino acid residues showing extended sequence similarity to the ant insecticidal peptide ponericinL2 and to the frog antimicrobial peptide dermaseptin. Oxyopinins 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d have highly similar sequences. At least 27 out of 37 amino acid residues are conserved. They also show a segment of sequence similar to ponericinL2. Circular dichroism analyses showed that the secondary structure of the five peptides is essentially alpha-helical. Oxyopinins showed disrupting activities toward both biological membranes and artificial vesicles, particularly to those rich in phosphatidylcholine. Electrophysiological recordings performed on insect cells (Sf9) showed that the oxyopinins produce a drastic reduction of cell membrane resistance by opening non-selective ion channels. Additionally, a new paralytic neurotoxin named Oxytoxin 1 was purified from the same spider venom. It contains 69 amino acid residue cross-linked by five disulfide bridges. Application of mixtures containing oxyopinins and Oxytoxin 1 to insect larvae showed a potentiation phenomenon, by which an increase lethality effect is observed. These results suggest that the linear amphipathic peptides in spider venoms and neuropeptides cooperate to capture insects efficiently.

  7. [Use of medicinal plants against scorpionic and ophidian venoms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memmi, A; Sansa, G; Rjeibi, I; El Ayeb, M; Srairi-Abid, N; Bellasfer, Z; Fekhih, A

    2007-01-01

    The scorpionic and ophidian envenomations are a serious public health problem in Tunisia especially in Southeastern regions. In these regions Artemisia campestris L is a plant well known which has a very important place in traditional medicine for its effectiveness against alleged venom of scorpions and snakes. In this work, we tested for the first time, the anti-venomous activity of Artemisia campestris L against the scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii and the viper Macrovipera lebetina venoms. Assays were conducted by fixing the dose of extract to3 mg/mouse while doses of venom are variable. The leaves of Artemisia campestris L were extracted by various organic solvents (Ether of oil, ethyl acetate, methanol and ethanol) and each extract was tested for its venom neutralizing capacity. For the ethanolic extract, a significant activity with respect to the venoms of scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii (Aag), was detected. Similarly, a significant neutralizing activity against the venom of a viper Macrovipera lebetina (Ml), was obtained with the dichloromethane extract. These results suggest the presence of two different type of chemical components in this plant: those neutralizing the venom of scorpion are soluble in ethanol whereas those neutralizing the venom of viper are soluble in dichloromethane.

  8. Oral Absorption of Mesobuthus eupeus Scorpion Venom in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zohreh Hosseini

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: To explore the oral absorption of scorpion venom an ELISA were designed in this study. Scorpions and their venom were been used for centuries as medical treatments in traditional medicine. The oral administration of drug referred as the convenient way, as there was not any publication about gastro-intestinal absorption of scorpion venom; this experiment checked oral absorption of Mesobuthus eupeus scorpion venom in mice. Methods: Six groups of mice orally received 0, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2 and 5 mg/kg of M. eupeus venom and their blood samples were tacked after 15, 30, 60 min and 2, 4, 6, 24, 48 h after that. The presence of venom the blood samples were detected with a house- antigen capture ELISA. Results: The venom was absorbed after its feeding to mice. The animals expressed no signs of envenomation and, the venom was detectable by AC-ELISA as soon as 15 min after its feed. Maximum serum levels were 2 h after its meal. Conclusion: The orally administrated venom was absorbed to the blood circulation without any clinically symptoms.

  9. A simple protocol for venom peptide barcoding in scorpions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Schaffrath

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Scorpion venoms contain many species-specific peptides which target ion channels in cell membranes. Without harming the scorpions, these peptides can easily be extracted and detected by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. So far, only few studies compared the venom of different species solely for taxonomic purposes. Here, we describe a very simple protocol for venom extraction and mass fingerprinting that was developed for peptide barcoding (venom code for species identification and facilitates reproducibility if sample preparation is performed under field conditions. This approach may serve as suitable basis for a taxonomy-oriented scorpion toxin database that interacts with MALDI-TOF mass spectra.

  10. Inhibitors of snake venoms and development of new therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Elda E; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2008-01-01

    Natural inhibitors of snake venoms play a significant role in the ability to neutralize the degradation effects induced by venom toxins. It has been known for many years that animal sera and some plant extracts are competent in neutralizing snake venoms. The purpose of this review is to highlight the recent work that has been accomplished with natural inhibitors of snake venoms as well as revisiting the past research including those found in plants. The biomedical value of these natural inhibitors can lead to the development of new therapeutics for an assortment of diseases as well as contributing to efficient antivenoms for the treatment of ophidic accidents.

  11. Effects of gamma radiation on bee venom: preliminary studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costa, H.; Boni-Mitake, M.; Souza, C.F.; Rogero, J.R. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Div. de Radiobiologia

    1999-11-01

    Africanized honeybees are very common insects in Brazil and frequently cause accidents followed by important immunological reactions and even deaths. Their venoms are composed of a complex mixture of substances of general biological actions. several works utilizing ionizing radiation showed that it is able to modify protein structures, and successfully detoxify snake venoms toxins, although maintaining its immunological properties. The main objective of this paper was to study the effects of gamma radiation on bee venom, regarding some biochemical and toxicological aspects. Africanized Apis melllifera whole venom (2 mg/ml) in 0.15 M Na Cl solution was irradiated with 2 kGy in a {sup 60} Co source. Preliminary studies has been carried out in order to identify some biochemical changes after irradiation. Concerning this, irradiated and native venom were submitted to a molecular exclusion chromatography (Sephadex G-100), UV absorption spectrum and protein concentration analysis. It could be seen that irradiated bee venom spectrum presented differences when compared to native bee venom, suggesting that some structural alterations has occurred. Protein concentration and chromatography profiles were not changes after irradiation. In order to evaluate the toxicity a lethality assay (L D{sub 50}) has been performed with both venoms, and irradiated venom showed to be less toxic than native one. (author) 23 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  12. Observations on white and yellow venoms from an individual southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis helleri).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, E K; Kardong, K V; Ownby, C L

    1987-01-01

    Biochemical differences in white and yellow venoms produced in the separate venom glands of an individual southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis helleri) were investigated. Compared to the yellow venom, the white venom contained fewer low molecular weight components and was considerably less toxic. Although the exact LD50 was not determined, the white venom did not produce toxic effects in mice when injected i.v. at concentrations up to 10 mg/kg. The i.v. LD50 of the yellow venom was approximately 1.6 mg/kg. Both white and yellow venoms had hemorrhagic activity, but the white venom caused less intradermal hemorrhage in mice. No L-amino acid oxidase activity was measured in the white venom and protease and phospholipase A2 activities of the white venom were much less than in the yellow venom. The white and yellow venoms both produced myonecrosis at 1, 3 and 24 hr after i.m. injection into mice, however, there were some qualitative differences in the myonecrosis produced. When the venom samples were reacted against Wyeth's polyvalent (Crotalidae) antivenom using immunodiffusion, three precipitin bands formed against the yellow venom, whereas only one formed against the white venom. When reacted against an antiserum to myotoxin alpha from C. viridis viridis venom, both the white and yellow venoms produced one precipitin band each.

  13. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  14. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants.

  15. Effects of gamma radiation on snake venoms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nascimento, N.; Spencer, P.J.; Andrade, H.F.; Guarnieri, M.C.; Rogero, J.R

    1998-06-01

    Ionizing radiation is able to detoxify several venoms, including snake venoms, without affecting significantly their immunogenic properties. In order to elucidate this phenomena, we conceived a comparative pharmacological study between native and irradiated (2,000 Gy) crotoxin, the main toxin of the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. Crotoxin was isolated and purified by molecular exclusion chromatography, pI precipitation and, subsequently submitted to irradiation. Gel filtration of the irradiated toxin resulted in some high molecular weight aggregates formation. Crotoxin toxicity decreased two folds after irradiation, as determined by LD{sub 50} in mice. Native and irradiated crotoxin biodistribution ocurred in the same general manner, with renal elimination. However, in contrast to irradiated crotoxin, the native form was initially retained in kidneys. A later concentration (2-3 hr) appeared in phagocytic mononuclear cells rich organs (liver and spleen) and neural junction rich organs (muscle and brain)

  16. Peptidomic and transcriptomic profiling of four distinct spider venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldrati, Vera; Koua, Dominique; Allard, Pierre-Marie; Hulo, Nicolas; Arrell, Miriam; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Lisacek, Frédérique; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Stöcklin, Reto

    2017-01-01

    Venom based research is exploited to find novel candidates for the development of innovative pharmacological tools, drug candidates and new ingredients for cosmetic and agrochemical industries. Moreover, venomics, as a well-established approach in systems biology, helps to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the production of such a great molecular biodiversity. Today the advances made in the proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics fields, favor venomics, allowing the in depth study of complex matrices and the elucidation even of minor compounds present in minute biological samples. The present study illustrates a rapid and efficient method developed for the elucidation of venom composition based on NextGen mRNA sequencing of venom glands and LC-MS/MS venom proteome profiling. The analysis of the comprehensive data obtained was focused on cysteine rich peptide toxins from four spider species originating from phylogenetically distant families for comparison purposes. The studied species were Heteropoda davidbowie (Sparassidae), Poecilotheria formosa (Theraphosidae), Viridasius fasciatus (Viridasiidae) and Latrodectus mactans (Theridiidae). This led to a high resolution profiling of 284 characterized cysteine rich peptides, 111 of which belong to the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK) structural motif. The analysis of H. davidbowie venom revealed a high richness in term of venom diversity: 95 peptide sequences were identified; out of these, 32 peptides presented the ICK structural motif and could be classified in six distinct families. The profiling of P. formosa venom highlighted the presence of 126 peptide sequences, with 52 ICK toxins belonging to three structural distinct families. V. fasciatus venom was shown to contain 49 peptide sequences, out of which 22 presented the ICK structural motif and were attributed to five families. The venom of L. mactans, until now studied for its large neurotoxins (Latrotoxins), revealed the presence of 14 cysteine rich

  17. Whole Transcriptome of the Venom Gland from Urodacus yaschenkoi Scorpion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Juárez-González, Víctor Rivelino; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-01-01

    Australian scorpion venoms have been poorly studied, probably because they do not pose an evident threat to humans. In addition, the continent has other medically important venomous animals capable of causing serious health problems. Urodacus yaschenkoi belongs to the most widely distributed family of Australian scorpions (Urodacidae) and it is found all over the continent, making it a useful model system for studying venom composition and evolution. This communication reports the whole set of mRNA transcripts produced by the venom gland. U. yaschenkoi venom is as complex as its overseas counterparts. These transcripts certainly code for several components similar to known scorpion venom components, such as: alpha-KTxs, beta-KTxs, calcins, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, sodium-channel toxins, toxin-like peptides, allergens, La1-like, hyaluronidases, ribosomal proteins, proteasome components and proteins related to cellular processes. A comparison with the venom gland transcriptome of Centruroides noxius (Buthidae) showed that these two scorpions have similar components related to biological processes, although important differences occur among the venom toxins. In contrast, a comparison with sequences reported for Urodacus manicatus revealed that these two Urodacidae species possess the same subfamily of scorpion toxins. A comparison with sequences of an U. yaschenkoi cDNA library previously reported by our group showed that both techniques are reliable for the description of the venom components, but the whole transcriptome generated with Next Generation Sequencing platform provides sequences of all transcripts expressed. Several of which were identified in the proteome, but many more transcripts were identified including uncommon transcripts. The information reported here constitutes a reference for non-Buthidae scorpion venoms, providing a comprehensive view of genes that are involved in venom production. Further, this work identifies new putative

  18. Grass Valley Venom FlashPak录像机

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Thomson新推出的Grass Valley Venom FIashPak录像机,可配合草谷VIPER Film Stream数字电影摄像机使用。Venom FlashPak是一款灵巧可靠的台式系统,可以记录VIPER摄影机输出的未压缩视频。

  19. Embriotoxic effects of maternal exposure to Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. S. Barão

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Tityus serrulatus is the most venomous scorpion in Brazil; however, it is not known whether its venom causes any harm to the offspring whose mothers have received it. This study investigates whether the venom of T. serrulatus may lead to deleterious effects in the offspring, when once administered to pregnant rats at a dose that causes moderate envenomation (3mg/kg. The venom effects were studied on the 5th and on the 10th gestation day (GD5 and GD10. The maternal reproductive parameters of the group that received the venom on GD5 showed no alteration. The group that received the venom on GD10 presented an increase in post-implantation losses. In this group, an increase in the liver weight was also observed and one-third of the fetuses presented incomplete ossification of skull bones. None of the groups that received the venom had any visceral malformation or delay in the fetal development of their offspring. The histopathological analysis revealed not only placentas and lungs but also hearts, livers and kidneys in perfect state. Even having caused little effect on the dams, the venom may act in a more incisive way on the offspring, whether by stress generation or by a direct action.

  20. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Yan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species.

  1. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-11-27

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species.

  2. Accelerated evolution of crotalinae snake venom gland serine proteases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deshimaru, M; Ogawa, T; Nakashima, K; Nobuhisa, I; Chijiwa, T; Shimohigashi, Y; Fukumaki, Y; Niwa, M; Yamashina, I; Hattori, S; Ohno, M

    1996-11-11

    Eight cDNAs encoding serine proteases isolated from Trimeresurus flavoviridis (habu snake) and T. gramineus (green habu snake) venom gland cDNA libraries showed that nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions have accumulated in the mature protein-coding regions to cause amino acid changes. Southern blot analysis of T. flavoviridis genomic DNAs using two proper probes indicated that venom gland serine protease genes form a multigene family in the genome. These observations suggest that venom gland serine proteases have diversified their amino acid sequences in an accelerating manner. Since a similar feature has been previously discovered in crotalinae snake venom gland phospholipase A2 (PLA2) isozyme genes, accelerated evolution appears to be universal in plural isozyme families of crotalinae snake venom gland.

  3. [Accidents with venomous and poisonous animals in Central Europe].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodio, Mauro; Junghanss, Thomas

    2009-05-01

    Central Europe is largely safe from accidents with venomous and poisonous animals. The regions where European vipers are regularly found are shrinking. Today accidents with jellyfish and stings of venomous fish afflicted during leisure activities at the sea side play the dominant role. Life threatening accidents in Europe are mainly due to exotic snakes held in captivity. A system useful in daily medical practice is explained to classify and stage accidents due to poisonous and venomous animals. The important poisonous and venomous animals of Central Europe and the specific therapeutics, the antivenoms, are covered. The antivenom depot "Antivenin-CH" of the Swiss Toxicology Information Centre in Zurich and the MRITox in Munich with the antivenom registry Munich AntiVenom INdex (MAVIN) are presented.

  4. Influence of ionizing radiation on Cobra (Naja haje) and Cerastes cerastes venoms: Toxicological and immunological aspects

    OpenAIRE

    Esmat A. Shaban

    2003-01-01

    The effect of gamma irradiation (15 KGy) on the Cobra Naja haje and Cerastes cerastes venoms toxicity and immunogenicity was evaluated. Irradiated venoms were at least 28.1% less toxic than non-irradiated venoms. However the antigenic response was not changed as judged by the capacity of irradiated venoms to react with polyvalent antivenom horse serum. The immunodiffusion method showed identity between irradiated and non-irradiated samples. The effect of gamma radiation on some venom enzymes ...

  5. Venom landscapes: mining the complexity of spider venoms via a combined cDNA and mass spectrometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escoubas, Pierre; Sollod, Brianna; King, Glenn F

    2006-05-01

    The complexity of Australian funnel-web spider venoms has been explored via the combined use of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry coupled with chromatographic separation and the analysis of venom-gland cDNA libraries. The results show that these venoms are far more complex than previously realized. We show that the venoms of Australian funnel-web spiders contain many hundreds of peptides that follow a bimodal distribution, with about 75% of the peptides having a mass of 3000-5000 Da. The mass spectral data were validated by matching the experimentally observed masses with those predicted from peptide sequences derived from analysis of venom-gland cDNA libraries. We show that multiple isoforms of these peptides are found in small chromatographic windows, which suggests that the wide distribution of close molecular weights among the chromatographic fractions probably reflects a diversity of structures and physicochemical properties. The combination of all predicted and measured parameters permits the interpretation of three-dimensional 'venom landscapes' derived from LC-MALDI analysis. We propose that these venom landscapes might have predictive value for the discovery of various groups of pharmacologically distinct toxins in complex venoms.

  6. Snake venomics of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) and investigation of human IgG response against venom toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Gutiérrez, José María; Lohse, Brian

    2015-01-01

    /cardiotoxins. IgGs isolated from a person who had repeatedly self-immunized with a variety of snake venoms were immunoprofiled by ELISA against all venom fractions. Stronger responses against larger toxins, but lower against the most critical α-neurotoxins were obtained. As expected, no neutralization potential...

  7. A Study on Major Components of Bee Venom Using Electrophoresis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee, Jin-Seon

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to study on major components of various Bee Venom(Bee Venom by electrical stimulation in Korea; K-BV I, Bee Venom by Microwave stimulation in Korea; K -BV II, 0.5rng/ml, Fu Yu Pharmaceutical Factory, China; C-BV, 1mg /ml, Monmouth Pain Institute, Inc., U.S.A.; A-BV using Electrophoresis. The results were summarized as follows: 1. In 1:4000 Bee Venom solution rate, the band was not displayed distinctly usmg Electrophoresis. But in 1: 1000, the band showed clearly. 2. The results of Electrophoresis at solution rate 1:1000, K-BV I and K-BVII showed similar band. 3. The molecular weight of Phospholipase A2 was known as 19,000 but its band was seen at 17,000 in Electrophoresis. 4. Protein concentration of Bee Venom by Lowry method was different at solution rate 1:4000 ; C-BV was 250μg/ml, K-BV I was 190μg/ml, K-BV Ⅱ was 160μg/ml and C-BV was 45μg/ml. 5. Electrophoresis method was unuseful for analysis of Bee Venom when solution rate is above 1:4000 but Protein concentration of Bee Venom by Lowry method was possible. These data from the study can be applied to establish the standard measurement of Bee Venom and prevent pure bee venom from mixing of another components. I think it is desirable to study more about safety of Bee Venom as time goes by.

  8. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins: tools for biological purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Chaves-Moreira, Daniele; Wille, Ana Carolina M; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Gremski, Waldemiro; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2011-03-01

    Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5-40 kDa). Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters), and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  9. Brown Spider (Loxosceles genus Venom Toxins: Tools for Biological Purposes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Senff-Ribeiro

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5–40 kDa. Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters, and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  10. Effect of suramin on myotoxicity of some crotalid snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.Z. Arruda

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the protective effect of suramin, an enzyme inhibitor and an uncoupler of G protein from receptors, on the myotoxic activity in mice of different crotalid snake venoms (A.c. laticinctus, C.v. viridis, C.d. terrificus, B. jararacussu, B. moojeni, B. alternatus, B. jararaca, L. muta. Myotoxicity was evaluated in vivo by injecting im the venoms (0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg dissolved in physiological saline solution (0.1 ml and measuring plasma creatine kinase (CK activity. Two experimental approaches were used in mice (N = 5 for each group. In protocol A, 1 mg of each venom was incubated with 1.0 mg suramin (15 min, 37ºC, in vitro, and then injected im into the mice at a dose of 1.0 mg/kg (in vivo. In protocol B, venoms, 1.0 mg/kg, were injected im 15 min prior to suramin (1.0 mg/kg, iv. Before and 2 h after the im injection blood was collected by orbital puncture. Plasma was separated and stored at 4ºC for determination of CK activity using a diagnostic kit from Sigma. Preincubation of some venoms (C.v. viridis, A.c. laticinctus, C.d. terrificus and B. jararacussu with suramin reduced (37-76% the increase in plasma CK, except for B. alternatus, B. jararaca or L. muta venoms. Injection of suramin after the venom partially protected (34-51% against the myotoxicity of B. jararacussu, A.c. laticinctus and C.d. terrificus venom, and did not protect against C.v. viridis, L. muta, B. moojeni, B. alternatus or B. jararaca venoms. These results show that suramin has an antimyotoxic effect against some, but not all the North and South American crotalid snake venoms studied here.

  11. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini...

  12. Venom immunotherapy improves health-related quality of life in patients allergic to yellow jacket venom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elberink, JNGO; de Monchy, JGR; van der Heide, S; Guyatt, GH; Dubois, AEJ

    2002-01-01

    Background: Venom immunotherapy (VIT) is effective in preventing anaphylactic reactions after insect stings. The effect of VIT on health-related quality of life (HRQL) was studied to evaluate whether this treatment is of importance to patients. Objective: We compared HRQL outcomes measured with a di

  13. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; van der Duim, René

    2015-01-01

    are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out......In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... viable descriptions of the collective condition of humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. Also and moving past a merely descriptive approach, it discusses it as a useful tool to engage with the situated globalities which come into being through the socio-spatial coupling of tourism...

  14. Epithelium specific ETS transcription factor, ESE-3, of Protobothrops flavoviridis snake venom gland transactivates the promoters of venom phospholipase A2 isozyme genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Hitomi; Murakami, Tatsuo; Hattori, Shosaku; Sakaki, Yoshiyuki; Ohkuri, Takatoshi; Chijiwa, Takahito; Ohno, Motonori; Oda-Ueda, Naoko

    2014-12-15

    Protobothrops flavoviridis (habu) (Crotalinae, Viperidae) is a Japanese venomous snake, and its venom contains the enzymes with a variety of physiological activities. The phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the major components and exert various toxic effects. They are expressed abundantly in the venom gland. It is thought that the venom gland-specific transcription factors play a key role for activation of PLA2 genes specifically expressed in the venom gland. Thus, the full-length cDNA library for P. flavoviridis venom gland after milking of the venom was made to explore the transcription factors therein. As a result, three cDNAs encoding epithelium-specific ETS transcription factors (ESE)-1, -2, and -3 were obtained. Among them, ESE-3 was specifically expressed in the venom gland and activated the proximal promoters of venom PLA2 genes, which are possibly regarded as the representatives of the venom gland-specific protein genes in P. flavoviridis. Interestingly, the binding specificity of ESE-3 to the ETS binding motif located near TATA box is well correlated with transcriptional activities for the venom PLA2 genes. This is the first report that venom gland-specific transcription factor could actually activate the promoters of the venom protein genes.

  15. Venom physiology and composition in a litter of Common Death Adders (Acanthophis antarcticus) and their parents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pintor, Anna F V; Winter, Kelly L; Krockenberger, Andrew K; Seymour, Jamie E

    2011-01-01

    Metabolic expenditure has been shown to increase abruptly in several snake species directly after venom expenditure, while the later stages of venom replenishment seem to involve minor costs. This study examines the dependence of increases in metabolic rate following venom expenditure on the stage of venom replenishment that the venom producing tissue is in at the time of venom extraction in the Common Death Adder, Acanthophis antarcticus. Potential changes in venom composition during venom replenishment are also explored to elucidate whether replenishment is achieved via low rates of synthesis of all venom components or by non-parallel protein production, i.e. initial production of some venom components and subsequent synthesis of others. The results of this study indicate that venom expenditure is followed by a sudden increase in metabolic rate when snakes have previously not expended venom for at least two days, suggesting that repetitive venom expenditure does not further increase the activity of venom gland tissue in this initial time period but that a second upregulation occurs when the tissue is past the initial activation stage. In addition, venom composition appears to remain constant during replenishment within an individual, while substantial variations can be observed even between siblings.

  16. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

    26. jaanuaril toimub Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilises Raamatukogus seminar silmapaistvast Eesti teadlasest ja tõlkijast Ants Orasest. Esinevad kirjandusteadlased Tallinna Ülikoolist, Tartu Ülikoolist ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumist. Avaettekandeks on sõna Oklahoma Ülikooli professoril Vincent B. Leitchil, kes oli Ants Orase viimaseks juhendatavaks doktorandiks. Seminari korraldavad Tallinna Ülikool ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum. Vt ka Postimees, 26, jaan., lk. 18

  17. Chironex fleckeri (Box Jellyfish) Venom Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L.; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; McInerney, Bernie V.; Mulvenna, Jason; Seymour, Jamie E.; Isbister, Geoffrey K.; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2014-01-01

    The box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri produces extremely potent and rapid-acting venom that is harmful to humans and lethal to prey. Here, we describe the characterization of two C. fleckeri venom proteins, CfTX-A (∼40 kDa) and CfTX-B (∼42 kDa), which were isolated from C. fleckeri venom using size exclusion chromatography and cation exchange chromatography. Full-length cDNA sequences encoding CfTX-A and -B and a third putative toxin, CfTX-Bt, were subsequently retrieved from a C. fleckeri tentacle cDNA library. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the new toxins belong to a small family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins that includes two other C. fleckeri toxins, CfTX-1 and CfTX-2. Phylogenetic inferences from amino acid sequences of the toxin family grouped CfTX-A, -B, and -Bt in a separate clade from CfTX-1 and -2, suggesting that the C. fleckeri toxins have diversified structurally and functionally during evolution. Comparative bioactivity assays revealed that CfTX-1/2 (25 μg kg−1) caused profound effects on the cardiovascular system of anesthetized rats, whereas CfTX-A/B elicited only minor effects at the same dose. Conversely, the hemolytic activity of CfTX-A/B (HU50 = 5 ng ml−1) was at least 30 times greater than that of CfTX-1/2. Structural homology between the cubozoan toxins and insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins (δ-endotoxins) suggests that the toxins have a similar pore-forming mechanism of action involving α-helices of the N-terminal domain, whereas structural diversification among toxin members may modulate target specificity. Expansion of the cnidarian toxin family therefore provides new insights into the evolutionary diversification of box jellyfish toxins from a structural and functional perspective. PMID:24403082

  18. Identifying potential evolutionary relationships within a facultative lycaenid-ant system: Ant association,oviposition, and butterfly-ant conflict

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NEIL COLLIER

    2007-01-01

    Facultative associations are commonly encountered between ants and lycaenids,although the nature and patterns of associations are typically unclear. This study investigated a facultative symbiosis involving the lycaenid Theclinesthes albocincta (Lycaenidae), its host plant Adriana quadripartita and Australian native ants. Ants in the genera Ochetellus and Iridomyrmex were most frequently found in association with T. albocincta larvae,although Iridomyrmex ants were found in much lower abundance than were ants in Ochetellus. The abundances of Ochetellus and Iridomyrmex were highly correlated with larval abundance, but not egg abundance. Observations and experiments recorded oviposition on male inflorescences on more than 95% of occasions, but oviposition was not greater on inflorescences with ants present. Behavioral assays showed that Iridomyrmex ants were aggressive towards female butterflies on significantly more occasions than were Ochetellus ants. These findings indicate potential evolutionary relationships between T. albocincta and two genera of ants that were abundant within the habitat.

  19. Scyphozoan jellyfish venom metalloproteinases and their role in the cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunkyoung; Jung, Eun-sun; Kang, Changkeun; Yoon, Won Duk; Kim, Jong-Shu; Kim, Euikyung

    2011-09-01

    The present study, for the first time, comparatively investigated the enzymatic activities (proteases and hyaluronidases) in the venoms of four Scyphozoan jellyfish species, including Nemopilema nomurai, Rhopilema esculenta, Cyanea nozakii, and Aurelia aurita. For this, various zymographic analyses were performed using assay specific substrates. Interestingly, all the four jellyfish venoms showed gelatinolytic, caseinolytic, and fibrinolytic activities, each of which contains a multitude of enzyme components with molecular weights between 17 and 130 kDa. These four jellyfish venoms demonstrated a huge variation in their proteolytic activities in quantitative and qualitative manner depending on the species. Most of these enzymatic activities were disappeared by the treatment of 1,10-phenanthroline, suggesting they might be belonged to metalloproteinases. Toxicological significance of these venom proteases was examined by comparing their proteolytic activity and the cytotoxicity in NIH 3T3 cells. The relative cytotoxic potency was C. nozakii > N. nomurai > A. aurita > R. esculenta. The cytotoxicity of jellyfish venom shows a positive correlation with its overall proteolytic activity. The metalloproteinases appear to play an important role in the induction of jellyfish venom toxicities. In conclusion, the present report proposes a novel finding of Scyphozoan jellyfish venom metalloproteinases and their potential role in the cytotoxicity.

  20. Micrurus snake venoms activate human complement system and generate anaphylatoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanaka Gabriela D

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genus Micrurus, coral snakes (Serpentes, Elapidae, comprises more than 120 species and subspecies distributed from the south United States to the south of South America. Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and further respiratory arrest within a few hours after envenomation. Clinical observations show mainly neurotoxic symptoms, although other biological activities have also been experimentally observed, including cardiotoxicity, hemolysis, edema and myotoxicity. Results In the present study we have investigated the action of venoms from seven species of snakes from the genus Micrurus on the complement system in in vitro studies. Several of the Micrurus species could consume the classical and/or the lectin pathways, but not the alternative pathway, and C3a, C4a and C5a were generated in sera treated with the venoms as result of this complement activation. Micrurus venoms were also able to directly cleave the α chain of the component C3, but not of the C4, which was inhibited by 1,10 Phenanthroline, suggesting the presence of a C3α chain specific metalloprotease in Micrurus spp venoms. Furthermore, complement activation was in part associated with the cleavage of C1-Inhibitor by protease(s present in the venoms, which disrupts complement activation control. Conclusion Micrurus venoms can activate the complement system, generating a significant amount of anaphylatoxins, which may assist due to their vasodilatory effects, to enhance the spreading of other venom components during the envenomation process.

  1. [Drug or plant substances which antagonize venoms or potentiate antivenins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chippaux, J P; Rakotonirina, V S; Rakotonirina, A; Dzikouk, G

    1997-01-01

    Dendroaspis jamesoni (Elapidae) and Echis oceliatus (Viperidae) are responsible for most of severe evenomation in Cameroon. Toxicity of venoms of these two species has been measured using mice according to the method of Spearman & Kàrber. The effect on experimental envenomation of various drugs (atropine, promethazine, neostigmine, hydrocortisone, pentosane sulfuric polyester, heparin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid) and plant extracts (Schumanniophyton magnificum, Bidens pilosa, Securidaca longepedunculata and Garcinia lucida) has been observed associated or not with the antivenom lpser Afrique (SAV). The venom of D. jamesoni contains neurotoxins agonizing and antagonising acetylcholine. The toxicity of the venom did not depend on the route of injection. Atropine, promethazine, neostigmine and hydrocortisone protected animals against a venom dose up to 2 LD50. Moreover, atropine and promethazine potentiated the SAV. Similar results have been obtained with extracts from S. magnificum and B. pilosa. The venom of E. ocellatus induces haemorrhage and necrosis. The toxicity increased by 3-fold when the venom was injected through intravenous or intraperitoneal route, compared to intramuscular route. Pentosane sulfuric polyester and tranexamic acid protected mice against doses up to 3 LD50. Pentosane sulfuric polyester, hydrocortisone, heparin and aminocaproic acid increased the SAV protective titre by 50%. However, tried plant extracts weakly antagonised the venom and did not potentiate the SAV.

  2. Effects of Animal Venoms and Toxins on Hallmarks of Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Hodgson, Wayne C; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Prasongsook, Naiyarat

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides, targeting vital physiological processes. Venoms have evolved to assist in the capture and digestion of prey. Key venom components often include neurotoxins, myotoxins, cardiotoxins, hematoxins and catalytic enzymes. The pharmacological activities of venom components have been investigated as a source of potential therapeutic agents. Interestingly, a number of animal toxins display profound anticancer effects. These include toxins purified from snake, bee and scorpion venoms effecting cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptotic activity and neovascularization. Indeed, the mechanism behind the anticancer effect of certain toxins is similar to that of agents currently used in chemotherapy. For example, Lebein is a snake venom disintegrin which generates anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). In this review article, we highlight the biological activities of animal toxins on the multiple steps of tumour formation or hallmarks of cancer. We also discuss recent progress in the discovery of lead compounds for anticancer drug development from venom components.

  3. Neutralization of Apis mellifera bee venom activities by suramin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Kik, Camila Z; Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Tomaz, Marcelo Amorim; Gaban, Glauco A; Fonseca, Tatiane F; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Oliveira, Suellen D S; Silva, Claudia L M; Martinez, Ana Maria Blanco; Melo, Paulo A

    2013-06-01

    In this work we evaluated the ability of suramin, a polysulfonated naphthylurea derivative, to antagonize the cytotoxic and enzymatic effects of the crude venom of Apis mellifera. Suramin was efficient to decrease the lethality in a dose-dependent way. The hemoconcentration caused by lethal dose injection of bee venom was abolished by suramin (30 μg/g). The edematogenic activity of the venom (0.3 μg/g) was antagonized by suramin (10 μg/g) in all treatment protocols. The changes in the vascular permeability caused by A. mellifera (1 μg/g) venom were inhibited by suramin (30 μg/g) in the pre- and posttreatment as well as when the venom was preincubated with suramin. In addition, suramin also inhibited cultured endothelial cell lesion, as well as in vitro myotoxicity, evaluated in mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle, which was inhibited by suramin (10 and 25 μM), decreasing the rate of CK release, showing that suramin protected the sarcolemma against damage induced by components of bee venom (2.5 μg/mL). Moreover, suramin inhibited the in vivo myotoxicity induced by i.m. injection of A. mellifera venom in mice (0.5 μg/g). The analysis of the area under the plasma CK vs. time curve showed that preincubation, pre- and posttreatment with suramin (30 μg/g) inhibited bee venom myotoxic activity in mice by about 89%, 45% and 40%, respectively. Suramin markedly inhibited the PLA2 activity in a concentration-dependent way (1-30 μM). Being suramin a polyanion molecule, the effects observed may be due to the interaction of its charges with the polycation components present in A. mellifera bee venom.

  4. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

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    Ulrich G Mueller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens and extended lifespans (10-20 years. In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells, and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants, an analog of artificial selection.

  5. Immobilizing and lethal effects of spider venoms on the cockroach and the common mealbeetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedel, T; Nentwig, W

    1989-01-01

    Immobilizing and lethal effects of the venoms obtained from six spider species (Brachypelma albopilosum, Atrax robustus, Cupiennius salei, Selenops mexicanus, Tegenaria atrica, Argiope bruennichi) were tested on Blatta orientalis (cockroach) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). The immobilizing effects were quantified by measuring insect locomotor activity in circle arenas observed over 72 hr after venom injection. Both insect species showed cramps, quivering and jerking of the limbs as well as flaccid paralysis after venom injection. Through relative toxicity of the venoms tested is the same in T. molitor and B. orientalis, T. molitor is absolutely less sensitive to spider venoms. The effects on locomotor activity show time characteristics specific for each venom. A dependence of the venom paralyzing effects on insect locomotor activity, low intensity of the initial excitatory phase of the venom effects and partial recovery of the insects was found with A. bruennichi and T. atrica venom. The maximal venom yields of A. bruennichi and S. mexicanus are not lethal to B. orientalis, indicating that the mere immobilizing effects of spider venoms are far more crucial to prey capture than their lethal effects. The contribution of a variety of differently acting neurotoxic components in spider venoms to the observed venom effects on insects and the significance of the venoms in spider nutrition, hunting behaviour and ecology are discussed.

  6. Production and packaging of a biological arsenal: evolution of centipede venoms under morphological constraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Hamilton, Brett R; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Bowlay, Greg; Cribb, Bronwen W; Merritt, David J; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F; Venter, Deon J

    2015-03-31

    Venom represents one of the most extreme manifestations of a chemical arms race. Venoms are complex biochemical arsenals, often containing hundreds to thousands of unique protein toxins. Despite their utility for prey capture, venoms are energetically expensive commodities, and consequently it is hypothesized that venom complexity is inversely related to the capacity of a venomous animal to physically subdue prey. Centipedes, one of the oldest yet least-studied venomous lineages, appear to defy this rule. Although scutigeromorph centipedes produce less complex venom than those secreted by scolopendrid centipedes, they appear to rely heavily on venom for prey capture. We show that the venom glands are large and well developed in both scutigerid and scolopendrid species, but that scutigerid forcipules lack the adaptations that allow scolopendrids to inflict physical damage on prey and predators. Moreover, we reveal that scolopendrid venom glands have evolved to accommodate a much larger number of secretory cells and, by using imaging mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that toxin production is heterogeneous across these secretory units. We propose that the differences in venom complexity between centipede orders are largely a result of morphological restrictions of the venom gland, and consequently there is a strong correlation between the morphological and biochemical complexity of this unique venom system. The current data add to the growing body of evidence that toxins are not expressed in a spatially homogenous manner within venom glands, and they suggest that the link between ecology and toxin evolution is more complex than previously thought.

  7. Brown spider venom toxins interact with cell surface and are endocytosed by rabbit endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Sene, Reginaldo Vieira; Paludo, Katia Sabrina; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Oliver, Constance; Jamur, Maria Célia; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Trindade, Edvaldo S; Franco, Célia Regina C

    2010-09-15

    Bites from the Loxosceles genus (brown spiders) cause severe clinical symptoms, including dermonecrotic injury, hemorrhage, hemolysis, platelet aggregation and renal failure. Histological findings of dermonecrotic lesions in animals exposed to Loxosceles intermedia venom show numerous vascular alterations. Study of the hemorrhagic consequences of the venom in endothelial cells has demonstrated that the degeneration of blood vessels results not only from degradation of the extracellular matrix molecule or massive leukocyte infiltration, but also from a direct and primary activity of the venom on endothelial cells. Exposure of an endothelial cell line in vitro to L. intermedia venom induce morphological alterations, such as cell retraction and disadhesion to the extracellular matrix. The aim of the present study was to investigate the interaction between the venom toxins and the endothelial cell surface and their possible internalization, in order to illuminate the information about the deleterious effect triggered by venom. After treating endothelial cells with venom toxins, we observed that the venom interacts with cell surface. Venom treatment also can cause a reduction of cell surface glycoconjugates. When cells were permeabilized, it was possible to verify that some venom toxins were internalized by the endothelial cells. The venom internalization involves endocytic vesicles and the venom was detected in the lysosomes. However, no damage to lysosomal integrity was observed, suggesting that the cytotoxic effect evoked by L. intermedia venom on endothelial cells is not mediated by venom internalization.

  8. [Snake venom metalloproteinases: structure, biosynthesis and function(s)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limam, I; El Ayeb, M; Marrakchi, N

    2010-01-01

    The biochemical and the pharmacological characterization of snake venoms revealed an important structural and functional polymorphism of proteins which they contain. Among them, snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) constitute approximatively 20 to 60% of the whole venom proteins. During the last decades, a significant progress was performed against structure studies and the biosynthesis of the SVMPs. Indeed, several metalloproteases were isolated and characterized against their structural and pharmacological properties. In this review, we report the most important properties concerning the classification, the structure of the various domains of the SVMPs as well as their biosynthesis and their activities as potential therapeutic agents.

  9. Analysis of Fang Puncture Wound Patterns in Isfahan Province’s, Iran, Venomous and Non-Venomous Snakes

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    Dehghani R.1 PhD,

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims Venomous snake bites are public health problems in different parts of the world. The most specific mainstay in the treatment of envenomation is anti-venom. To treat the envenomation, it is very important to identify the offending species. This study was designed to determine the penetrating pattern of fangs and teeth of some viper snakes. Materials & Methods This descriptive study was performed on live venomous and nonvenomous snakes from 2010 till 2011. All 47 sample snakes were collected from different regions of Isfahan province such as Kashan City, Ghamsar, Niasar, Mashhad Ardehal, Taher- Abad and Khozagh. Their mouths were inspected every two weeks and development of their fangs and teeth were recorded by taking clear digital photos. Fangs and teeth patterns of samples were drawn and the results were compared. Findings One or two wounds appeared as typical fang marks at the bite site of venomous snakes while non-venomous snakes had two carved rows of small teeth. Three different teeth and fang patterns were recognized in venomous snakes which were completely different. Conclusion The fang marks of venomous snakes do not always have a common and classic pattern and there are at least 3 different patterns in Isfahan province, Iran.

  10. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

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    John T Longino

    Full Text Available In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  11. Recruitment of Glycosyl Hydrolase Proteins in a Cone Snail Venomous Arsenal: Further Insights into Biomolecular Features of Conus Venoms

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    Philippe Favreau

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cone snail venoms are considered an untapped reservoir of extremely diverse peptides, named conopeptides, displaying a wide array of pharmacological activities. We report here for the first time, the presence of high molecular weight compounds that participate in the envenomation cocktail used by these marine snails. Using a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic approaches, we identified glycosyl hydrolase proteins, of the hyaluronidase type (Hyal, from the dissected and injectable venoms (“injectable venom” stands for the venom variety obtained by milking of the snails. This is in contrast to the “dissected venom”, which was obtained from dissected snails by extraction of the venom glands of a fish-hunting cone snail, Conus consors (Pionoconus clade. The major Hyal isoform, Conohyal-Cn1, is expressed as a mixture of numerous glycosylated proteins in the 50 kDa molecular mass range, as observed in 2D gel and mass spectrometry analyses. Further proteomic analysis and venom duct mRNA sequencing allowed full sequence determination. Additionally, unambiguous segment location of at least three glycosylation sites could be determined, with glycans corresponding to multiple hexose (Hex and N-acetylhexosamine (HexNAc moieties. With respect to other known Hyals, Conohyal-Cn1 clearly belongs to the hydrolase-type of Hyals, with strictly conserved consensus catalytic donor and positioning residues. Potent biological activity of the native Conohyals could be confirmed in degrading hyaluronic acid. A similar Hyal sequence was also found in the venom duct transcriptome of C. adamsonii (Textilia clade, implying a possible widespread recruitment of this enzyme family in fish-hunting cone snail venoms. These results provide the first detailed Hyal sequence characterized from a cone snail venom, and to a larger extent in the Mollusca phylum, thus extending our knowledge on this protein family and its evolutionary selection in marine snail venoms.

  12. Recombinant phospholipase A1 (Ves v 1 from yellow jacket venom for improved diagnosis of hymenoptera venom hypersensitivity

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    Grunwald Thomas

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hymenoptera venoms are known to cause life-threatening IgE-mediated anaphylactic reactions in allergic individuals. Proper diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy using venom extracts is severely affected by molecular cross-reactivities. Although non-glycosylated marker allergens would facilitate the identification of the culprit venom, the major allergen phospholipase A1 (Ves v 1 from yellow jacket venom (YJV remained unavailable so far. Methods Expression of Ves v 1 as wild type and enzymatically inactivated mutant and Ves v 5 in insect cells yielded soluble proteins that were purified via affinity chromatography. Functionality of the recombinant allergens was assessed by enzymatic and biophysical analyses as well as basophil activation tests. Diagnostic relevance was addressed by ELISA-based analyses of sera of YJV-sensitized patients. Results Both major allergens Ves v 1 and Ves v 5 could be produced in insect cells in secreted soluble form. The recombinant proteins exhibited their particular biochemical and functional characteristics and were capable for activation of human basophils. Assessment of IgE reactivity of sera of YJV-sensitized and double-sensitized patients emphasised the relevance of Ves v 1 in hymenoptera venom allergy. In contrast to the use of singular molecules the combined use of both molecules enabled a reliable assignment of sensitisation to YJV for more than 90% of double-sensitised patients. Conclusions The recombinant availability of Ves v 1 from yellow jacket venom will contribute to a more detailed understanding of the molecular and allergological mechanisms of insect venoms and may provide a valuable tool for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in hymenoptera venom allergy.

  13. Spider-Venom Peptides as Bioinsecticides

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    Glenn F. King

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Over 10,000 arthropod species are currently considered to be pest organisms. They are estimated to contribute to the destruction of ~14% of the world’s annual crop production and transmit many pathogens. Presently, arthropod pests of agricultural and health significance are controlled predominantly through the use of chemical insecticides. Unfortunately, the widespread use of these agrochemicals has resulted in genetic selection pressure that has led to the development of insecticide-resistant arthropods, as well as concerns over human health and the environment. Bioinsecticides represent a new generation of insecticides that utilise organisms or their derivatives (e.g., transgenic plants, recombinant baculoviruses, toxin-fusion proteins and peptidomimetics and show promise as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional agrochemicals. Spider-venom peptides are now being investigated as potential sources of bioinsecticides. With an estimated 100,000 species, spiders are one of the most successful arthropod predators. Their venom has proven to be a rich source of hyperstable insecticidal mini-proteins that cause insect paralysis or lethality through the modulation of ion channels, receptors and enzymes. Many newly characterized insecticidal spider toxins target novel sites in insects. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of these toxins and discuss the potential of this vast peptide library for the discovery of novel bioinsecticides.

  14. Antimetastatic Integrin as Inhibitors of Snake Venoms

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    Felix Rosenow

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Metastasis comprises several subsequent steps including local invasion and intravasation at the primary site, then their adhesion/arrest within the vessels of host organs followed by their extravasation and infiltration into the target organ stroma. In contrast to previous studies which have used aspartate-glycine-arginine (RGD peptides and antibodies against integrins, we used rare collagen- and laminin-antagonizing integrin inhibitors from snake venoms to analyze the colonization of the liver by tumor cells both by intravital microscopy and in vitro. Adhesion of liver-targeting tumor cells to the sinusoid wall components, laminin-1 and fibronectin, is essential for liver metastasis. This step is inhibited by lebein-1, but not by lebein-2 or rhodocetin. Both lebeins from the Vipera lebetina venom block integrin interactions with laminins in an RGD-independent manner. Rhodocetin is an antagonist of α2β1 integrin, a collagen receptor on many tumor cells. Subsequent to tumor cell arrest, extravasation into the liver stroma and micrometastasis are efficiently delayed by rhodocetin. This underlines the importance of α2β1 integrin interaction with the reticular collagen I-rich fibers in liver stroma. Antagonists of laminin- and collagen-binding integrins could be valuable tools to individually block the direct interactions of tumor cells with distinct matrix components of the Disse space, thereby reducing liver metastasis.

  15. Antineoplastic Effects of Honey Bee Venom

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    Mohammad Nabiuni

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Bee venom (BV, like many other complementary medicines, has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of a range of diseases. More recently, BV is also being considered as an effective composition for the treatment of cancer. Cancer is a major worldwide problem. It is obvious that the identification of compounds that can activate apoptosis could be effective on the treatment of cancer. BV is a very complicated mixture of active peptides, enzymes, and biologically active amines. The two main components of BV are melittin and phospholipase A2 (PLA2. Of these two components, melittin, the major active ingredient of BV, has been identified to induce apoptosis and to possess anti-tumor effects. We tried to review antineoplastic effects of BV in this study. Materials and Methods: The related articles were derived from different data bases such as PubMed, Elsevier Science, and Google Scholar using keywords including bee venom, cancer, and apoptosis.Results: According to the results of this study, BV can induce apoptosis and inhibit tumor cell growth and metastasis. Results of in vivo experiments show that the anti-tumor effect of the BV is highly dependent on the manner of injection as well as the distance between the area of injection and the tumor cells.Conclusion: The results obtained from the reported studies revealed that BV has anti-cancer effects and can be used as an effective chemotherapeutic agent against tumors in the future.

  16. Hormone-like peptides in the venoms of marine cone snails

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Robinson, Samuel D.; Li, Qing; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.

    2017-01-01

    The venoms of cone snails (genus Conus) are remarkably complex, consisting of hundreds of typically short, disulfide-rich peptides termed conotoxins. These peptides have diverse pharmacological targets, with injection of venom eliciting a range of physiological responses, including sedation...... in the venoms of cone snails we systematically mined the venom gland transcriptomes of several cone snail species and examined secreted venom peptides in dissected and injected venom of the Australian cone snail Conus victoriae. Using this approach we identified several novel hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins...

  17. Ants medicate to fight disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Sundström, Liselotte; Fuchs, Siiri; Freitak, Dalial

    2015-11-01

    Parasites are ubiquitous, and the ability to defend against these is of paramount importance. One way to fight diseases is self-medication, which occurs when an organism consumes biologically active compounds to clear, inhibit, or alleviate disease symptoms. Here, we show for the first time that ants selectively consume harmful substances (reactive oxygen species, ROS) upon exposure to a fungal pathogen, yet avoid these in the absence of infection. This increased intake of ROS, while harmful to healthy ants, leads to higher survival of exposed ants. The fact that ingestion of this substance carries a fitness cost in the absence of pathogens rules out compensatory diet choice as the mechanism, and provides evidence that social insects medicate themselves against fungal infection, using a substance that carries a fitness cost to uninfected individuals.

  18. Paralyzing action from a distance in an arboreal African ant species.

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    Aline Rifflet

    Full Text Available Due to their prowess in interspecific competition and ability to catch a wide range of arthropod prey (mostly termites with which they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race, ants are recognized as a good model for studying the chemicals involved in defensive and predatory behaviors. Ants' wide diversity of nesting habits and relationships with plants and prey types implies that these chemicals are also very diverse. Using the African myrmicine ant Crematogaster striatula as our focal species, we adopted a three-pronged research approach. We studied the aggressive and predatory behaviors of the ant workers, conducted bioassays on the effect of their Dufour gland contents on termites, and analyzed these contents. (1 The workers defend themselves or eliminate termites by orienting their abdominal tip toward the opponent, stinger protruded. The chemicals emitted, apparently volatile, trigger the recruitment of nestmates situated in the vicinity and act without the stinger having to come into direct contact with the opponent. Whereas alien ants competing with C. striatula for sugary food sources are repelled by this behavior and retreat further and further away, termites defend their nest whatever the danger. They face down C. striatula workers and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. (2 The bioassays showed that the toxicity of the Dufour gland contents acts in a time-dependent manner, leading to the irreversible paralysis, and, ultimately, death of the termites. (3 Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that the Dufour gland contains a mixture of mono- or polyunsaturated long-chain derivatives, bearing functional groups like oxo-alcohols or oxo-acetates. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry showed the presence of a molecule of 1584 Da that might be a large, acetylated alkaloid capable of splitting into smaller molecules that could be responsible for the final degree of venom toxicity.

  19. Component Analysis of Bee Venom from lune to September

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    Ki Rok Kwon

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : The aim of this study was to observe variation of Bee Venom content from the collection period. Methods : Content analysis of Bee Venom was rendered using HPLC method by standard melittin Results : Analyzing melittin content using HPLC, 478.97mg/g at june , 493.89mg/g at july, 468.18mg/g at August and 482.15mg/g was containing in Bee Venom at september. So the change of melittin contents was no significance from June to September. Conclusion : Above these results, we concluded carefully that collecting time was not important factor for the quality control of Bee Venom, restricted the period from June to September.

  20. Biotechnological applications of brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Henrique da Silva, Paulo; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Paludo, Kátia Sabrina; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Gremski, Waldemiro; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2008-01-01

    Loxoscelism (the term used to define accidents by the bite of brown spiders) has been reported worldwide. Clinical manifestations following brown spider bites are frequently associated with skin degeneration, a massive inflammatory response at the injured region, intravascular hemolysis, platelet aggregation causing thrombocytopenia and renal disturbances. The mechanisms by which the venom exerts its noxious effects are currently under investigation. The whole venom is a complex mixture of toxins enriched with low molecular mass proteins in the range of 5-40 kDa. Toxins including alkaline phosphatase, hyaluronidase, metalloproteases (astacin-like proteases), low molecular mass (5.6-7.9 kDa) insecticidal peptides and phospholipases-D (dermonecrotic toxins) have been identified in the venom. The purpose of the present review is to describe biotechnological applications of whole venom or some toxins, with especial emphasis upon molecular biology findings obtained in the last years.

  1. Applications of snake venoms in treatment of cancer

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    Vagish Kumar Laxman Shanbhag

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Snake venoms are folk medicines used since ages. The components of snake venoms have high specific affinity and actions on cells and cell components. Also snake venoms are largely cytotoxic to tumor cells than normal cells. In addition to these, they have several therapeutic actions that make them an attractive option in the management of cancer. The advent of modern technologies has greatly helped in extracting and identifying new components of therapeutic interests in short time. The article highlights the importance of snake venoms in the management of cancer, so as to motivate curious researchers to devote their skills in this fascinating area. This in turn may bring hope, smile and relief to several cancer patients in future.

  2. Applications of snake venoms in treatment of cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vagish; Kumar; Laxman; Shanbhag

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms are folk medicines used since ages. The components of snake venoms have high specific affinity and actions on cells and cell components. Also snake venoms are largely cytotoxic to tumor cells than normal cells. In addition to these, they have several therapeutic actions that make them an attractive option in the management of cancer. The advent of modern technologies has greatly helped in extracting and identifying new components of therapeutic interests in short time. The article highlights the importance of snake venoms in the management of cancer, so as to motivate curious researchers to devote their skills in this fascinating area. This in turn may bring hope, smile and relief to several cancer patients in future.

  3. Neurobiology: venom of wasps and initiation of movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zill, Sasha N; Keller, Bridget R

    2008-06-24

    The ability to initiate movements can be impaired in some brain injuries even though motor actions proceed normally once they are begun. The effects of venom that wasps use in preying upon cockroaches could provide insights into this problem.

  4. Effects of Sweet Bee Venom and Bee Venom on the Heart Rate Variability

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    Yook Tae-Han

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective : In this study, we investigated the effects of Sweet Bee Venom(SBV and Bee Venom(BV at a acupoint, HT7(Shinmun on the Heart Rate Variability(HRV in the healthy man. And we tried to observe how Sweet Bee Venom and Bee Venom affects on the balance of the autonomic nervous system. Methods : We investigated on 22 heathy volunteers consisted of 10 subjects in SBV group and 12 subjects in BV group. Study form was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. 22 subjects of each group were injected SBV and BV at HT7(Shinmun. And we measured HRV by QECG-3:LXC3203 (LAXTHA Inc. Korea on 7 times : before and after injection per 5minutes during 30minutes. Results : 1. After SBV injection, Mean-RR was significantly high from 0 to 10 minutes, Mean-HRV was significantly low from 0 to 10 minutes, SDNN was significantly high after 25minutes, Complexity was significantly high from 5 to 10minutes and RMSSD was significantly high from 5 to 10minutes. 2. Complexity of SBV Group significantly decreased from 20 to 25minutes, RMSSD of SBV Group significantly increased from 10 to 15minute and from 20~25minutes, SDSD of SBV Group significantly increased from 10 to 15 minute and from 20~25minutes compared with that of BV group. 3. After SBV injection, Ln(VLF was significantly from 25 to 30minutes. Conclusions : The results suggest that SBV in heathy adult man tend to activate the autonomic nervous system compared to BV within normal range.

  5. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk;

    2011-01-01

    are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading...

  6. Peptidomic and transcriptomic profiling of four distinct spider venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldrati, Vera; Koua, Dominique; Allard, Pierre-Marie; Hulo, Nicolas; Arrell, Miriam; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Lisacek, Frédérique; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Stöcklin, Reto

    2017-01-01

    Venom based research is exploited to find novel candidates for the development of innovative pharmacological tools, drug candidates and new ingredients for cosmetic and agrochemical industries. Moreover, venomics, as a well-established approach in systems biology, helps to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the production of such a great molecular biodiversity. Today the advances made in the proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics fields, favor venomics, allowing the in depth study of complex matrices and the elucidation even of minor compounds present in minute biological samples. The present study illustrates a rapid and efficient method developed for the elucidation of venom composition based on NextGen mRNA sequencing of venom glands and LC-MS/MS venom proteome profiling. The analysis of the comprehensive data obtained was focused on cysteine rich peptide toxins from four spider species originating from phylogenetically distant families for comparison purposes. The studied species were Heteropoda davidbowie (Sparassidae), Poecilotheria formosa (Theraphosidae), Viridasius fasciatus (Viridasiidae) and Latrodectus mactans (Theridiidae). This led to a high resolution profiling of 284 characterized cysteine rich peptides, 111 of which belong to the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK) structural motif. The analysis of H. davidbowie venom revealed a high richness in term of venom diversity: 95 peptide sequences were identified; out of these, 32 peptides presented the ICK structural motif and could be classified in six distinct families. The profiling of P. formosa venom highlighted the presence of 126 peptide sequences, with 52 ICK toxins belonging to three structural distinct families. V. fasciatus venom was shown to contain 49 peptide sequences, out of which 22 presented the ICK structural motif and were attributed to five families. The venom of L. mactans, until now studied for its large neurotoxins (Latrotoxins), revealed the presence of 14 cysteine rich

  7. [Technogenic factors of ecological impact on properties of snake venom].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abiev, G A; Babaev, E T; Topchieva, Sh A; Chuburidze, T B; Kikalishvili, B Iu

    2009-12-01

    In article comparative literary and experimental data about degree of a level of scrutiny of snake venoms are presented. Obtained data shows that increased pollution of industrial regions results in higher levels of heavy metals in snake venom. Change of physical and chemical parametres, and also pharmacological activity and toxicity of zootoxins under influence biotics, abiotics factors and including heavy metals and radiation is noted.

  8. Venom Proteome of the Box Jellyfish Chironex fleckeri

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The nematocyst is a complex intracellular structure unique to Cnidaria. When triggered to discharge, the nematocyst explosively releases a long spiny, tubule that delivers an often highly venomous mixture of components. The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, produces exceptionally potent and rapid-acting venom and its stings to humans cause severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In an effort to identify toxins that could be responsible for the serious heal...

  9. Triacontyl p-coumarate: an inhibitor of snake venom metalloproteinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, M M; Vieira, S A P B; Gomes, M S R; Paula, V F; Alcântara, T M; Homsi-Brandeburgo, M I; dos Santos, J I; Magro, A J; Fontes, M R M; Rodrigues, V M

    2013-02-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) participate in a number of important biological, physiological and pathophysiological processes and are primarily responsible for the local tissue damage characteristic of viperid snake envenomations. The use of medicinal plant extracts as antidotes against animal venoms is an old practice, especially against snake envenomations. Such plants are sources of many pharmacologically active compounds and have been shown to antagonize the effects of some venoms and toxins. The present study explores the activity of triacontyl p-coumarate (PCT), an active compound isolated from root bark of Bombacopsis glabra vegetal extract (Bg), against harmful effects of Bothropoides pauloensis snake venom and isolated toxins (SVMPs or phospholipase A(2)). Before inhibition assays, Bg or PCT was incubated with venom or toxins at ratios of 1:1 and 1:5 (w/w; venom or isolated toxins/PCT) for 30 min at 37°C. Treatment conditions were also assayed to simulate snakebite with PCT inoculated at either the same venom or toxin site. PCT neutralized fibrinogenolytic activity and plasmatic fibrinogen depletion induced by B. pauloensis venom or isolated toxin. PCT also efficiently inhibited the hemorrhagic (3MDH - minimum hemorrhagic dose injected i.d into mice) and myotoxic activities induced by Jararhagin, a metalloproteinase from B. jararaca at 1:5 ratio (toxin: inhibitor, w/w) when it was previously incubated with PCT and injected into mice or when PCT was administered after toxin injection. Docking simulations using data on a metalloproteinase (Neuwiedase) structure suggest that the binding between the protein and the inhibitor occurs mainly in the active site region causing blockade of the enzymatic reaction by displacement of catalytic water. Steric hindrance may also play a role in the mechanism since the PCT hydrophobic tail was found to interact with the loop associated with substrate anchorage. Thus, PCT may provide a alternative to complement

  10. IN VIVO NEUTRALIZATION OF NAJA NIGRICOLLIS VENOM BY UVARIA CHAMAE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omale James

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Uvaria chamae is a well known medicinal plant in Nigerian traditional medicine for the management of many diseases, but investigations concerning its pharmacological characteristics are rare. In this study, we evaluate its venom neutralizing properties against Naja nigricollis venom in rats. Freshly collected Uvaria chamae leaves were air dried, powdered and extracted in methanol. To study the antivenom properties, albino rats were orally administered with a dose of 400 mg kg-1 body weight and one hour later, the venom was administered intraperitoneally at a dose of 0.08 mg kg-1 body weight of rats. Albino rats (male weighing between 180-200g were randomly divided into five (5 groups of three (3. Groups 1-5 received water, normal saline, venom, Uvaria chamae and venom, Uvaria chamae respectively. Blood clothing time, bleeding time, antipyretic activity, haemoglobin, RBC, WBC, creatine kinase, AST, ALP and ALT activities total protein antioxidant activity and some blood electrolytes, plasma urea and uric acid were measured. Our results showed that Uvaria chamae methanol extract neutralized some biological effects of Naja nigricollis venom. The venom increased the rectal temperature, enzyme activities, bleeding time and other blood parameters. The plant extract was able to reduce these parameters in the extract treated groups. Details of the results are discussed. From this study, it is clear that U. chamae leaf extract had antivenom activity in animal models. The above results indicate that the plant extract possess potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and could potentially be used for therapeutic purpose in case of snake bite envenomation.

  11. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-05-28

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution.

  12. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins.

  13. Venomic Analysis of the Poorly Studied Desert Coral Snake, Micrurus tschudii tschudii, Supports the 3FTx/PLA2 Dichotomy across Micrurus Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Libia Sanz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The venom proteome of the poorly studied desert coral snake Micrurus tschudii tschudii was unveiled using a venomic approach, which identified ≥38 proteins belonging to only four snake venom protein families. The three-finger toxins (3FTxs constitute, both in number of isoforms (~30 and total abundance (93.6% of the venom proteome, the major protein family of the desert coral snake venom. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s; seven isoforms, 4.1% of the venom proteome, 1–3 Kunitz-type proteins (1.6%, and 1–2 l-amino acid oxidases (LAO, 0.7% complete the toxin arsenal of M. t. tschudii. Our results add to the growing evidence that the occurrence of two divergent venom phenotypes, i.e., 3FTx- and PLA2-predominant venom proteomes, may constitute a general trend across the cladogenesis of Micrurus. The occurrence of a similar pattern of venom phenotypic variability among true sea snake (Hydrophiinae venoms suggests that the 3FTx/PLA2 dichotomy may be widely distributed among Elapidae venoms.

  14. Venomic Analysis of the Poorly Studied Desert Coral Snake, Micrurus tschudii tschudii, Supports the 3FTx/PLA₂ Dichotomy across Micrurus Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz, Libia; Pla, Davinia; Pérez, Alicia; Rodríguez, Yania; Zavaleta, Alfonso; Salas, Maria; Lomonte, Bruno; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-06-07

    The venom proteome of the poorly studied desert coral snake Micrurus tschudii tschudii was unveiled using a venomic approach, which identified ≥38 proteins belonging to only four snake venom protein families. The three-finger toxins (3FTxs) constitute, both in number of isoforms (~30) and total abundance (93.6% of the venom proteome), the major protein family of the desert coral snake venom. Phospholipases A₂ (PLA₂s; seven isoforms, 4.1% of the venom proteome), 1-3 Kunitz-type proteins (1.6%), and 1-2 l-amino acid oxidases (LAO, 0.7%) complete the toxin arsenal of M. t. tschudii. Our results add to the growing evidence that the occurrence of two divergent venom phenotypes, i.e., 3FTx- and PLA₂-predominant venom proteomes, may constitute a general trend across the cladogenesis of Micrurus. The occurrence of a similar pattern of venom phenotypic variability among true sea snake (Hydrophiinae) venoms suggests that the 3FTx/PLA₂ dichotomy may be widely distributed among Elapidae venoms.

  15. Venomic Analysis of the Poorly Studied Desert Coral Snake, Micrurus tschudii tschudii, Supports the 3FTx/PLA2 Dichotomy across Micrurus Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz, Libia; Pla, Davinia; Pérez, Alicia; Rodríguez, Yania; Zavaleta, Alfonso; Salas, Maria; Lomonte, Bruno; Calvete, Juan J.

    2016-01-01

    The venom proteome of the poorly studied desert coral snake Micrurus tschudii tschudii was unveiled using a venomic approach, which identified ≥38 proteins belonging to only four snake venom protein families. The three-finger toxins (3FTxs) constitute, both in number of isoforms (~30) and total abundance (93.6% of the venom proteome), the major protein family of the desert coral snake venom. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s; seven isoforms, 4.1% of the venom proteome), 1–3 Kunitz-type proteins (1.6%), and 1–2 l-amino acid oxidases (LAO, 0.7%) complete the toxin arsenal of M. t. tschudii. Our results add to the growing evidence that the occurrence of two divergent venom phenotypes, i.e., 3FTx- and PLA2-predominant venom proteomes, may constitute a general trend across the cladogenesis of Micrurus. The occurrence of a similar pattern of venom phenotypic variability among true sea snake (Hydrophiinae) venoms suggests that the 3FTx/PLA2 dichotomy may be widely distributed among Elapidae venoms. PMID:27338473

  16. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sibel Gokce; Ozhan Kayacan

    2013-05-01

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was investigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, goodand poor-smelling ants, (ii) ants might make U-turn for some special reasons. For some values of densities of good- and poor-smelling ants, the flux and mean velocity of the colony were studied as a function of density and evaporation rate of pheromone.

  17. Venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane L Brinkman

    Full Text Available The nematocyst is a complex intracellular structure unique to Cnidaria. When triggered to discharge, the nematocyst explosively releases a long spiny, tubule that delivers an often highly venomous mixture of components. The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, produces exceptionally potent and rapid-acting venom and its stings to humans cause severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In an effort to identify toxins that could be responsible for the serious health effects caused by C. fleckeri and related species, we used a proteomic approach to profile the protein components of C. fleckeri venom. Collectively, 61 proteins were identified, including toxins and proteins important for nematocyte development and nematocyst formation (nematogenesis. The most abundant toxins identified were isoforms of a taxonomically restricted family of potent cnidarian proteins. These toxins are associated with cytolytic, nociceptive, inflammatory, dermonecrotic and lethal properties and expansion of this important protein family goes some way to explaining the destructive and potentially fatal effects of C. fleckeri venom. Venom proteins and their post-translational modifications (PTMs were further characterized using toxin-specific antibodies and phosphoprotein/glycoprotein-specific stains. Results indicated that glycosylation is a common PTM of the toxin family while a lack of cross-reactivity by toxin-specific antibodies infers there is significant divergence in structure and possibly function among family members. This study provides insight into the depth and diversity of protein toxins produced by harmful box jellyfish and represents the first description of a cubozoan jellyfish venom proteome.

  18. Venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L; Aziz, Ammar; Loukas, Alex; Potriquet, Jeremy; Seymour, Jamie; Mulvenna, Jason

    2012-01-01

    The nematocyst is a complex intracellular structure unique to Cnidaria. When triggered to discharge, the nematocyst explosively releases a long spiny, tubule that delivers an often highly venomous mixture of components. The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, produces exceptionally potent and rapid-acting venom and its stings to humans cause severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In an effort to identify toxins that could be responsible for the serious health effects caused by C. fleckeri and related species, we used a proteomic approach to profile the protein components of C. fleckeri venom. Collectively, 61 proteins were identified, including toxins and proteins important for nematocyte development and nematocyst formation (nematogenesis). The most abundant toxins identified were isoforms of a taxonomically restricted family of potent cnidarian proteins. These toxins are associated with cytolytic, nociceptive, inflammatory, dermonecrotic and lethal properties and expansion of this important protein family goes some way to explaining the destructive and potentially fatal effects of C. fleckeri venom. Venom proteins and their post-translational modifications (PTMs) were further characterized using toxin-specific antibodies and phosphoprotein/glycoprotein-specific stains. Results indicated that glycosylation is a common PTM of the toxin family while a lack of cross-reactivity by toxin-specific antibodies infers there is significant divergence in structure and possibly function among family members. This study provides insight into the depth and diversity of protein toxins produced by harmful box jellyfish and represents the first description of a cubozoan jellyfish venom proteome.

  19. Screening for fibrinolytic activity in eight Viperid venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, M S; Sánchez, E E; García-Prieto, C; Pérez, J C; Chapa, G R; McKeller, M R; Ramírez, R; De Anda, Y

    1999-09-01

    Snake venoms contain direct-acting fibrinolytic metalloproteinases (MMP) that could have important applications in medicine. Fibrinolytic enzymes isolated from venom can induce in vitro clot lysis by directly acting on a fibrin clot. The most ideal fibrinolytic enzyme would have high affinity for clots, dissolve clots directly without causing hemorrhage, and would not be neutralized in vivo by endogenous metalloproteinase inhibitors. The purpose of this study was to compare DEAE/HPLC venom profiles from Viperid snakes and identify fractions that contain fibrinolytic activity with no hemorrhagic activity and are not neutralized by animal sera. The sera selected were from four (Virginia opossum, Gray woodrat, Mexican ground squirrel, and Hispid cottonrat) animals known to neutralize hemorrhagic activity in snake venoms. Nineteen fractions from the Viperid venoms had fibrinolytic activity. Agkistrodon venom fractions contained the highest specific fibrinolytic activities. A. piscivorus leucostoma fraction 4 contained a high specific fibrinolytic activity, no hemorrhagic activity, and the fibrinolytic activity was not neutralized by the proteinase inhibitors of the four animal sera. A. contortrix laticinctus fraction 1 also had a high specific fibrinolytic activity and no hemorrhagic activity. However, the fibrinolytic activity was neutralized by Didelphis virginiana (Virginia opossum) serum.

  20. Embryotoxicity following repetitive maternal exposure to scorpion venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BN Hmed

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although it is a frequent accident in a few countries, scorpion envenomation during pregnancy remains scarcely studied. In the present study, the effects of repetitive maternal exposure to Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom are investigated and its possible embryotoxic consequences on rats. Primigravid rats received a daily intraperitoneal dose of 1 mL/kg of saline solution or 300 µg/kg of crude scorpion venom, from the 7th to the 13th day of gestation. On the 21st day, the animals were deeply anesthetized using diethyl-ether. Then, blood was collected for chemical parameter analysis. Following euthanasia, morphometric measurements were carried out. The results showed a significant increase in maternal heart and lung absolute weights following venom treatment. However, the mean placental weight per rat was significantly diminished. Furthermore, blood urea concentration was higher in exposed rats (6.97 ± 0.62 mmol/L than in those receiving saline solution (4.94 ± 0.90 mmol/L. Many organs of venom-treated rat fetuses (brain, liver, kidney and spleen were smaller than those of controls. On the contrary, fetal lungs were significantly heavier in fetuses exposed to venom (3.2 ± 0.4 g than in the others (3.0 ± 0.2 g. Subcutaneous blood clots, microphthalmia and total body and tail shortening were also observed in venom-treated fetuses. It is concluded that scorpion envenomation during pregnancy potentially causes intrauterine fetal alterations and growth impairment.

  1. Unraveling the processing and activation of snake venom metalloproteinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portes-Junior, José A; Yamanouye, Norma; Carneiro, Sylvia M; Knittel, Paloma S; Sant'Anna, Sávio S; Nogueira, Fabio C S; Junqueira, Magno; Magalhães, Geraldo S; Domont, Gilberto B; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2014-07-03

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are zinc-dependent enzymes responsible for most symptoms of human envenoming. Like matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) proteins, SVMPs are synthesized as zymogens, and enzyme activation is regulated by hydrolysis of their prodomain, but the processing of SVMPs is still unclear. In this study, we attempted to identify the presence of prodomain in different compartments of snake venom glands as zymogens or in the free form to elucidate some mechanism involved in SVMP activation. Using antibodies obtained by immunization with a recombinant prodomain, bands of zymogen molecular mass and prodomain peptides were detected mostly in gland extracts all along the venom production cycle and in the venom collected from the lumen at the peak of venom production. Prodomain was detected in secretory cells mostly in the secretory vesicles near the Golgi. We hypothesize that the processing of SVMPs starts within secretory vesicles and continues in the lumen of the venom gland just after enzyme secretion and involves different steps compared to ADAMs and MMPs but can be used as a model for studying the relevance of peptides resulting from prodomain processing and degradation for controlling the activity of metalloproteinases.

  2. Extracellular matrix molecules as targets for brown spider venom toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veiga S.S.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Loxoscelism, the term used to describe lesions and clinical manifestations induced by brown spider's venom (Loxosceles genus, has attracted much attention over the last years. Brown spider bites have been reported to cause a local and acute inflammatory reaction that may evolve to dermonecrosis (a hallmark of envenomation and hemorrhage at the bite site, besides systemic manifestations such as thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolysis, and renal failure. The molecular mechanisms by which Loxosceles venoms induce injury are currently under investigation. In this review, we focused on the latest reports describing the biological and physiopathological aspects of loxoscelism, with reference mainly to the proteases recently described as metalloproteases and serine proteases, as well as on the proteolytic effects triggered by L. intermedia venom upon extracellular matrix constituents such as fibronectin, fibrinogen, entactin and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, besides the disruptive activity of the venom on Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm basement membranes. Degradation of these extracellular matrix molecules and the observed disruption of basement membranes could be related to deleterious activities of the venom such as loss of vessel and glomerular integrity and spreading of the venom toxins to underlying tissues.

  3. EXPRESSION OF A BEE-VENOM PHOSPHOLIPASE A2 FROM APIS CERANA CERANA IN E,.qCHERICHIA COLI

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li-rongShen; Jia-anCheng; Chuan-xiZhang

    2004-01-01

    The venomous phospholipase A2 (AcPLA2) coding reading region of the Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana), which is composed of 405 bp encoding a mature glycosylated peptide with 134 amino residues was transformed into the expression vector pETblue-1. Then the recombinant vector was introduced into Escherichia coli Tuner (DE3) plac I for expression. Analysis result of SDS-PAGE showed that the expression products had a protein band of about 15 kD. Detection of western blot using ant-European honeybee (Apis mellifera) phospholipase A2 (AmPLA2) polyclonal serum as the first antibody showed that the expression products appeared a special blot same as the native AmPLA2.The result demonstrated that the AcPLA2 peptide had been expressed in E. coli and the AcPLA2 has the similar antigenicity as the AmPLA2.

  4. Alexander Mikhailovich Zakharov and his works on the venom apparatus and venoms of some poisonous snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cherlin Vladimir Alexandrovich

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The article gives brief biographical information about a very talented herpetologist Alexander M. Zakharov, and describes the general results of his works on the structure and function of venom glands of some poisonous snakes and their venoms. In his studies, he got the results, which are fundamentally different from the conventional concept of 30s - 70s of the XX century. Unfortunately, among physicians this concept has not changed up today. At that time it was thought that the poisons of Viperidae snakes are almost completely hemotoxic, and poisons of Elapidae (cobra are almost neurotoxic. But A.M.Zaharov found out, that poisons of both types of snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae include three groups of substances: hemotoxins, neurotoxins and non-toxic component – hyaluronidase. Each of these groups of substances is produced by independent part of venom glands and has its own special effect. Neurotoxins act on the central nervous system (mainly the respiratory center, but are greatly destroyed by means of the blood antigen properties and cannot pass through the hematoencephalic barrier. Hyaluronidase , connecting with neurotoxins, has an important property – to "smuggle" neurotoxins through the hematoencephalic barrier exactly into the target organ – the respiratory center in the central nervous system. In this case, neurotoxin enters the respiratory center not through the blood and lymph vessels, but directly through the nerve channel, through synapsis. The main function of hemotoxins is not to kill the victim, but to protect neurotoxins and hyaluronidase from the destructive activity of the victim's blood. Therefore, the target of the poisons of Viperidae and Elapidae snakes is the central nervous system of victims, but Elapidae has almost no hemotoxins. That’s why their striking effect can be achieved only by a strong increase in the amount of neurotoxins and hyaluronidase. Hemotoxins of Viperidae venoms permits to reduce the amount of

  5. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-07

    In situations with redundant or competing sensory information, humans have been shown to perform cue integration, weighting different cues according to their certainty in a quantifiably optimal manner. Ants have been shown to merge the directional information available from their path integration (PI) and visual memory, but as yet it is not clear that they do so in a way that reflects the relative certainty of the cues. In this study, we manipulate the variance of the PI home vector by allowing ants (Cataglyphis velox) to run different distances and testing their directional choice when the PI vector direction is put in competition with visual memory. Ants show progressively stronger weighting of their PI direction as PI length increases. The weighting is quantitatively predicted by modelling the expected directional variance of home vectors of different lengths and assuming optimal cue integration. However, a subsequent experiment suggests ants may not actually compute an internal estimate of the PI certainty, but are using the PI home vector length as a proxy.

  6. Ant colony optimization in continuous problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Ling; LIU Kang; LI Kaishi

    2007-01-01

    Based on the analysis of the basic ant colony optimization and optimum problem in a continuous space,an ant colony optimization (ACO) for continuous problem is constructed and discussed. The algorithm is efficient and beneficial to the study of the ant colony optimization in a continuous space.

  7. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

    The best place for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships is in their own back yards. Doing investigations of ants allows students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance, and increase their understanding of the environment and their…

  8. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    ant species (iii) Azteca instabilis and (iv) Camponotus textor reduce herbivory by flea beetles (Margaridisa sp.), whereas (v) deposits from Solenopsis geminata, did not lead to reduced herbivory. Further evidence for the impact of ant pheromones comes from studies showing that non-herbivorous ant...

  9. Biochemical and pharmacological study of venom of the wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZH Liu

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis is a large and venomous spider distributed throughout northwestern China. Like other spider venoms, the wolf spider venom is a chemical cocktail. Its protein content is 0.659 mg protein/mg crude venom as determined by the Lowry method. MALDI-TOF analysis revealed that the venom peptides are highly diverse and may be divided into three groups characterized by three independent molecular ranges: 2,000 to 2,500 Da, 4,800 to 5,500 Da and 7,000 to 8,000 Da, respectively. This molecular distribution differs substantially from those of most spider venoms studied so far. This wolf spider venom has low neurotoxic action on mice, but it can induce hemolysis of human erythrocytes. Furthermore, the venom shows antimicrobial activity against prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

  10. Anti-venom potential of aqueous extract of stem bark of Mangifera indica L. against Daboia russellii (Russell's viper) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhananjaya, B L; Zameer, F; Girish, K S; D'Souza, Cletus J M

    2011-06-01

    Several plant extracts rich in pharmacologically active compounds have shown to antagonize venom of several species. Mangifera indica has been used against snakebite by the traditional healers. However, there is paucity of scientific data in support. In this study, we evaluated the antivenom potential of aqueous extract of stem bark of M. indica against D. russellii venom-induced pharmacological effects such as life myotoxicity, edema, LD50 etc. The extract inhibited the phospholipase, protease, hyaluronidase, 5'nucleotidase, ATPase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase activities with varying IC50 values. It significantly inhibited both metalloproteases and serine proteases activities. Further, the extract significantly reduced the myotoxicity of the venom, as evident by the reduction of serum creatin kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities. Though the extract completely inhibited in vitro PLA2 activity, it was unable to completely inhibit in situ hemolytic and in vivo edema-inducing activities, usually brought about by PLA2s. In lethality studies, co-injection of the venom preincubated with the extract showed higher protection than the independent injection of venom, followed by the extract in the mice. However, in both the cases the extract -a cocktail of inhibitors significantly increased the survival time, when compared to that of mice injected (i.p) with the venom alone. These results encourage further studies on the potential use of cocktail of inhibitors in improving the treatment of snake envenomation. Further, this study substantiates the use of M. indica as an antidote against snakebite by the traditional healers.

  11. The antipredatory behaviours of Neotropical ants towards army ant raids (Hymenoptera : Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Dejean, A.; Corbara, B.; Roux, Olivier; Orivel, J.

    2014-01-01

    Group hunting, nomadism, wingless queens and colony fission characterize army ants, allowing them to have become the main tropical arthropod predators, mostly of other social insects. We studied the reactions of different ant species to the New World army ants Eciton burchellii (WESTWOOD, 1842) and E. hamatum (FABRICUS, 1782) (Ecitoninae). We compiled our results with those already known in a synthetic appendix. A wide range of ant species react to the approach of army ant raids by evacuating...

  12. Technetium-99m labeling of tityustoxin and venom from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nunan, E.A.; Cardoso, V.N.; Moraes-Santos, T. E-mail: tmoraes@dedalus.lcc.ufmg.br

    2002-12-01

    The tityustoxin, the most toxic fraction from scorpion Tityus serrulatus venom, has been used as a tool in several neurochemical and neuropharmacological studies. Biological activities of labeled and unlabeled tityustoxin and venom were compared. The samples were labeled in the presence of stannous chloride and sodium borohydride with a yield of 60-70% for the venom and 75-85% for tityustoxin and then chromatographed in Sephadex G-10. Biological activities of tityustoxin and venom were preserved after labeling.

  13. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  14. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  15. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

    The ant colony method is one of heuristic methods capable of solving the traveling salesman problem (TSP), in which a good tour is generated by the artificial ant's probabilistic behavior. However, the generated tour length depends on the parameter describing the ant's behavior, and the best parameters corresponding to the problem to be solved is unknown. In this technical note, the evolutional strategy is presented to find the best parameter of the ant colony by using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) in the parameter space. Numerical simulations for benchmarks demonstrate effectiveness of the evolutional ant colony method.

  16. Partial purification of Chironex fleckeri (sea wasp) venom by immunochromatography with antivenom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calton, G J; Burnett, J W

    1986-01-01

    Chironex fleckeri crude venom was partially purified using immobilized commercially available ovoid antivenom. The antibody preparation reacted with lethal, hemolytic, dermonecrotic and mouse writhing (pain) factors in the crude venom. The lethal activity was purified five fold, while the specific eluate contained lower quantities of hemolytic, dermonecrotic and mouse writhing activities than did the crude venom.

  17. Intraspecific Variation of Centruroides Edwardsii Venom from Two Regions of Colombia

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    Sebastián Estrada-Gómez

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We report the first description studies, partial characterization, and intraspecific difference of Centruroides edwardsii, Gervais 1843, venom. C. edwardsii from two Colombian regions (Antioquia and Tolima were evaluated. Both venoms showed hemolytic activity, possibly dependent of enzymatic active phospholipases, and neither coagulant nor proteolytic activities were observed. Venom electrophoretic profile showed significant differences between C. edwardsii venom from both regions. A high concentration of proteins with molecular masses between 31 kDa and 97.4 kDa, and an important concentration close or below 14.4 kDa were detected. RP-HPLC retention times between 38.2 min and 42.1 min, showed bands close to 14.4 kDa, which may correspond to phospholipases. RP-HPLC venom profile showed a well conserved region in both venoms between 7 and 17 min, after this, significant differences were detected. From Tolima region venom, 50 well-defined peaks were detected, while in the Antioquia region venom, 55 well-defined peaks were detected. Larvicidal activity was only detected in the C. edwardsii venom from Antioquia. No antimicrobial activity was observed using complete venom or RP-HPLC collected fractions of both venoms. Lethally activity (carried out on female albino swiss mice was detected at doses over 19.2 mg/kg of crude venom. Toxic effects included distress, excitability, eye irritation and secretions, hyperventilation, ataxia, paralysis, and salivation.

  18. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearcy, Morgan; Delescaille, Noémie; Lybaert, Pascale; Aron, Serge

    2014-06-01

    In species where females mate promiscuously, competition between ejaculates from different males to fertilize the ova is an important selective force shaping many aspects of male reproductive traits, such as sperm number, sperm length and sperm-sperm interactions. In eusocial Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), males die shortly after mating and their reproductive success is ultimately limited by the amount of sperm stored in the queen's spermatheca. Multiple mating by queens is expected to impose intense selective pressure on males to optimize the transfer of sperm to the storage organ. Here, we report a remarkable case of cooperation between spermatozoa in the desert ant Cataglyphis savignyi. Males ejaculate bundles of 50-100 spermatozoa. Sperm bundles swim on average 51% faster than solitary sperm cells. Team swimming is expected to increase the amount of sperm stored in the queen spermatheca and, ultimately, enhance male posthumous fitness.

  19. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  20. Phylogeny-based comparative analysis of venom proteome variation in a clade of rattlesnakes (Sistrurus sp..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Lisle Gibbs

    Full Text Available A long-standing question in evolutionary studies of snake venoms is the extent to which phylogenetic divergence and diet can account for between-species differences in venom composition. Here we apply phylogeny-based comparative methods to address this question. We use data on venom variation generated using proteomic techniques for all members of a small clade of rattlesnakes (Sistrurus sp. and two outgroups for which phylogenetic and diet information is available. We first complete the characterization of venom variation for all members of this clade with a "venomic" analysis of pooled venoms from two members of this genus, S. milarius streckeri and S. m. milarius. These venoms exhibit the same general classes of proteins as those found in other Sistrurus species but differ in their relative abundances of specific protein families. We then test whether there is significant phylogenetic signal in the relative abundances of major venom proteins across species and if diet (measured as percent mammals and lizards among all prey consumed covaries with venom composition after phylogenetic divergence is accounted for. We found no evidence for significant phylogenetic signal in venom variation: K values for seven snake venom proteins and two composite venom variables [PC 1 and 2] were all nonsignificant and lower (mean = 0.11+0.06 sd than mean K values (>0.35 previously reported for a wide range of morphological, life history, physiological and behavioral traits from other species. Finally, analyses based on Phylogenetic Generalized Least Squares (PGLS methods reveal that variation in abundance of some venom proteins, most strongly CRISP is significantly related to snake diet. Our results demonstrate that venom variation in these snakes is evolutionarily a highly labile trait even among very closely-related taxa and that natural selection acting through diet variation may play a role in molding the relative abundance of specific venom proteins.

  1. Facing Hymenoptera Venom Allergy: From Natural to Recombinant Allergens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amilcar Perez-Riverol

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Along with food and drug allergic reactions, a Hymenoptera insect Sting (Apoidea, Vespidae, Formicidae is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis worldwide. Diagnoses of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA and specific immunotherapy (SIT have been based on the use of crude venom extracts. However, the incidence of cross-reactivity and low levels of sensibility during diagnosis, as well as the occurrence of nonspecific sensitization and undesired side effects during SIT, encourage the search for novel allergenic materials. Recombinant allergens are an interesting approach to improve allergy diagnosis and SIT because they circumvent major problems associated with the use of crude venom. Production of recombinant allergens depends on the profound molecular characterization of the natural counterpart by combining some “omics” approaches with high-throughput screening techniques and the selection of an appropriate system for heterologous expression. To date, several clinically relevant allergens and novel venom toxins have been identified, cloned and characterized, enabling a better understanding of the whole allergenic and envenoming processes. Here, we review recent findings on identification, molecular characterization and recombinant expression of Hymenoptera venom allergens and on the evaluation of these heterologous proteins as valuable tools for tackling remaining pitfalls on HVA diagnosis and immunotherapy.

  2. Exon Shuffling and Origin of Scorpion Venom Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueli Wang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Scorpion venom is a complex combinatorial library of peptides and proteins with multiple biological functions. A combination of transcriptomic and proteomic techniques has revealed its enormous molecular diversity, as identified by the presence of a large number of ion channel-targeted neurotoxins with different folds, membrane-active antimicrobial peptides, proteases, and protease inhibitors. Although the biodiversity of scorpion venom has long been known, how it arises remains unsolved. In this work, we analyzed the exon-intron structures of an array of scorpion venom protein-encoding genes and unexpectedly found that nearly all of these genes possess a phase-1 intron (one intron located between the first and second nucleotides of a codon near the cleavage site of a signal sequence despite their mature peptides remarkably differ. This observation matches a theory of exon shuffling in the origin of new genes and suggests that recruitment of different folds into scorpion venom might be achieved via shuffling between body protein-coding genes and ancestral venom gland-specific genes that presumably contributed tissue-specific regulatory elements and secretory signal sequences.

  3. Facing Hymenoptera Venom Allergy: From Natural to Recombinant Allergens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Riverol, Amilcar; Justo-Jacomini, Débora Lais; Zollner, Ricardo de Lima; Brochetto-Braga, Márcia Regina

    2015-07-09

    Along with food and drug allergic reactions, a Hymenoptera insect Sting (Apoidea, Vespidae, Formicidae) is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis worldwide. Diagnoses of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) and specific immunotherapy (SIT) have been based on the use of crude venom extracts. However, the incidence of cross-reactivity and low levels of sensibility during diagnosis, as well as the occurrence of nonspecific sensitization and undesired side effects during SIT, encourage the search for novel allergenic materials. Recombinant allergens are an interesting approach to improve allergy diagnosis and SIT because they circumvent major problems associated with the use of crude venom. Production of recombinant allergens depends on the profound molecular characterization of the natural counterpart by combining some "omics" approaches with high-throughput screening techniques and the selection of an appropriate system for heterologous expression. To date, several clinically relevant allergens and novel venom toxins have been identified, cloned and characterized, enabling a better understanding of the whole allergenic and envenoming processes. Here, we review recent findings on identification, molecular characterization and recombinant expression of Hymenoptera venom allergens and on the evaluation of these heterologous proteins as valuable tools for tackling remaining pitfalls on HVA diagnosis and immunotherapy.

  4. Mechanisms of virus resistance and antiviral activity of snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JVR Rivero

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Viruses depend on cell metabolism for their own propagation. The need to foster an intimate relationship with the host has resulted in the development of various strategies designed to help virus escape from the defense mechanisms present in the host. Over millions of years, the unremitting battle between pathogens and their hosts has led to changes in evolution of the immune system. Snake venoms are biological resources that have antiviral activity, hence substances of significant pharmacological value. The biodiversity in Brazil with respect to snakes is one of the richest on the planet; nevertheless, studies on the antiviral activity of venom from Brazilian snakes are scarce. The antiviral properties of snake venom appear as new promising therapeutic alternative against the defense mechanisms developed by viruses. In the current study, scientific papers published in recent years on the antiviral activity of venom from various species of snakes were reviewed. The objective of this review is to discuss the mechanisms of resistance developed by viruses and the components of snake venoms that present antiviral activity, particularly, enzymes, amino acids, peptides and proteins.

  5. The toxicogenomic multiverse: convergent recruitment of proteins into animal venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Bryan G; Roelants, Kim; Champagne, Donald E; Scheib, Holger; Tyndall, Joel D A; King, Glenn F; Nevalainen, Timo J; Norman, Janette A; Lewis, Richard J; Norton, Raymond S; Renjifo, Camila; de la Vega, Ricardo C Rodríguez

    2009-01-01

    Throughout evolution, numerous proteins have been convergently recruited into the venoms of various animals, including centipedes, cephalopods, cone snails, fish, insects (several independent venom systems), platypus, scorpions, shrews, spiders, toxicoferan reptiles (lizards and snakes), and sea anemones. The protein scaffolds utilized convergently have included AVIT/colipase/prokineticin, CAP, chitinase, cystatin, defensins, hyaluronidase, Kunitz, lectin, lipocalin, natriuretic peptide, peptidase S1, phospholipase A(2), sphingomyelinase D, and SPRY. Many of these same venom protein types have also been convergently recruited for use in the hematophagous gland secretions of invertebrates (e.g., fleas, leeches, kissing bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks) and vertebrates (e.g., vampire bats). Here, we discuss a number of overarching structural, functional, and evolutionary generalities of the protein families from which these toxins have been frequently recruited and propose a revised and expanded working definition for venom. Given the large number of striking similarities between the protein compositions of conventional venoms and hematophagous secretions, we argue that the latter should also fall under the same definition.

  6. Characterization of Fibrinolytic Proteases from Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus Venom

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    Suk Ho Choi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : This study was undertaken to identify fibrinolytic proteases from Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus venom and to characterize a major fibrinolytic protease purified from the venom. Methods: The venom was subjected to chromatography using columns of Q-Sepharose and Sephadex G-75. The molecular weights of fibrinolytic proteases showing fibrinolytic zone in fibrin plate assay were determined in SDS-PAGE (Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis The effects of inhibitors and metal ions on fibrinolytic protease and the proteolysis patterns of fibrinogen, gelatin, and bovine serum albumin were investigated. Results : 1 The fibrinolytic fractions of the three peaks isolated from Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus venom contained two polypeptides of 46 and 59 kDa and three polypeptides of 32, 18, and 15 kDa and a major polypeptide of 54 kDa, respectively. 2 The fibrinolytic activity of the purified protease of 54 kDA was inhibited by metal chelators, such as EDTA, EGTA, and 1,10-phenanthroline, and disulfhydryl-reducing compounds, such as dithiothreitol and cysteine. 3 Calcium chloride promoted the fibrinolytic activity of the protease, but mercuric chloride and cobalt(II chloride inhibited it. 4 The fibrinolytic protease cleaved preferentially A-chain and slowly B-chain of fibrinogen. It also hydrolyzed gelatin but not bovine serum albumin. Conclusions: The Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus venom contained more than three fibrinolytic proteases. The major fibrinolytic protease was a metalloprotease which hydrolyzed both fibrinogen and gelatin, but not bovine serum albumin.

  7. Hemolytic activity of venom from crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci spines

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Chi-Chiu; Tsai, Wann-Sheng; Hsieh, Hernyi Justin; Hwang, Deng-Fwu

    2013-01-01

    Background The crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci is a venomous species from Taiwan whose venom provokes strong hemolytic activity. To understand the hemolytic properties of A. planci venom, samples were collected from A. planci spines in the Penghu Islands, dialyzed with distilled water, and lyophilized into A. planci spine venom (ASV) powder. Results Both crude venom and ASV cause 50% hemolysis at a concentration of 20 μg/mL. The highest hemolytic activity of ASV was measured at pH...

  8. Mechanisms controlling venom expulsion in the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Bruce A; Kardong, Kenneth V

    2007-01-01

    Although many studies have documented variation in the amount of venom expended during bites of venomous snakes, the mechanistic source of this variation remains uncertain. This study used experimental techniques to examine how two different features of the venom delivery system, the muscle surrounding the venom gland (the Compressor Glandulae in the rattlesnake) and the fang sheath, could influence venom flow in the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox. Differential contraction of the Compressor Glandulae explained only approximately 30% of the variation in venom flow. Lifting (compression) of the fang sheath as occurs during a normal strike produced marked increases in venom flow; these changes were closely correlated and exceed in magnitude by almost 10 x those recorded from the Compressor Glandulae alone. These results suggest that variation in these two aspects of the venom delivery system--both in terms of magnitude and temporal patterning--explain most of the observed variation in venom injection. The lack of functional or mechanical links between the Compressor Glandulae and the fang sheath, and the lack of skeletal or smooth muscle within the fang sheath, make it unlikely that variation in venom flow is under direct neural control. Instead, differential venom injection results from differences in the pressurization by the Compressor Glandulae, the gate keeping effects of the fang sheath and enclosed soft-tissue chambers, and by differences in the pressure returned by peripheral resistance of the target tissue.

  9. The Triterpenoid Betulin Protects against the Neuromuscular Effects of Bothrops jararacussu Snake Venom In Vivo

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    Miriéle Cristina Ferraz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We confirmed the ability of the triterpenoid betulin to protect against neurotoxicity caused by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro in mouse isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND preparations and examined its capability of in vivo protection using the rat external popliteal/sciatic nerve-tibialis anterior (EPSTA preparation. Venom caused complete, irreversible blockade in PND (40 μg/mL, but only partial blockade (~30% in EPSTA (3.6 mg/kg, i.m. after 120 min. In PND, preincubation of venom with commercial bothropic antivenom (CBA attenuated the venom-induced blockade, and, in EPSTA, CBA given i.v. 15 min after venom also attenuated the blockade (by ~70% in both preparations. Preincubation of venom with betulin (200 μg/mL markedly attenuated the venom-induced blockade in PND; similarly, a single dose of betulin (20 mg, i.p., 15 min after venom virtually abolished the venom-induced decrease in contractility. Plasma creatine kinase activity was significantly elevated 120 min after venom injection in the EPSTA but was attenuated by CBA and betulin. These results indicate that betulin given i.p. has a similar efficacy as CBA given i.v. in attenuating the neuromuscular effects of B. jararacussu venom in vivo and could be a useful complementary measure to antivenom therapy for treating snakebite.

  10. The Triterpenoid Betulin Protects against the Neuromuscular Effects of Bothrops jararacussu Snake Venom In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraz, Miriéle Cristina; de Oliveira, Jhones Luiz; de Oliveira Junior, Joel Reis; Cogo, José Carlos; dos Santos, Márcio Galdino; Franco, Luiz Madaleno; Puebla, Pilar; Ferraz, Helena Onishi; Ferraz, Humberto Gomes; da Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira; Hyslop, Stephen; San Feliciano, Arturo; Oshima-Franco, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    We confirmed the ability of the triterpenoid betulin to protect against neurotoxicity caused by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro in mouse isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations and examined its capability of in vivo protection using the rat external popliteal/sciatic nerve-tibialis anterior (EPSTA) preparation. Venom caused complete, irreversible blockade in PND (40 μg/mL), but only partial blockade (~30%) in EPSTA (3.6 mg/kg, i.m.) after 120 min. In PND, preincubation of venom with commercial bothropic antivenom (CBA) attenuated the venom-induced blockade, and, in EPSTA, CBA given i.v. 15 min after venom also attenuated the blockade (by ~70% in both preparations). Preincubation of venom with betulin (200 μg/mL) markedly attenuated the venom-induced blockade in PND; similarly, a single dose of betulin (20 mg, i.p., 15 min after venom) virtually abolished the venom-induced decrease in contractility. Plasma creatine kinase activity was significantly elevated 120 min after venom injection in the EPSTA but was attenuated by CBA and betulin. These results indicate that betulin given i.p. has a similar efficacy as CBA given i.v. in attenuating the neuromuscular effects of B. jararacussu venom in vivo and could be a useful complementary measure to antivenom therapy for treating snakebite. PMID:26633987

  11. The in vitro vascular effects of two chirodropid (Chironex fleckeri and Chiropsella bronzie) venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Kelly L; Fernando, Ross; Ramasamy, Sharmaine; Seymour, Jamie E; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2007-01-10

    Clinical observations suggest a primary cardiotoxic role in fatal Chironex fleckeri stings. The limited research available indicates that Chiropsella bronzie venom acts in a similar manner although appears to be less potent. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the vascular effects of C. fleckeri and C. bronzie venoms using rat isolated aorta. Both venoms produced a sustained contraction of endothelium-denuded aorta which was not significantly affected by prazosin or box jellyfish antivenom. Felodipine significantly reduced the contractile response to C. fleckeri venom but not C. bronzie venom. Both venoms produced an initial relaxation (Phase 1), followed by a sustained contraction (Phase 2), in pre-contracted endothelium-intact aorta. Removal of the endothelium significantly inhibited both phases of the response. NOLA significantly inhibited Phase 1, but not Phase 2, of the response to both venoms. Atropine, HOE 140 or BQ 123 did not have any significant inhibitory effect on either phase. In conclusion, neither C. fleckeri nor C. bronzie venoms appear to contain components with activity at alpha(1)-adrenoceptors. Antivenom was ineffective in reversing the effects of the venom suggesting it is incapable of completely neutralising nematocyst-derived venom. Determining the mechanism of action of these venoms will allow for the development of better treatment strategies.

  12. Antigenic Cross-Reactivity Anti-Birtoxin Antibody against Androctonus crassicauda Venom

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    SuhandanAdigüzel Van-Zoelen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Antivenom is still widely used in the treatment of envenomation as there are no vaccines or other effective agents available against animal venoms. Recently, neurotoxins named birtoxin family have been described from Parabuthus transvaalicus and Androctonus crassicauda. The aim of the present study was to test the antibirtoxinantibodies for their ability to neutralize the lethal effects of A. crassicauda scorpion venom.Methods: SDS-PAGE and Western blotting used the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P.transvaalicus scorpion venoms and to determine the degree of cross-reactivity. The Minimum Lethal Dose (MLD of venom was assessed by subcutaneously (sc injections in mice.Results: The MLD of the A. crassicauda venom was 35 μg/ 20g mouse by sc injection route. Western blotting showed the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P. transvaalicus scorpion venoms strongly cross react with the A. crassicauda antivenom. However, Western blotting of the A. crassicauda scorpion venom using the Refik Saydam Public Health Agency (RSPHA generated antibody showed that not all the venom components cross reacted with the anti-birtoxin antibody. The antibodies only cross reacted with components falling under the 19 kDa protein size of A. crassicauda venom.Conclusion: The bioassays and Western blotting of A. crassicauda venom with the anti-birtoxin antibodies produced against a synthetic peptide showed that these antibodies cross reacted but did not neutralize the venom of A. crassicauda.

  13. Intersexual variations in Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (M. bradleyi) mouse spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzig, Volker; Khalife, Ali A; Chong, Youmie; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Currie, Bart J; Churchill, Tracey B; Horner, Suzanne; Escoubas, Pierre; Nicholson, Graham M; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2008-06-01

    Venoms of both sexes of Australian Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (Missulena bradleyi) mouse spiders were studied in order to determine intersexual variations in venom yield, composition and bioactivity. Females of both species yielded more venom than males. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry data further indicate a substantial degree of intersexual variation in the venom composition of both species. In a cricket (Acheta domestica) acute toxicity assay, only small intersexual differences were observed, but M. bradleyi venom was found to be considerably more potent than M. pruinosa venom. In the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation, male but not female M. bradleyi venom induced large and sustained muscle contractions with fasciculation and decreased twitch height that could be reversed by CSL funnel-web spider antivenom. In contrast, venoms of both sexes of M. pruinosa did not induce significant effects in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. We therefore conclude that female M. bradleyi venom and venoms from male and female M. pruinosa appear to contain few, if any, orthologs of delta-missulenatoxin-Mb1a, the toxin responsible for the effects of male M. bradleyi venom in vertebrates. These findings are consistent with clinical reports that mouse spiders, particularly species other than male M. bradleyi, do not appear to be a major medical problem in humans.

  14. [Pharmacologic and enzymatic effects of snake venoms from Antioquia and Choco (Colombia)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, R; Guillermo Osorio, R; Valderrama, R; Augusto Giraldo, C

    1992-01-01

    We compared several pharmacological and enzymatic effects induced by 11 snake venoms from seven species, six of them from different geographic areas of Antioquia and Choco, north-west of Colombia, South America (Bothrops atrox, B. nasutus, B. schlegelii, B. punctatus, Lachesis muta, Micrurus mipartitus), and Crotalus durissus terrificus venom, from specimens captured in other provinces of the country (Tolima, Huila, Meta and Atlantico). Differences were observed in edema-forming, hemorrhage, defibrination, indirect hemolysis, myonecrosis, proteolysis and lethal activity between venoms from different genera or species, as well as according to the geographic area of origin in B. atrox and B. nasutus snake venoms. Bothrops venoms, in particular B. atrox and L. muta, produced major local effects. All of the venoms, including M. mipartitus, had myotoxic effects. The most defibrinating venoms were B. atrox, L. muta, B. punctatus and C. d. terrificus. All of the venoms had indirect hemolytic activity; the venom of M. mipartitus being greatest. The most lethal venoms were those of C. d. terrificus and M. mipartitus. Within Bothrops species, the venom of B. schlegelii was the least active in terms of local and systemic pathologic effects.

  15. Improved sensitivity to venom specific-immunoglobulin E by spiking with the allergen component in Japanese patients suspected of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naruo Yoshida

    2015-07-01

    Conclusions: The measurement of sIgE following spiking of rVes v 5 and rPol d 5 by conventional testing in Japanese subjects with sIgE against hornet and paper wasp venom, respectively, improved the sensitivity for detecting Hymenoptera venom allergy. Improvement testing for measuring sIgE levels against hornet and paper wasp venom has potential for serologically elucidating Hymenoptera allergy in Japan.

  16. [Influence of electromagnetic radiation on toxicity of Vipera lebetina obtusa venom].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abiev, G A; Babaev, E I; Topchieva, Sh A; Chumburidze, T B; Nemsitsveridze, N G

    2009-11-01

    The aim of the article was to study the effect of electromagnetic radiation on toxicity of Vipera lebetina obtusa venom. It was found that mice intoxicated with snake venom, with moderate to high exposure to electromagnetic radiation and mice intoxicated with venom, which had not been exposed to the radiation showed the same symptoms of intoxication and death. At the same time, the longevity of mice intoxicated with venom exposed to electromagnetic radiation was higher. The longevity of mice in control group was 25+/-5 min. The longevity of mice intoxicated with exposed to electromagnetic radiation snake venom was from 29 to 60 min. The research showed that the longevity of mice intoxicated with snake venom rose with the level of electromagnetic radiation intensity the snake was exposed to. Accordingly, snake venom, with exposure to high intensity electromagnetic radiation is less toxic.

  17. Analysis of intraspecific variation in venoms of Acanthophis antarcticus death adders from South Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzig, Volker; Kohler, Maxie; Grund, Kai F; Reeve, Shane; Smith, A Ian; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2013-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in venom composition and activity has been reported from a wide range of snakes. Geographical origin can be one cause for this variation and has recently been documented from Acanthophis antarcticus death adders sampled across four different Australian states. The present study examined whether a narrower sampling range of A. antarcticus from four collection sites within one Australian state (i.e., South Australia) would also exhibit variation in venom composition and/or activity. The present LC-MS results reveal marked differences in the venom composition from different collection sites. The most striking difference was the reduced venom complexity found in the only venom originating from a mallee scrub habitat in comparison to the venoms from coastal heath scrub habitats. Interestingly, the pharmacological activity of all venoms was found to be the same, independent of the collection site.

  18. A rapid and repeatable method for venom extraction from cubozoan nematocysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrette, T; Seymour, J

    2004-08-01

    Various comparative studies into the biological activity and relative toxicity of cubozoan venoms have been investigated, in particular the venom from the potentially lethal cubozoan Chironex fleckeri. Efficient and reliable extraction of venom from nematocysts is essential before any research into venom toxicity can be conducted and previous cited methods of extraction have varied greatly, each with their own associated problems. A new standardised technique for the recovery of venom from nematocysts of cubozoans is investigated to decrease the variation displayed between authors due to differing extraction techniques. The use of a mini bead mill beater, as investigated in this trial, allows for the rapid extraction of venom from nematocysts and is devoid of the previously isolated problems experienced with other methods of venom isolation, such as excessive heat build up.

  19. Evaluation of antivenoms in the neutralization of hyperalgesia and edema induced by Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops asper snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Picolo G.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Neutralization of hyperalgesia induced by Bothrops jararaca and B. asper venoms was studied in rats using bothropic antivenom produced at Instituto Butantan (AVIB, 1 ml neutralizes 5 mg B. jararaca venom and polyvalent antivenom produced at Instituto Clodomiro Picado (AVCP, 1 ml neutralizes 2.5 mg B. aspar venom. The intraplantar injection of B. jararaca and B. asper venoms caused hyperalgesia, which peaked 1 and 2 h after injection, respectively. Both venoms also induced edema with a similar time course. When neutralization assays involving the independent injection of venom and antivenom were performed, the hyperalgesia induced by B. jararaca venom was neutralized only when bothropic antivenom was administered iv 15 min before venom injection, whereas edema was neutralized when antivenom was injected 15 min or immediately before venom injection. On the other hand, polyvalent antivenom did not interfere with hyperalgesia or edema induced by B. asper venom, even when administered prior to envenomation. The lack of neutralization of hyperalgesia and edema induced by B. asper venom is not attributable to the absence of neutralizing antibodies in the antivenom, since neutralization was achieved in assays involving preincubation of venom and antivenom. Cross-neutralization of AVCP or AVIB against B. jararaca and B. asper venoms, respectively, was also evaluated. Only bothropic antivenom partially neutralized hyperalgesia induced by B. asper venom in preincubation experiments. The present data suggest that hyperalgesia and edema induced by Bothrops venoms are poorly neutralized by commercial antivenoms even when antibodies are administered immediately after envenomation.

  20. Spinal processing of bee venom-induced pain and hyperalgesia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun CHEN

    2008-01-01

    Subcutaneous injection of bee venom causes long-term neural activation and hypersensitization in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, which contributes to the development and maintenance of various pain-related behaviors. The unique behavioral 'pheno-types' of nociception and hypersensitivity identified in the rodent bee venom test are believed to reflect a complex pathological state of inflammatory pain and might be appropriate to the study of phenotype-based mechanisms of pain and hyperalgesia. In this review, the spinal processing of the bee venom-induced different 'phenotypes' of pain and hyperalgesia will be described. The accumulative electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral data strongly suggest that different 'phenotypes' of pain and hyperalgesia are mediated by different spinal signaling pathways. Unraveling the phenotype-based mechanisms of pain might be useful in development of novel therapeutic drugs against complex clinic pathological pain.

  1. Venomous snakebite in mountainous terrain: prevention and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Jeff J; Agazzi, Giancelso; Svajda, Dario; Morgan, Arthur J; Ferrandis, Silvia; Norris, Robert L

    2007-01-01

    The prevention and management of venomous snakebite in the world's mountains present unique challenges. This paper presents a series of practical, clinically sound recommendations for management of venomous snakebite in a mountain environment. The authors performed an extensive review of current literature using search engines and manual searches. They then fused the abundant knowledge of snakebite with the realities of remote first aid and mountain rescue to develop recommendations. A summary is provided of the world's most troublesome mountain snakes and the mechanisms of toxicity from their bites. Preventive measures are described. Expected symptoms and signs are reviewed in lay and medical terms. A review of currently recommended first-aid measures and advanced medical management for physicians, paramedics, and other clinicians is included. Venomous snakebites in mountainous environments present unique challenges for management. This paper offers practical recommendations for managing such cases and summarizes the approach to first aid and advanced management in 2 algorithms.

  2. A Novel Neurotoxin from Venom of the Spider, Brachypelma albopilosum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation. PMID:25329070

  3. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  4. The composition, biochemical properties and toxicity of snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ireneusz Całkosiński

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available 2.5 million cases of snake bites are noticed in the world every year (within 100,000 is mortal. These bites occur frequently in Asia and Africa. Some reports proved the toxicity and composition changes of well-known venoms from the same snake species according to the climatic zone. Snake venom is a natural source of many biologically active substances, including those with potential therapeutic properties. These substances contain peptides, proteins, and enzymes which are divided into five subfamilies: three-finger toxins, serine protease inhibitors of the Kunitz type, phospholipases A2, serine proteases, and metalloproteases. All snake venoms are grouped depending on their mode of action. They usually cause neurotransmission disorders, cardiotoxic action, hemostasis disorders, and have central nervous system and necrotic activity.

  5. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  6. Purification and characterization of five snake venom metalloproteinases from Egyptian Echis pyramidum pyramidum venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Aty, Azza M; Wahby, Ahmed F

    2014-08-01

    New five P-III snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs): EpyB2 (62 kDa), EpyB3 (62+23 kDa), EpyB4 (60 kDa), EpyB5 (67 kDa) and EpyB6 (66 kDa) of the most dangerous viper, Echis pyramidum pyramidum (Epy), were purified and characterized in a set of biochemical assays. The SVMPs were purified by applying a protocol of two successive chromatographic steps. Three purified SVMPs "EpyB2, EpyB4, and EpyB5" have hemorrhagic activity with MHDs, 7 μg, 7.6 μg and 15 μg, respectively; furthermore, they have high preference towards fibronectin, collagen, gelatin, fibrin and hemoglobin substrates compared with non-hemorrhagic SVMPs (EpyB3 and EpyB6). All the purified SVMPs showed remarkable thermal and pH stability, inhibited by metalloproteinase inhibitors and Zn(2+), Mn(2+), Ni(2+), Co(2+), Cu(2+), and Hg(2+). The purified SVMPs act as α-fibrinogenases, prothrombin activators and procoagulants. In conclusion, Epy venom has multiple SVMPs that are responsible for hemorrhagic events and thus represent a significant health hazard for victims of envenomation, however, they may be useful for treating diseases involving abnormal blood clot formation.

  7. Venomic study on cone snails (Conus spp.) from South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauferstein, Silke; Porth, Christine; Kendel, Yvonne; Wunder, Cora; Nicke, Annette; Kordis, Dusan; Favreau, Philippe; Koua, Dominique; Stöcklin, Reto; Mebs, Dietrich

    2011-01-01

    From six Conus species (Conus coronatus, Conus lividus, Conus mozambicus f. lautus, Conus pictus, Conus sazanka, Conus tinianus) collected off the eastern coast of South Africa the venoms were analyzed using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Between 56 and 151 molecular masses most in a range of 1000 to 2500 Da, were identified. Among the six venoms, between 0 and 27% (C. coronatus versus C. sazanka) of the peptide masses were found to be similar. In a study on venoms from 6 Conus species collected in the Philippines, the percentage of identical masses was between none and 9% only. The venoms from the South African Conus species antagonized the rat neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) α3β2, α4β2, and α7, except for C. coronatus venom that blocked the α4β2 and α7 nAChRs only. HPLC-fractionation of C. tinianus venom led to the isolation of a peptide that is active on all three receptor subtypes. It consists of 16 amino acid residues cross-linked by two disulfide bridges as revealed by de novo sequencing using tandem mass spectrometry: GGCCSHPACQNNPDYC. Posttranslational modifications include C-terminal amidation and tyrosine sulfation. The new peptide is a member of the α-conotoxin family that are competitive antagonists of nAChRs. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S RNA from numerous Conus species has clarified the evolutionary position of endemic South African Conus species and provided the first evidence for their close genetic relationships.

  8. Interisland evolution of Trimeresurus flavoviridis venom phospholipase A(2) isozymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chijiwa, Takahito; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Ogawa, Tomohisa; Deshimaru, Masanobu; Nobuhisa, Ikuo; Nakashima, Kinichi; Oda-Ueda, Naoko; Fukumaki, Yasuyuki; Hattori, Shosaku; Ohno, Motonori

    2003-03-01

    Trimeresurus flavoviridis snakes inhabit the southwestern islands of Japan. A phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)), named PL-Y, was isolated from Okinawa T. flavoviridis venom and its amino acid sequence was determined from both protein and cDNA. PL-Y was unable to induce edema. In contrast, PLA-B, a PLA(2) from Tokunoshima T. flavoviridis venom, which is different at only three positions from PL-Y, is known to induce edema. A new PLA(2), named PLA-B', which is similar to PLA-B, was cloned from Amami-Oshima T. flavoviridis venom gland. Three T. flavoviridis venom basic [Asp(49)]PLA(2) isozymes, PL-Y (Okinawa), PLA-B (Tokunoshima), and PLA-B' (Amami-Oshima), are identical in the N-terminal half but have one to four amino acid substitutions in the beta1-sheet and its vicinity. Such interisland sequence diversities among them are due to isolation in the different environments over 1 to 2 million years and appear to have been brought about by natural selection for point mutation in their genes. Otherwise, a major PLA(2), named PLA2, ubiquitously exists in the venoms of T. flavoviridis snakes from the three islands with one to three synonymous substitutions in their cDNAs. It is assumed that the PLA2 gene is a prototype among T. flavoviridis venom PLA(2) isozyme genes and has hardly undergone nonsynonymous mutation as a principal toxic component. Phylogenetic analysis based on the amino acid sequences revealed that T. flavoviridis PLA(2) isozymes are clearly separated into three groups, PLA2 type, basic [Asp(49)]PLA(2) type, and [Lys(49)]PLA(2) type. Basic [Asp(49)]PLA(2)-type isozymes may manifest their own particular toxic functions different from those of the isozymes of the PLA2 type and [Lys(49)]PLA(2) type.

  9. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    the presence of these ants. First of all, the chemical footprint left by the high density of ants in managed host trees may results in additional benefits. (i) Ant deposits may lead to improved fruit quality, e.g. increased sugar content, (ii) ant deposits may deter important pests (chemical deterrence) from......Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from...... they convert pest insects into accessible and edible protein. In short, this review show that weaver ants in agriculture can increase crop yields, improve fruit quality, chemically deter pests, fertilize crops, reduce diseases, and produce protein for human and livestock consumption....

  10. Bio-inspired Ant Algorithms: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangita Roy

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Ant Algorithms are techniques for optimizing which were coined in the early 1990’s by M. Dorigo. The techniques were inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants in the nature. The focus of ant algorithms is to find approximate optimized problem solutions using artificial ants and their indirect decentralized communications using synthetic pheromones. In this paper, at first ant algorithms are described in details, then transforms to computational optimization techniques: the ACO metaheuristics and developed ACO algorithms. A comparative study of ant algorithms also carried out, followed by past and present trends in AAs applications. Future prospect in AAs also covered in this paper. Finally a comparison between AAs with well-established machine learning techniques were focused, so that combining with machine learning techniques hybrid, robust, novel algorithms could be produces for outstanding result in future.

  11. Comparison of phylogeny, venom composition and neutralization by antivenom in diverse species of bothrops complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leijiane F Sousa

    Full Text Available In Latin America, Bothrops snakes account for most snake bites in humans, and the recommended treatment is administration of multispecific Bothrops antivenom (SAB--soro antibotrópico. However, Bothrops snakes are very diverse with regard to their venom composition, which raises the issue of which venoms should be used as immunizing antigens for the production of pan-specific Bothrops antivenoms. In this study, we simultaneously compared the composition and reactivity with SAB of venoms collected from six species of snakes, distributed in pairs from three distinct phylogenetic clades: Bothrops, Bothropoides and Rhinocerophis. We also evaluated the neutralization of Bothrops atrox venom, which is the species responsible for most snake bites in the Amazon region, but not included in the immunization antigen mixture used to produce SAB. Using mass spectrometric and chromatographic approaches, we observed a lack of similarity in protein composition between the venoms from closely related snakes and a high similarity between the venoms of phylogenetically more distant snakes, suggesting little connection between taxonomic position and venom composition. P-III snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs are the most antigenic toxins in the venoms of snakes from the Bothrops complex, whereas class P-I SVMPs, snake venom serine proteinases and phospholipases A2 reacted with antibodies in lower levels. Low molecular size toxins, such as disintegrins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides, were poorly antigenic. Toxins from the same protein family showed antigenic cross-reactivity among venoms from different species; SAB was efficient in neutralizing the B. atrox venom major toxins. Thus, we suggest that it is possible to obtain pan-specific effective antivenoms for Bothrops envenomations through immunization with venoms from only a few species of snakes, if these venoms contain protein classes that are representative of all species to which the antivenom is

  12. Animal venoms/toxins and the complement system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambourgi, Denise V; van den Berg, Carmen W

    2014-10-01

    Nature is a wealthy source of agents that have been shown to be beneficial to human health, but nature is also a rich source of potential dangerous health damaging compounds. This review will summarise and discuss the agents from the animal kingdom that have been shown to interact with the human complement (C) system. Most of these agents are toxins found in animal venoms and animal secretions. In addition to the mechanism of action of these toxins, their contribution to the field of complement, their role in human pathology and the potential benefit to the venomous animal itself will be discussed. Potential therapeutic applications will also be discussed.

  13. A study of bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Garcia-Lima

    1987-03-01

    Full Text Available The authors studied the bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom isolated from snakes in captivity and wild snakes caught recently. The captive snakes showed a relatively high incidence of bacterial contamination of their venom.Os autores estudaram a contaminação bacteriana do veneno dë cascavéis mantidas em cativeiro e das recentemente capturadas. Verificaram que os venenos dos animais cativos apresentaram alta incidência de contaminação e os tidos como recentemente capturados estavam com baixa contaminação aparente.

  14. Biodistribution studies of bee venom and spider toxin using radiotracers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. M. Yonamine

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The use of radiotracers allows the understanding of the bioavailability process, biodistribution, and kinetics of any molecule labelled with an isotope, which does not alter the molecule's biological properties. In this work, technetium-99m and iodine-125 were chosen as radiotracers for biodistribution studies in mice using bee (Apis mellifera venom and a toxin (PnTX2-6 from the Brazilian "armed" spider (Phoneutria nigriventer venom. Incorporated radioactivity was measured in the blood, brain, heart, lung, liver, kidney, adrenal gland, spleen, stomach, testicle, intestine, muscle, and thyroid gland. Results provided the blood kinetic parameter, and different organs distribution rates.

  15. Autonomic effects of some scorpion venoms and toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwee, Matthew C E; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Khoo, Hoon-Eng; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam; Kini, R Manjunatha; Cheah, Li-Sam

    2002-09-01

    1. The autonomic effects of venoms and toxins from several species of scorpions, including the Indian red scorpion Mesobuthus tamulus, the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch and the Israeli scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus quinquestriatus, all belonging to Buthidae, and the Asian black scorpions Heterometrus longimanus and Heterometrus spinifer, belonging to Scorpionidae, are reviewed. 2. The effects of the venoms of M. tamulus and L. q. quinquestriatus on noradrenergic and nitrergic transmission in the rat isolated anococcygeus muscle revealed that both venoms mediated their pharmacological effects via a prejunctional mechanism involving the activation of voltage-sensitive sodium channels with consequent release of neurotransmitters that mediate target organ responses, similar to the effects mediated by other alpha-scorpion toxins. 3. Two new toxins, Makatoxin I and Bukatoxin, were purified to homogeneity from the venom of B. martensi Karsch. Determination of their complete amino acid sequences confirmed that both toxins belonged to the class of alpha-scorpion toxins. The effects of both toxins on noradrenergic and nitrergic transmission in the rat anococcygeus muscle provided firm evidence that their pharmacological actions also closely resembled those mediated by other alpha-scorpion toxins on neuronal voltage-sensitive sodium channels. 4. The venoms of H. longimanus and H. spinifer were found to have high concentrations of noradrenaline (1.8 +/- 0.3 mmol/L) and relatively high concentrations of acetylcholine (79.8 +/- 1.7 micromol/L) together with noradrenaline (146.7 +/- 19.8 micromol/L), respectively, which can account for their potent direct cholinergic and noradrenergic agonist actions in the rat anococcygeus muscle. 5. Our studies confirmed that the rat anococcygeus muscle is an excellent nerve-smooth muscle preparation for investigating the effects of bioactive agents on noradrenergic and nitrergic transmission, as well as the direct agonist actions

  16. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J. Duggan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Ziconotide (Prialt®, a synthetic version of the peptide ω-conotoxin MVIIA found in the venom of a fish-hunting marine cone snail Conus magnus, is one of very few drugs effective in the treatment of intractable chronic pain. However, its intrathecal mode of delivery and narrow therapeutic window cause complications for patients. This review will summarize progress in the development of small molecule, non-peptidic mimics of Conotoxins and a small number of other venom peptides. This will include a description of how some of the initially designed mimics have been modified to improve their drug-like properties.

  17. Venom Down Under: Dynamic Evolution of Australian Elapid Snake Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy N. W. Jackson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite the unparalleled diversity of venomous snakes in Australia, research has concentrated on a handful of medically significant species and even of these very few toxins have been fully sequenced. In this study, venom gland transcriptomes were sequenced from eleven species of small Australian elapid snakes, from eleven genera, spanning a broad phylogenetic range. The particularly large number of sequences obtained for three-finger toxin (3FTx peptides allowed for robust reconstructions of their dynamic molecular evolutionary histories. We demonstrated that each species preferentially favoured different types of α-neurotoxic 3FTx, probably as a result of differing feeding ecologies. The three forms of α-neurotoxin [Type I (also known as (aka: short-chain, Type II (aka: long-chain and Type III] not only adopted differential rates of evolution, but have also conserved a diversity of residues, presumably to potentiate prey-specific toxicity. Despite these differences, the different α-neurotoxin types were shown to accumulate mutations in similar regions of the protein, largely in the loops and structurally unimportant regions, highlighting the significant role of focal mutagenesis. We theorize that this phenomenon not only affects toxin potency or specificity, but also generates necessary variation for preventing/delaying prey animals from acquiring venom-resistance. This study also recovered the first full-length sequences for multimeric phospholipase A2 (PLA2 ‘taipoxin/paradoxin’ subunits from non-Oxyuranus species, confirming the early recruitment of this extremely potent neurotoxin complex to the venom arsenal of Australian elapid snakes. We also recovered the first natriuretic peptides from an elapid that lack the derived C-terminal tail and resemble the plesiotypic form (ancestral character state found in viper venoms. This provides supporting evidence for a single early recruitment of natriuretic peptides into snake venoms. Novel

  18. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiyalagan

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Grid computing is a high performance computing used to solve larger scale computational demands. Task scheduling is a major issue in grid computing systems. Scheduling of tasks is the NP hard problem. The heuristic approach provides optimal solution for NP hard problems .The ant colony algorithm provides optimal solution. The existing ant colony algorithm takes more time to schedule the tasks. In this paper ant colony algorithm improved by enhancing pheromone updating rule such that it schedules the tasks efficiently and better resource utilization. The simulation results prove that proposed method reduces the execution time of tasks compared to existing ant colony algorithm.

  19. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a model for the simulation of pedestrian dynamics inspired by the behaviour of ants in ant trails. Ants communicate by producing a pheromone that can be smelled by other ants. In this model, pedestrians produce a virtual pheromone that influences the motion of others. In this way all interactions are strictly local, and so even large crowds can be simulated very efficiently. Nevertheless, the model is able to reproduce the collective effects observed empirically, eg the formation of lanes in counterflow. As an application, we reproduce a surprising result found in experiments of evacuation from an aircraft.

  20. Enhanced ants system and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    NP-hard combinational optimization problem is not solved very well until now. One enhanced ants system based on ants system is advanced after analysis of the deficiencies of existing ants systems. Some improvements are made in state transfer rule and local modification rule. Furthermore, the enhanced ants system can solve NP-hard combinational optimization problem with restraints and condition path. The successful application of TSP problem and transportation net problem indicates that the proposed system has stronger function and higher efficiency than the original system.

  1. Ilmub suurmeister Evald Okase monograafia / Ants Juske

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2009-01-01

    22. aprillil Kumu Kunstimuuseumis esitletavast monograafiast "Evald Okas", mille on kirjutanud Ants Juske, kujundanud Tiit Jürna. Evald Okasest, tema loomingust, elust Jaroslavlis ja rindekunstnikuna

  2. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...

  3. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    In most social insects workers do not mate, but have retained the ability to produce haploid eggs that can develop into viable male offspring. Under what circumstances this reproductive potential is realized and how the ensuing worker-queen conflict over male production is resolved, is an area...... of active research in insect sociobiology. Here we present microsatellite data for 176 males from eight colonies of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus. Comparison with worker genotypes and inferred queen genotypes from the same colonies show that workers do not or at best very rarely reproduce...

  4. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...

  5. Plants in Your Ants: Using Ant Mounds to Test Basic Ecological Principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettler, Jennifer A.; Collier, Alexander; Leidersdorf, Bil; Sanou, Missa Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Urban students often have limited access to field sites for ecological studies. Ubiquitous ants and their mounds can be used to study and test ecology-based questions. We describe how soil collected from ant mounds can be used to investigate how biotic factors (ants) can affect abiotic factors in the soil that can, in turn, influence plant growth.

  6. Conflict resolution in an ant-plant interaction: Acacia constricta traits reduce ant costs to reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicklen, E Fleur; Wagner, Diane

    2006-05-01

    Many plant species attract ants onto their foliage with food rewards or nesting space. However, ants can interfere with plant reproduction when they visit flowers. This study tests whether Acacia constricta separates visiting ant species temporally or spatially from newly opened inflorescences and pollinators. The diurnal activity patterns of ants and A. constricta pollinators peaked at different times of day, and the activity of pollinators followed the daily dehiscence of A. constricta inflorescences. In addition to being largely temporally separated, ants rarely visited open inflorescences. A floral ant repellent contributes to the spatial separation of ants and inflorescences. In a field experiment, ants of four species were given equal access to inflorescences in different developmental stages. On average, the frequency with which ants made initial, antennal contact with the floral stages did not differ, but ants significantly avoided secondary contact with newly opened inflorescences relative to buds and old inflorescences, and old inflorescences relative to buds. Ants also avoided contact with pollen alone, indicating that pollen is at least one source of the repellent. The results suggest A. constricta has effectively resolved the potential conflict between visiting ants and plant reproduction.

  7. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the economic and ecological importance of ants, genomic tools for this family (Formicidae remain woefully scarce. Knowledge of genome size, for example, is a useful and necessary prerequisite for the development of many genomic resources, yet it has been reported for only one ant species (Solenopsis invicta, and the two published estimates for this species differ by 146.7 Mb (0.15 pg. Results Here, we report the genome size for 40 species of ants distributed across 10 of the 20 currently recognized subfamilies, thus making Formicidae the 4th most surveyed insect family and elevating the Hymenoptera to the 5th most surveyed insect order. Our analysis spans much of the ant phylogeny, from the less derived Amblyoponinae and Ponerinae to the more derived Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. We include a number of interesting and important taxa, including the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, Neotropical army ants (genera Eciton and Labidus, trapjaw ants (Odontomachus, fungus-growing ants (Apterostigma, Atta and Sericomyrmex, harvester ants (Messor, Pheidole and Pogonomyrmex, carpenter ants (Camponotus, a fire ant (Solenopsis, and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia. Our results show that ants possess small genomes relative to most other insects, yet genome size varies three-fold across this insect family. Moreover, our data suggest that two whole-genome duplications may have occurred in the ancestors of the modern Ectatomma and Apterostigma. Although some previous studies of other taxa have revealed a relationship between genome size and body size, our phylogenetically-controlled analysis of this correlation did not reveal a significant relationship. Conclusion This is the first analysis of genome size in ants (Formicidae and the first across multiple species of social insects. We show that genome size is a variable trait that can evolve gradually over long time spans, as well as rapidly, through processes that may

  8. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Fuminori; Hashim, Rosli; Huei, Yek Sze; Kaufmann, Eva; Akino, Toshiharu; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    The mechanism by which palatable species take advantage of their similarity in appearance to those that are unpalatable, in order to avoid predation, is called Batesian mimicry. Several arthropods are thought to be Batesian mimics of social insects; however, social insects that are Batesian mimics among themselves are rare. In Malaysia we found a possible Batesian mimic in an arboreal ant species, Camponotus sp., which was exclusively observed on foraging trails of the myrmicine ant Crematogaster inflata. The bright yellow and black colouring pattern, as well as the walking behaviour, were very similar in both species. We observed general interactions between the two species, and tested their palatability and the significance of the remarkably similar visual colour patterns for predator avoidance. Prey offered to C. inflata was also eaten by Camponotus workers in spite of their being attacked by C. inflata, indicating that Camponotus sp. is a commensal of C. inflata. An experiment with chicks as potential predators suggests that Camponotus sp. is palatable whereas C. inflata is unpalatable. After tasting C. inflata, the chicks no longer attacked Camponotus sp., indicating that Camponotus sp. is a Batesian mimic of Crematogaster inflata.

  9. Determining with SEM, structure of the venom apparatus in the tube web spider, Segestria florentina (Araneae: Segestriidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suna Cebesoy

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to describe functional morphological features of venom apparatus in the tube web spider, Segestria florentina (Rossi, 1790 (Araneae: Segestriidae by using scanning electron microscope (SEM. The venom apparatus is situated in the anterior part of the prosoma, and is composed of a pair of venom glands and chelicerae. The chelicera of S. florentina has two parts: basal segment and a movable articulated apical segment (fang. The cheliceral fang rests in a groove on the basal segment of chelicerae. A venom hole is located on the subterminal part of each fang. A pair of venom glands is completely separate but similar to each other within the prosoma. Each venom gland is surrounded by striated muscle bundles, such as with the capsules. The venom, produced in the venom glands, is carried by venom ducts passing throughout the chelicerae. Each venom gland has its own venom duct, chelicera and fang. The venom is excreted from the venom pore on the subterminal part of the fang by means of muscular contractions covering the venom gland.

  10. Restriction and recruitment-gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Adam D; Swain, Martin T; Hegarty, Matthew J; Logan, Darren W; Mulley, John F

    2014-08-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive "just-so story" in evolutionary biology.

  11. Coral snake venoms: mode of action and pathophysiology of experimental envenomation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswald Vital Brazil

    1987-06-01

    Full Text Available Coral snakes, the New World Elapidae, are included in the genera Micniroides and Micrurus. The genus Mlcrurus comprises nearly all coral snake species and those which are responsible for human snake-bite accidents. The following generalizations concerning the effects induced by their venoms, and their venom-properties can be made. Coral snake venoms are neurotoxic, producing loss of muscle strenght and death by respiratory paralysis. Local edema and necrosis are not induced nor blood coagulation or hemorrhages. Proteolysis activity is absent or of very low grade. They display phospholipase A2 activity. Nephrotoxic effects are not evoked. The main toxins from elapid venoms are postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins and cardiotoxins. Phospholipases A2 endowed with myonecrotic or cardiotoxin-like properties are important toxic components from some elapid venoms. The mode of action of Micrurus frontalis, M. lemniscatus, M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms has been investigated in isolated muscle preparations and is here discussed. It is shown that while M. frontalis and M. lemniscatus venoms must contain only neurotoxins that act at the cholinergic end-plate receptor (postsynaptic neurotoxins, M. corallinus venom also inhibits evoked acetylcholine release by the motor nerve endings (presynaptic neurotoxin-like effect and M. fulvius induces muscle fiber membrane depolarization (cardiotoxin-like effect. The effects produced by M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms in vivo in dogs and M. frontalis venom in dogs and monkeys are also reported.

  12. The in vivo cardiovascular effects of an Australasian box jellyfish (Chiropsalmus sp.) venom in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramasamy, Sharmaine; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Seymour, Jamie E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2005-03-01

    Using a new technique to extract venom from the nematocysts of jellyfish, the in vivo cardiovascular effects of Chiropsalmus sp. venom were investigated in anaesthetized rats. Chiropsalmus sp. venom (150 microg/kg, i.v.) produced a transient hypertensive response (44+/-4 mmHg; n=6) followed by hypotension and cardiovascular collapse. Concurrent artificial respiration or pretreatment with Chironex fleckeri antivenom (AV, 3000 U/kg, i.v.) did not have any effect on the venom-induced hypertensive response nor the subsequent cardiovascular collapse. The cardiovascular response of animals receiving venom after the infusion of MgSO4 (50-70 mM @ 0.25 ml/min, i.v.; n=5) alone, or in combination with AV (n=5), was not significantly different from rats receiving venom alone. Prior administration of prazosin (50 microg/kg, i.v.; n=4) or ketanserin (1 mg/kg, i.v.; n=4) did not significantly attenuate the hypertensive response nor prevent the cardiovascular collapse induced by venom (50 microg/kg, i.v.). In contrast to previous work examining C. fleckeri venom, administration of AV alone, or in combination with MgSO4, was not effective in preventing cardiovascular collapse following the administration of Chiropsalmus sp. venom. This indicates that the venom of the two related box jellyfish contain different lethal components and highlights the importance of species identification prior to initiating treatment regimes following jellyfish envenoming.

  13. Antivenom to the venom of the male Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus: preliminary report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, S K

    1980-10-18

    A purified rabbit IgG (antivenom) has been isolated from rabbits immunized with male Atrax robustus venom. This preparation has been shown to neutralize in vitro, male venom in a ratio of 97 microgram of IgG to 1 microgram of male venom. The venoms of a number of other members of the Atrax genus are also neutralized in vitro by this antivenom. Of particular importance is the fact that the venom of the extremely dangerous female A. formidabilis is neutralized. A serum harvest of 55 mL from an immunized rabbit yielded a total of 1.1869 g of immune IgG using the Protein A-Sepharose procedure. This quantity is sufficient antivenom to neutralize in vitro the average yield of 67 spiders. These findings suggest the preparation of an antivenom for human use is now feasible. The antivenom was shown to effectively neutralize venom in monkeys either when it was premixed with the venom before injection or when it was injected separately 10 minutes after injection of venom. This is the first time in-vitro and in-vivo neutralization of this venom has been demonstrated in the monkey. In other studies, a range of non-immunized animal sera was shown to have no inherent ability to neutralize male A. robustus venom in vitro.

  14. Effect of gamma irradiation on toxicity and immunogenicity of Androctonus australis hector venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abib, L. [Univ. des Sciences et de la Technologie, Lab. de Biologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire, Faculte des Sciences Biologiques, Houari Boumedienne, Bab Ezzouar (Algeria); Laraba-Djebari, F. [Univ. des Sciences et de la Technologie, Lab. de Biologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire, Faculte des Sciences Biologiques, Houari Boumedienne, Bab Ezzouar, Alger (Algeria); Institut Pasteur d' Algerie, Lab. de Recherche et de Developpement sur les Venins, Alger (Algeria); E-mail: flaraba@ibnsina.ands.dz

    2003-12-01

    An investigation was made of the radiosensitivity of the toxic and immunological properties of Androctonus australis hector venom. This venom was irradiated with two doses of gamma rays (1 and 2 kGy) from a {sup 60}Co source. The results showed that venom toxicity was abolished for the two radiation doses (1 and 2 kGy) with, respectively, 10 and 25 times its initial LD50 value. However, irradiated venoms were immunogenic, and the antibodies elicited by them were able to recognize the native venom by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antisera raised against these toxoids (1 and 2 kGy) had a higher neutralizing capacity and immunoreactivity against all components of native venom than did the antiserum produced against the native venom. The antiserum of rabbits immunized with 2-kGy-irradiated venom was more efficient than 1-kGy-irradiated toxoid antiserum. Indeed, in vivo protection assays showed that the mice immunized with 2-kGy-irradiated venom resisted lethal doses (i.p.) of A. australis hector venom. (author)

  15. Recruitment and diversification of an ecdysozoan family of neuropeptide hormones for black widow spider venom expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCowan, Caryn; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-02-25

    Venoms have attracted enormous attention because of their potent physiological effects and dynamic evolution, including the convergent recruitment of homologous genes for venom expression. Here we provide novel evidence for the recruitment of genes from the Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) and arthropod Ion Transport Peptide (ITP) superfamily for venom expression in black widow spiders. We characterized latrodectin peptides from venom gland cDNAs from the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus), the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) and cupboard spider (Steatoda grossa). Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences with homologs from other spider, scorpion and wasp venom cDNAs, as well as CHH/ITP neuropeptides, show latrodectins as derived members of the CHH/ITP superfamily. These analyses suggest that CHH/ITP homologs are more widespread in spider venoms, and were recruited for venom expression in two additional arthropod lineages. We also found that the latrodectin 2 gene and nearly all CHH/ITP genes include a phase 2 intron in the same position, supporting latrodectin's placement within the CHH/ITP superfamily. Evolutionary analyses of latrodectins suggest episodes of positive selection along some sequence lineages, and positive and purifying selection on specific codons, supporting its functional importance in widow venom. We consider how this improved understanding of latrodectin evolution informs functional hypotheses regarding its role in black widow venom as well as its potential convergent recruitment for venom expression across arthropods.

  16. ADP is a vasodilator component from Lasiodora sp. mygalomorph spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horta, C C; Rezende, B A; Oliveira-Mendes, B B R; Carmo, A O; Capettini, L S A; Silva, J F; Gomes, M T; Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Bravo, C E S; Lemos, V S; Kalapothakis, E

    2013-09-01

    Members of the spider genus Lasiodora are widely distributed in Brazil, where they are commonly known as caranguejeiras. Lasiodora spider venom is slightly harmful to humans. The bite of this spider causes local pain, edema and erythema. However, Lasiodora sp. spider venom may be a source of important pharmacological tools. Our research group has described previously that Lasiodora sp. venom produces bradycardia in the isolated rat heart. In the present work, we sought to evaluate the vascular effect of Lasiodora sp. venom and to isolate the vasoactive compounds from the venom. The results showed that Lasiodora spider venom induced a concentration-dependent vasodilation in rat aortic rings, which was dependent on the presence of a functional endothelium and abolished by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NAME. Western blot experiments revealed that the venom also increased endothelial NOS function by increasing phosphorylation of the Ser¹¹⁷⁷ residue. Assay-directed fractionation isolated a vasoactive fraction from Lasiodora sp. venom. Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) assays identified a mixture of two compounds: adenosine diphosphate (ADP, approximately 90%) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP, approximately 10%). The vasodilator effects of Lasiodora sp. whole venom, as well as ADP, were significantly inhibited by suramin, which is a purinergic P2-receptor antagonist. Therefore, the results of the present work indicate that ADP is a main vasodilator component of Lasiodora sp. spider venom.

  17. Brown spider (Loxosceles intermedia) venom triggers endothelial cells death by anoikis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowatzki, Jenifer; Sene, Reginaldo Vieira; Paludo, Katia Sabrina; Rizzo, Luiz Eduardo; Souza-Fonseca-Guimarães, Fernando; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Franco, Célia Regina C; Trindade, Edvaldo S

    2012-09-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles sp.) venom affects the endothelium of vessels and triggers disruptive activity in the subendothelial matrix. The vascular disorders observed after venom exposure include leukocyte and platelet activation, disseminated intravascular coagulation, an increase in vessel permeability and hemorrhage into the dermis. In this study, we report additional evidence regarding the mechanism of endothelial cell cytotoxicity induced by Loxosceles intermedia venom. Exposure to venom led to endothelial cell detachment in a time-dependent manner. Loss of cell anchorage and cell-cell adhesion following venom exposure was accompanied by changes in the distribution of the α₅β₁ integrin and VE-cadherin. An ultrastructural analysis of cells treated with venom revealed morphological alterations characteristic of apoptosis. Moreover, after venom exposure, the ratio between Bax and Bcl-2 proteins was disturbed in favor of Bax. In addition, late apoptosis was only observed in cells detached by the action of venom. Accordingly, there was no increase in apoptosis when cells were exposed to L. intermedia venom in suspension, suggesting that the loss of cell anchorage provides the signal to initiate apoptosis. Thus, L. intermedia venom likely triggers endothelial cell death indirectly through an apoptotic mechanism known as anoikis.

  18. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon A Jansa

    Full Text Available The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae. In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF, a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role.

  19. Venom variation in hemostasis of the southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri): isolation of hellerase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Ana Maria; Guerrero, Belsy; Cantu, Bruno; Cantu, Esteban; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Pérez, John C; Galán, Jacob A; Tao, Andy; Sánchez, Elda E

    2009-04-01

    Envenomations by the southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri) are the most common snakebite accidents in southern California. Intraspecies venom variation may lead to unresponsiveness to antivenom therapy. Even in a known species, venom toxins are recognized as diverse in conformity with interpopulational, seasonal, ontogenetic and individual factors. Five venoms of individual C. oreganus helleri located in Riverside and San Bernardino counties of southern California were studied for their variation in their hemostatic activity. The results demonstrated that Riverside 2 and San Bernardino 1 venoms presented the highest lethal activity without hemorrhagic activity. In contrast, San Bernardino 2 and 3 venoms had the highest hemorrhagic and fibrinolytic activities with low lethal and coagulant activities. Riverside 1, Riverside 2 and San Bernardino 1 venoms presented a significant thrombin-like activity. San Bernardino 2 and 3 venoms presented an insignificant thrombin-like activity. In relation to the fibrinolytic activity, San Bernardino 3 venom was the most active on fibrin plates, which was in turn neutralized by metal chelating inhibitors. These results demonstrate the differences amongst C. oreganus helleri venoms from close localities. A metalloproteinase, hellerase, was purified by anionic and cationic exchange chromatographies from San Bernardino 3 venom. Hellerase exhibited the ability to break fibrin clots in vitro, which can be of biomedically importance in the treatment of heart attacks and strokes.

  20. [Effects of venom from Sclerodermus sichuanensis Xiao on pupa of Tenebrio molitor].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuo, Zhi-Hang; Yang, Wei; Qin, Huan; Yang, Chun-Ping; Yang, Hua; Xu, Dan-Ping

    2013-11-01

    To explore the regulatory mechanisms of parasitism of Sclerodermus sichuanensis on Tenebrio molitor, the methods of natural parasitism and venom injection were adopted to investigate the effects of the venom from S. sichuanensis on the pupa of T. molitor in the parasitic process. Under venom injection, the paralytic degree of the pupa had a positive correlation with the concentration of injected venom, and the number of recovered pupa had a negative correlation with the injected venom concentration. The T. molitor pupa was in slight and reversible paralysis when injected with 0.01 VRE (venom reservoir equivalent) of venom, and in non-reversible and complete paralysis when 0.2 VRE was injected. The pupa died massively and appeared a wide range of melanization when injected with soil bacterial suspension alone, but the melanization delayed and the mortality declined significantly when the mixed liquor of bacterium and venom was injected. The bacteriostasis of the venom on Staphylococcus aureus was significantly stronger than that on Escherichia coli. Within a definite range of temperature, the paralytic activity decreased significantly with increasing temperature, the bacteriostasis on S. aureus increased significantly, while that on E. coli was opposite. This study showed that the venom from S. sichuanensis had the effects of paralysis, bacteriostasis, inhibiting exuviations, and delaying melanization.

  1. An in vivo examination of the stability of venom from the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, K L; Isbister, G K; Seymour, J E; Hodgson, W C

    2007-05-01

    We have previously characterised the pharmacological activity of a number of jellyfish venoms with a particular emphasis on the profound cardiovascular effects. It has been suggested that jellyfish venoms are difficult to work with and are sensitive to pH, temperature and chemical changes. The current study aimed to examine the working parameters of the venom of the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri to enable fractionation and isolation of the toxins with cardiovascular activity. C. fleckeri venom was made up fresh each day and subjected to a number of different environments (i.e. a pH range of 5-9 and a temperature range of 4-30 degrees C). In addition, the effect of freeze drying and reconstituting the venom was investigated. Venom (50 microg/kg, i.v.) produced a transient hypertensive response followed by cardiovascular collapse in anaesthetised rats. This biphasic response was not significantly effected by preparation of the venom at a pH of 5, 7 or 9. Similarly, venom (50 microg/kg, i.v.) did not display a loss of activity when exposed to temperatures of 4, 20 or 30 degrees C for 1.5h. However, the cardiovascular activity was abolished by boiling the venom. Freeze drying, and then reconstituting, the venom did not significantly affect its cardiovascular activity. However, repeated freeze drying and reconstituting of extracted venom resulted in a significantly loss of activity. This study provides a more detailed knowledge of the parameters in which C. fleckeri venom can be used and, while supporting some previous studies, contradicts some of the perceived problems of working with the venom.

  2. A pharmacological and biochemical examination of the geographical variation of Chironex fleckeri venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Kelly L; Isbister, Geoffrey K; McGowan, Sheena; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; Seymour, Jamie E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2010-02-15

    Chironex fleckeri (box jellyfish) are found in the northern tropical waters of Australia. Although C. fleckeri have a wide geographical distribution and are able to swim large distances, adults tend to stay in small restricted areas. Clinical data shows that deaths from envenoming have not been recorded in Western Australia, yet numerous fatalities have occurred in Northern Territory and Queensland waters. One explanation for this discrepancy is a geographical variation in venom composition. This study examined the pharmacological and biochemical profiles of C. fleckeri venom from different geographical locations and seasons. Venoms were screened for cytotoxicity using a rat aortic smooth muscle cell line (A7r5). While all venoms caused concentration-dependent cytotoxicity, differences were seen in the potency of venoms from Mission Beach and Weipa, when collected in different seasons, as indicated by IC(50) values. Similarly venoms collected within the same season, from different locations around Australia, displayed marked differences in venom composition as shown by size exclusion HPLC and SDS-PAGE profiles which indicated the absence or reduced quantity of 'peaks' in some venoms. Based on IC(50) data obtained from the cell assay, the effects of the most potent (i.e. from Weipa in 2006) and the least potent (i.e. from Broome in 2007) venoms were examined in anesthetised rats. Both venoms at 10 microg/kg (i.v.) caused a transient hypertensive phase followed by cardiovascular collapse. However, at 4 microg/kg (i.v.) venom from Weipa 2006 caused a transient hypertensive phase followed by a transient decrease in MAP while venom from Broome 2007 only caused a small transient increase in MAP. This study demonstrates that there is considerable geographical variation in the composition of C. fleckeri venoms which is most distinct between specimens from western and eastern Australia and may explain the geographical variation in reported deaths.

  3. Cobra venom cytotoxins; apoptotic or necrotic agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahim, Karim; Shirazi, Farshad H; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Vatanpour, Hossein

    2015-12-15

    Organs homeostasis is controlled by a dynamic balance between cell proliferation and apoptosis. Failure to induction of apoptosis has been implicated in tumor development. Cytotoxin-I (CTX-I) and cytotoxin-II (CTX-II) are two physiologically active polypeptides found in Caspian cobra venom. Anticancer activity and mechanism of cell death induced by these toxins have been studied. The toxins were purified by different chromatographic steps and their cytotoxicity and pattern of cell death were determined by MTT, LDH release, acridine orange/ethidium bromide (AO/EtBr) double staining, flow cytometric analysis, caspase-3 activity and neutral red assays. The IC50 of CTX-II in MCF-7, HepG2, DU-145 and HL-60 was 4.1 ± 1.3, 21.2 ± 4.4, 9.4 ± 1.8 μg/mL and 16.3 ± 1.9 respectively while the IC50 of this toxin in normal MDCK cell line was 54.5 ± 3.9 μg/mL. LDH release suddenly increase after a specific toxins concentrations in all cell lines. AO/EtBr double staining, flow cytometric analysis and caspase-3 activity assay confirm dose and time-dependent induction of apoptosis by both toxins. CTX-I and CTX-II treated cells lost their lysosomal membrane integrity and couldn't uptake neutral red day. CTX-I and CTX-II showed significant anticancer activity with minimum effects on normal cells and better IC50 compared to current anticancer drug; cisplatin. They induce their apoptotic effect via lysosomal pathways and release of cathepsins to cytosol. These effects were seen in limited rage of toxins concentrations and pattern of cell death rapidly changes to necrosis by increase in toxin's concentration. In conclusion, significant apoptogenic effects of these toxins candidate them as a possible anticancer agent.

  4. Natural Inhibitors of Snake Venom Metalloendopeptidases: History and Current Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, Viviane A.; Gomes-Neto, Francisco; Perales, Jonas; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C.; Valente, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The research on natural snake venom metalloendopeptidase inhibitors (SVMPIs) began in the 18th century with the pioneering work of Fontana on the resistance that vipers exhibited to their own venom. During the past 40 years, SVMPIs have been isolated mainly from the sera of resistant animals, and characterized to different extents. They are acidic oligomeric glycoproteins that remain biologically active over a wide range of pH and temperature values. Based on primary structure determination, mammalian plasmatic SVMPIs are classified as members of the immunoglobulin (Ig) supergene protein family, while the one isolated from muscle belongs to the ficolin/opsonin P35 family. On the other hand, SVMPIs from snake plasma have been placed in the cystatin superfamily. These natural antitoxins constitute the first line of defense against snake venoms, inhibiting the catalytic activities of snake venom metalloendopeptidases through the establishment of high-affinity, non-covalent interactions. This review presents a historical account of the field of natural resistance, summarizing its main discoveries and current challenges, which are mostly related to the limitations that preclude three-dimensional structural determinations of these inhibitors using “gold-standard” methods; perspectives on how to circumvent such limitations are presented. Potential applications of these SVMPIs in medicine are also highlighted. PMID:27571103

  5. Dynamical Equilibrium of Interacting Ant Societies

    CERN Document Server

    Leok, B T M

    1996-01-01

    The sustainable biodiversity associated with a specific ecological niche as a function of land area is analysed computationally by considering the interaction of ant societies over a collection of islands. A power law relationship between sustainable species and land area is observed. We will further consider the effect a perturbative inflow of ants has upon the model.

  6. Open Problem: Analyzing Ant Robot Coverage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Efficient and inefficient ant coverage methods. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31, 41–76. The proofs can be found in the technical...Wagner, I., & Bruckstein, A. (2001). Special issue on ant robotics. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31. Wagner, I., Lindenbaum, M

  7. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Franziska; Vanselow, Jens T; Schlosser, Andreas; Kahnt, Jörg; Rössler, Wolfgang; Wegener, Christian

    2015-03-01

    Ants show a rich behavioral repertoire and a highly complex organization, which have been attracting behavioral and sociobiological researchers for a long time. The neuronal underpinnings of ant behavior and social organization are, however, much less understood. Neuropeptides are key signals that orchestrate animal behavior and physiology, and it is thus feasible to assume that they play an important role also for the social constitution of ants. Despite the availability of different ant genomes and in silico prediction of ant neuropeptides, a comprehensive biochemical survey of the neuropeptidergic communication possibilities of ants is missing. We therefore combined different mass spectrometric methods to characterize the neuropeptidome of the adult carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. We also characterized the local neuropeptide complement in different parts of the nervous and neuroendocrine system, including the antennal and optic lobes. Our analysis identifies 39 neuropeptides encoded by different prepropeptide genes, and in silico predicts new prepropeptide genes encoding CAPA peptides, CNMamide as well as homologues of the honey bee IDLSRFYGHFNT- and ITGQGNRIF-containing peptides. Our data provides basic information about the identity and localization of neuropeptides that is required to anatomically and functionally address the role and significance of neuropeptides in ant behavior and physiology.

  8. Antthrushes, antpittas, and gnateaters (Aves, Formicariidae) as army ant followers

    OpenAIRE

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Antthrushes (Formicarius, Chamaeza) sometimes walk around swarms of army ants and capture ground prey, but do not follow ants regularly. Among antpittas, only fast-leaping Pittasoma michleri and P. rufopileatum regularly follow ants. Gnateaters (Conopophaga) follow ants little. All these ground-foraging genera are poorly adapted for rapid flying, and failure to follow ants is perhaps due to inability to evade predators or out fly competitors near groups of birds attracted by ants.

  9. AntStar: Enhancing Optimization Problems by Integrating an Ant System and A⁎ Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Faisal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nature-inspired techniques have become valuable to many intelligent systems in different fields of technology and science. Among these techniques, Ant Systems (AS have become a valuable technique for intelligent systems in different fields. AS is a computational system inspired by the foraging behavior of ants and intended to solve practical optimization problems. In this paper, we introduce the AntStar algorithm, which is swarm intelligence based. AntStar enhances the optimization and performance of an AS by integrating the AS and A⁎ algorithm. Applying the AntStar algorithm to the single-source shortest-path problem has been done to ensure the efficiency of the proposed AntStar algorithm. The experimental result of the proposed algorithm illustrated the robustness and accuracy of the AntStar algorithm.

  10. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-01

    Like other organisms, ants require suitable microclimatic conditions for their development. Thus, ant species inhabiting colder climates build nest mounds that rise above the soil surface, presumably to obtain heating from solar radiation. Although some ant species construct mounds of organic materials, which generate substantial heat due to microbial metabolism, Lasius flavus mounds consists mostly of soil, not organic material. The use of artificial shading in the current study demonstrated that L. flavus depends on direct solar radiation to regulate the temperature in its mound-like nests. Temperatures were much lower in shaded mounds than in unshaded mounds and were likely low enough in shaded mounds to reduce ant development and reproduction. In areas where L. flavus and similar ants are undesirable, they might be managed by shading.

  11. Modified chaotic ant swarm to function optimization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yu-ying; WEN Qiao-yan; LI Li-xiang

    2009-01-01

    The chaotic ant swarm algorithm (CAS) is an optimization algorithm based on swarm intelligence theory, and it is inspired by the chaotic and self-organizing behavior of the ants in nature. Based on the analysis of the properties of the CAS, this article proposes a variation on the CAS called the modified chaotic ant swarm (MCAS), which employs two novel strategies to significantly improve the performance of the original algorithm. This is achieved by restricting the variables to search ranges and making the global best ant to learn from different ants' best information in the end. The simulation of the MCAS on five benchmark functions shows that the MCAS improves the precision of the solution.

  12. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    . However, in rare occasions fungal symbionts might come into contact with symbionts from other colonies. I showed that in both leaf-cutting ant genera incompatibility reactions between fungal strains can avoid intermixing of different strains, and that these reactions strengthen when genetic distance...... successful. To understand the evolutionary development of domestication of the fungus over the phylogeny of the Attine ants, I compared the average number of nuclei per cell for the fungal symbionts, for each of the different groups of fungus-growing ants. I found that the fungal symbionts of the paleo...... is increased. This pattern, however, becomes distorted when fungal symbionts are contested across ant genera. The most important mechanism in the succession of this mutualism of leaf-cutting ants is the controlled degradation of plant material. I show that in the area of Gamboa, Panama, the two leaf...

  13. Optimal Load Dispatch Using Ant Lion Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menakshi Mahendru Nischal

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents Ant lion optimization (ALO technique to solve optimal load dispatch problem. Ant lion optimization (ALO is a novel nature inspired algorithm. The ALO algorithm mimics the hunting mechanism of ant lions in nature. Five main steps of hunting prey such as the random walk of ants, building traps, entrapment of ants in traps, catching preys, and re-building traps are implemented. Optimal load dispatch (OLD is a method of determining the most efficient, low-cost and reliable operation of a power system by dispatching available electricity generation resources to supply load on the system. The primary objective of OLD is to minimize total cost of generation while honoring operational constraints of available generation resources. The proposed technique is implemented on 3, 6 & 20 unit test system for solving the OLD. Numerical results shows that the proposed method has good convergence property and better in quality of solution than other algorithms reported in recent literature.

  14. Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of the Enigmatic Scorpion Superstitionia donensis (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae), with Insights on the Evolution of Its Venom Components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E.; Cid-Uribe, Jimena I.; Batista, Cesar V. F.; Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D.

    2016-01-01

    Venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have improved our knowledge on the diversity of the heterogeneous components present in scorpion venoms. However, most of these studies have focused on species from the family Buthidae. To gain insights into the molecular diversity of the venom components of scorpions belonging to the family Superstitioniidae, one of the neglected scorpion families, we performed a transcriptomic and proteomic analyses for the species Superstitionia donensis. The total mRNA extracted from the venom glands of two specimens was subjected to massive sequencing by the Illumina protocol, and a total of 219,073 transcripts were generated. We annotated 135 transcripts putatively coding for peptides with identity to known venom components available from different protein databases. Fresh venom collected by electrostimulation was analyzed by LC-MS/MS allowing the identification of 26 distinct components with sequences matching counterparts from the transcriptomic analysis. In addition, the phylogenetic affinities of the found putative calcins, scorpines, La1-like peptides and potassium channel κ toxins were analyzed. The first three components are often reported as ubiquitous in the venom of different families of scorpions. Our results suggest that, at least calcins and scorpines, could be used as molecular markers in phylogenetic studies of scorpion venoms. PMID:27941686

  15. Viper venom induced inflammation with Montivipera xanthina (Gray, 1849) and the anti-snake venom activities of Artemisia absinthium L. in rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nalbantsoy, Ayse; Erel, Sura Baykan; Köksal, Cinel; Göçmen, Bayram; Yıldız, Mehmet Zülfü; Karabay Yavaşoğlu, Nefise Ülkü

    2013-04-01

    The present study was conducted to explore the characterization of Montivipera xanthina crude venom partially by in vitro and in vivo and the anti-snake venom activities of Artemisia absinthium L. in comparison with carrageenan-induced acute inflammation model in rats. The LD50 value was estimated as 8.78 mg/kg within 24 h by different venom doses administrated intraperitoneally in mice. The IC50 value was 0.43 ± 0.18 μg/ml after 48 h treatment while the calculated value was 0.73 ± 0.10 μg/ml for the culture media totally refreshed after 2 h treatment with venom. Wistar rats were treated intraperitoneally with A. absinthium extract, 30 min before venom or carrageenan was injected subplantarly into the left hind paw. Intraperitoneal administration of 25 and 50 mg/kg extract was inhibited venom induced paw swelling at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 h (p in vivo toxicity and inflammatory actions and in vitro cytotoxic actions of crude M. xanthina venom were performed as a first report and inhibition of venom-induced inflammation by methanolic extract of A. absinthium was described.

  16. Combined venomics, venom gland transcriptomics, bioactivities, and antivenomics of two Bothrops jararaca populations from geographic isolated regions within the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Machado, Larissa; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Jorge, Roberta Jeane B; Leitão-De-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Alvares, Diego Janisch; De Miranda, Joari; Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Fernandes, Wilson; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico; Fernández, Julián; Zingali, Russolina B; Gutiérrez, José María; Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-03-01

    Bothrops jararaca is a slender and semi-arboreal medically relevant pit viper species endemic to tropical and subtropical forests in southern Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina (Misiones). Within its geographic range, it is often abundant and is an important cause of snakebite. Although no subspecies are currently recognized, geographic analyses have revealed the existence of two well-supported B. jararaca clades that diverged during the Pliocene ~3.8Mya and currently display a southeastern (SE) and a southern (S) Atlantic rainforest (Mata Atlântica) distribution. The spectrum, geographic variability, and ontogenetic changes of the venom proteomes of snakes from these two B. jararaca phylogroups were investigated applying a combined venom gland transcriptomic and venomic analysis. Comparisons of the venom proteomes and transcriptomes of B. jararaca from the SE and S geographic regions revealed notable interpopulational variability that may be due to the different levels of population-specific transcriptional regulation, including, in the case of the southern population, a marked ontogenetic venom compositional change involving the upregulation of the myotoxic PLA2 homolog, bothropstoxin-I. This population-specific marker can be used to estimate the proportion of venom from the southern population present in the B. jararaca venom pool used for the Brazilian soro antibotrópico (SAB) antivenom production. On the other hand, the southeastern population-specific D49-PLA2 molecules, BinTX-I and BinTX-II, lend support to the notion that the mainland ancestor of Bothrops insularis was originated within the same population that gave rise to the current SE B. jararaca phylogroup, and that this insular species endemic to Queimada Grande Island (Brazil) expresses a pedomorphic venom phenotype. Mirroring their compositional divergence, the two geographic B. jararaca venom pools showed distinct bioactivity profiles. However, the SAB antivenom manufactured in Vital Brazil

  17. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  18. Bioecology and chemical diversity of abdominal glands in the iranian samsum ant Pachycondyla sennaarensis (Formicidae: Ponerinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MR Nikbakhtzadeh

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Pachycondyla is a large group of ants in the Ponerini tribe, known mostly from tropical and subtropical regions. Pachycondyla sennaarensis, the so-called Samsum ant in the Middle East, is distributed throughout the African tropics, Arabian Peninsula and Iran, where it is responsible for many cases of insect-induced dermal lesions and systemic reactions in humans. Populations of P. sennaarensis were studied in two regions of Iran and some aspects of their biology, ecology and medical importance are herein presented. Colonies of P. sennaarensis contain less than 850 workers that live in complicated underground galleries approximately one meter deep. Because of the harsh weather conditions of southern Iran, they can survive only in human disturbed habitats with higher humidity. Neither a real queen (without reproductive division of labor nor a caste system is found in a P. sennaarensis colony. Observations indicated that P. sennaarensis is omnivorous, feeding on seeds of various plants, dead ants of other species, the larvae of dipterans and a few other invertebrates. The effect of the P. sennaarensis sting is usually mild, resulting in papule formation, erythema and dermal itching. The abdominal gland secretion of P. sennaarensis is a complex mixture of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons and small amounts of terpenoids, ketones, pyrazines and phenolic compounds that are accompanied by straight-chain hydrocarbons. So far, no case of anaphylaxis has been reported in Iran, a fact probably due to the lack of proteins in P. sennaarensis venom. It appears that P. sennaarensis populations vary considerably in their toxin composition according to their geographic range, which may ultimately explain symptoms of different severity among local residents.

  19. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-05-06

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk.

  20. Cardiotoxic effects of venom fractions from the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri on human myocardiocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggiomo, Silvia L A; Seymour, Jamie E

    2012-09-01

    An investigation into the cardiotoxic effects in human cardiomyocytes of different fractions (as produced from an FPLC) of the venom from Chironex fleckeri showed that whole venom caused cardiac cell death in minutes, measured as cell detachment using xCELLigence technology. However, only one fraction of the venom was responsible for this effect. When all extracted venoms were recombined a similar result was seen for the toxic fraction, however these effects were slower than unfractionated venom alone even though the concentrations were similar. The difference in the results between fractioned and unfractionated venom may have been caused by compounds remaining in the FPLC column, which may interact with the toxic fraction to cause rapid cell detachment or death.

  1. Proteomic Analyses of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Venom Using 2D Electrophoresis and MS Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocian, Aleksandra; Urbanik, Małgorzata; Hus, Konrad; Łyskowski, Andrzej; Petrilla, Vladimír; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Petrillová, Monika; Legáth, Jaroslav

    2016-12-13

    Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A₂ and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5'-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor.

  2. Proteomic Analyses of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Venom Using 2D Electrophoresis and MS Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Bocian

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A2 and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5′-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor.

  3. Histopathological evaluation in experimental envenomation of dogs with Crotalus durissus terrificus venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Sangiorgio

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The present work evaluated histopathological aspects in experimental envenomation of dogs with Crotalus durissus terrificus venom. Twenty-eight mixed breed adult dogs were divided into three groups of seven animals each: Group I - only venom; Group II - venom + 50ml antiophidic serum + fluid therapy; Group III - venom + 50ml antiophidic serum + fluid therapy + urine alkalization. Lyophilized venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus was reconstituted in saline solution and inoculated subcutaneously at the dose of 1mg/kg body weight. Three animals of each group were subjected to euthanasia, and their muscular tissue, brain, spleen, kidneys, heart, lungs, stomach, small and large intestines, and popliteal lymph node fragments were collected for histopathological evaluation. There was myonecrosis in the inoculated limb, renal tubular degeneration, lymphoid hyperplasia of spleen, and unspecific reactive hepatitis. These results show the antigenicity and action of the venom on the immune system.

  4. Efficacy of tannins from Mimosa pudica and tannic acid in neutralizing cobra (Naja kaouthia venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FY Sia

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, the effectiveness of Mimosa pudica tannins (MPT in neutralizing the lethality of Naja kaouthia venom was compared with commercially derived tannins. Preincubation of MPT with N. kaouthia venom maintained 100% survival of mice after 24 hours. The mouse group in which there was no preincubation, no protection against the effects of the venom was observed. M. pudica tannin was found to be more effective in neutralizing the lethality of N. kaouthia venom when compared to commercial tannic acid. Two protein spots were missing in the two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE of the MPT treated mouse indicating the down-regulation of venom proteins. The results from this study indicated that tannins obtained from M. pudica are better than tannic acid in neutralizing the lethality of N. kaouthia venom in vitro. However, further investigations are required to establish that M. pudica has potential for treating N. kaouthia snakebites.

  5. Ctenus medius and Phoneutria nigriventer spiders venoms share noxious proinflammatory activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, Cinthya Kimori; Gonçalves-De-Andrade, Rute M; Queiroz, Giselle Pidde; Gutierez, Vanessa P; De Almeida, Daniel Manzoni; Cury, Yara; Bertani, Rogério; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2009-01-01

    Ctenus medius Keyserling, 1891 (Araneae: Ctenidae) co-occurs in various microhabitats of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and can be easily misidentified as the medically important spider Phoneutria nigriventer Keyserling, 1981 (Ctenidae). Despite being phylogenetically close to Phoneutria, no data are available about the toxic potential of Ctenus medius venom. Here we show that, although presenting different profile of protein composition, C. medius venom displays some of the toxic properties exhibited by P. nigriventer venom, including proteolytic, hyaluronidasic and phospholipasic activities, as well as the ability of causing hyperalgesia and edema. Moreover, C. medius venom interferes in the activation of the complement system in concentrations that P. nigriventer venom is inactive. Thus, these data show that venoms of spiders from Ctenidae family share important proinflammatory properties and suggest that the C. medius bite may have an important noxious effect in human accidents.

  6. Evaluation of cytotoxic activities of snake venoms toward breast (MCF-7) and skin cancer (A-375) cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Michael J; Saviola, Anthony J; Fesler, Elizabeth; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-08-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of bioactive proteins and peptides that exhibit diverse biochemical activities. This wide array of pharmacologies associated with snake venoms has made them attractive sources for research into potentially novel therapeutics, and several venom-derived drugs are now in use. In the current study we performed a broad screen of a variety of venoms (61 taxa) from the major venomous snake families (Viperidae, Elapidae and "Colubridae") in order to examine cytotoxic effects toward MCF-7 breast cancer cells and A-375 melanoma cells. MTT cell viability assays of cancer cells incubated with crude venoms revealed that most venoms showed significant cytotoxicity. We further investigated venom from the Red-bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus); venom was fractionated by ion exchange fast protein liquid chromatography and several cytotoxic components were isolated. SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry were used to identify the compounds in this venom responsible for the cytotoxic effects. In general, viper venoms were potently cytotoxic, with MCF-7 cells showing greater sensitivity, while elapid and colubrid venoms were much less toxic; notable exceptions included the elapid genera Micrurus, Naja and Pseudechis, which were quite cytotoxic to both cell lines. However, venoms with the most potent cytotoxicity were often not those with low mouse LD50s, including some dangerously venomous viperids and Australian elapids. This study confirmed that many venoms contain cytotoxic compounds, including catalytic PLA2s, and several venoms also showed significant differential toxicity toward the two cancer cell lines. Our results indicate that several previously uncharacterized venoms could contain promising lead compounds for drug development.

  7. Standardization of anti-lethal toxin potency test of antivenoms prepared from two different Agkistrodon halys venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. H. Lee

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In Korea, antivenoms for the treatment of patients bitten by venomous snakes have been imported from Japan or China. Although there is cross-reactivity between these antibodies and venoms from snakes indigenous to Korea (e.g. Agkistrodon genus, protection is not optimal. Antivenoms specifically prepared to neutralize Korean snake venoms could be more effective, with fewer side effects. To this end, we established an infrastructure to develop national standards and created a standardized method to evaluate the efficacy of two horse-derived antivenoms using mouse lethal toxin test. Additionally, we determined the antivenoms neutralizing activity against lethal doses (LD50 of Agkistrodon halys (from Japan and Jiangzhe Agkistrodon halys (from China venoms. We also performed cross-neutralization tests using probit analysis on each pairing of venom and antivenom in order to check the possibility of using Jiangzhe A. halys venom as a substitute for A. halys venom, the current standard. Slope of A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 10.2 and that of A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 9.6. However, Slope of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 4.7 while that of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 11.5. Therefore, the significant difference in slope patterns suggests that Jiangzhe A. halys venom cannot be used as a substitute for the standard venom to test the anti-lethal toxin activity of antivenoms (p<0.05.

  8. Purification of the Immunogenic Fractions and Determination of Toxicity in Mesobuthus eupeus (Scorpionida: Buthidae Venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Khoobdel

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Scorpions stings are a health problem in many parts of the world. Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae is the most prevalent species in the Middle East and Central Asia. Definition of toxicogenic and immunogenic characteristics of the venom is necessary to produce antidote. In this study, the noted properties of M. eupeus venom were evaluated.Venom was obtained by milking M. eupeus scorpions for lyophilization. Toxicity was determined after injecting the venom to albino mice and calculating LD50. Polyclonal antibodies against M. eupeus venom were obtained from immunized rabbits. The CH-Sepharose 4B column was used for isolating the specific antibodies. 10 mg of the affinity-purified antibodies were conjugated with a CH-Sepharose 4B column and M. eupeus venom was applied to the column. The bound fragments were eluted using hydrogen chloride (pH: 2.5. Crude venom and affinity-purified fractions of the venom were analyzed by SDS-PAGE technique.Lethal dose (LD was 8.75, 11.5 and 4.5 mg/kg for IP, SC and IV respectively. The LD50 of M. eupeus venom was 6.95 mg/kg. The crude venom had 12 detectable bands with molecular weights of 140, 70, 50, 33, 30, 27, 22, 18, 14, 10 kDa and two bands less than 5 kDa. The affinity-purified venom presented eight bands. The 27 kDa band was clearly sharper than other bands but 70, 18, 10 and one of the less than 5 kDa bands were not observed.Contrary to popular belief, which know scorpion venom as non-immunogenic composition, the current study was shown that the most fractions of the M. eupeus are immunogenic.

  9. Partial Purification and Characterization of Anticoagulant Factor from the Snake (Echis carinatus) Venom

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Objective(s): Snake venoms contain complex mixture of proteins with biological activities. Some of these proteins affect blood coagulation and platelet function in different ways. Snake venom toxin may serve as a starting material for drug design to combat several pathophysiological problems such as cardiovascular disorders. In the present study, purification of anticoagulation factor from venom of snake (Echis carinatus) was studied. Materials and Methods: Anticoagulation activity of crude v...

  10. Differential gene expression profiles in the venom gland/sac of Eumenes pomiformis (Hymenoptera: Eumenidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Ji Hyeong; Lee, Si Hyeock

    2010-06-01

    To search for novel transcripts encoding biologically active venom components, a subtractive cDNA library specific to the venom gland and sac (gland/sac) of a solitary hunting wasp species, Eumenes pomiformis Fabricius (1781), was constructed by suppression subtractive hybridization. A total of 541 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were clustered and assembled into 102 contigs (31 multiple sequences and 71 singletons). In total, 37 cDNAs were found in the library via BLASTx searching and manual annotation. Eight contigs (337 ESTs) encoding short venom peptides (10 to 16 amino acids) occupied 62% of the library. The deduced amino acid sequence (78 amino acids) of a novel venom peptide transcript shared sequence similarity with trypsin inhibitors and dendrotoxin-like venom peptides known to be K(+) channel blockers, implying that this novel peptide may play a role in the paralysis of prey. In addition to phospholipase A2 and hyaluronidase, which are known to be the main components of wasp venoms, several transcripts encoding enzymes, including three metallopeptidases and a decarboxylase likely involved in the processing and activation of venomous proteins, peptides, amines, and neurotransmitters, were also isolated from the library. The presence of a transcript encoding a putative insulin/insulin-like peptide binding protein suggests that solitary hunting wasps use their venom to control their prey, leading to larval growth cessation. The abundance of these venom components in the venom gland/sac and in the alimentary canal was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Discovery of venom gland/sac-specific transcripts should promote further studies on biologically active components in the venom of solitary hunting wasps.

  11. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem of collective search is a tradeoff between searching thoroughly and covering as much area as possible. This tradeoff depends on the density of searchers. Solutions to the problem of collective search are currently of much interest in robotics and in the study of distributed algorithms, for example to design ways that without central control robots can use local information to perform search and rescue operations. Ant colonies operate without central control. Because they can perceive only local, mostly chemical and tactile cues, they must search collectively to find resources and to monitor the colony's environment. Examining how ants in diverse environments solve the problem of collective search can elucidate how evolution has led to diverse forms of collective behavior. An experiment on the International Space Station in January 2014 examined how ants (Tetramorium caespitum perform collective search in microgravity. In the ISS experiment, the ants explored a small arena in which a barrier was lowered to increase the area and thus lower ant density. In microgravity, relative to ground controls, ants explored the area less thoroughly and took more convoluted paths. It appears that the difficulty of holding on to the surface interfered with the ants’ ability to search collectively. Ants frequently lost contact with the surface, but showed a remarkable ability to regain contact with the surface.

  12. Differential Recruitment of Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) Ants in Response to Ant Garden Herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, R E; Dáttilo, W; Izzo, T J

    2014-12-01

    Although several studies have shown that ants can recognize chemical cues from their host plants in ant-plant systems, it is poorly demonstrated in ant gardens (AGs). In this interaction, ant species constantly interact with various epiphyte species. Therefore, it is possible to expect a convergence of chemical signals released by plants that could be acting to ensure that ants are able to recognize and defend epiphyte species frequently associated with AGs. In this study, it was hypothesized that ants recognize and differentiate among chemical stimuli released by AG epiphytes and non-AG epiphytes. We experimentally simulated leaf herbivore damage on three epiphyte species restricted to AGs and a locally abundant understory herb, Piper hispidum, in order to quantify the number of recruited Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) defenders. When exposed to the AG epiphytes Peperomia macrostachya and Codonanthe uleana leaves, it was observed that the recruitment of C. femoratus workers was, on average, respectively 556% and 246% higher than control. However, the number of ants recruited by the AG epiphyte Markea longiflora or by the non-AG plant did not differ from paper pieces. This indicated that ants could discern between chemicals released by different plants, suggesting that ants can select better plants. These results can be explained by evolutionary process acting on both ants' capability in discerning plants' chemical compounds (innate attraction) or by ants' learning based on the epiphyte frequency in AGs (individual experience). To disentangle an innate behavior, a product of classical coevolutionary process, from an ant's learned behavior, is a complicated but important subject to understand in the evolution of ant-plant mutualisms.

  13. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Libert, Michel; Compin, Arthur; Hérault, Bruno; Orivel, Jérôme; Bouyer, Thierry; Corbara, Bruno

    2017-02-01

    Working along forest edges, we aimed to determine how some caterpillars can co-exist with territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAAs) in tropical Africa. We recorded caterpillars from 22 lepidopteran species living in the presence of five TDAA species. Among the defoliator and/or nectarivorous caterpillars that live on tree foliage, the Pyralidae and Nymphalidae use their silk to protect themselves from ant attacks. The Notodontidae and lycaenid Polyommatinae and Theclinae live in direct contact with ants; the Theclinae even reward ants with abundant secretions from their Newcomer gland. Lichen feeders (lycaenid; Poritiinae), protected by long bristles, also live among ants. Some lycaenid Miletinae caterpillars feed on ant-attended membracids, including in the shelters where the ants attend them; Lachnocnema caterpillars use their forelegs to obtain trophallaxis from their host ants. Caterpillars from other species live inside weaver ant nests. Those of the genus Euliphyra (Miletinae) feed on ant prey and brood and can obtain trophallaxis, while those from an Eberidae species only prey on host ant eggs. Eublemma albifascia (Erebidae) caterpillars use their thoracic legs to obtain trophallaxis and trophic eggs from ants. Through transfer bioassays of last instars, we noted that herbivorous caterpillars living in contact with ants were always accepted by alien conspecific ants; this is likely due to an intrinsic appeasing odor. Yet, caterpillars living in ant shelters or ant nests probably acquire cues from their host colonies because they were considered aliens and killed. We conclude that co-evolution with ants occurred similarly in the Heterocera and Rhopalocera.

  14. Immunological assessment of mice hyperimmunized with native and Cobalt-60-irradiated Bothrops venoms

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    R. S. Ferreira Junior

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available ELISA was used to evaluate, accompany, and compare the humoral immune response of Swiss mice during hyperimmunization with native and Cobalt-60-irradiated (60Co venoms of Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu and Bothrops moojeni. Potency and neutralization were evaluated by in vitro challenges. After hyperimmunization, immunity was observed by in vivo challenge, and the side effects were assessed. The animals immunization with one LD50 of each venom occurred on days 1, 15, 21, 30, and 45, when blood samples were collected; challenges happened on the 60th day. Results showed that ELISA was efficient in evaluating, accompanying and comparing mouse immune response during hyperimmunization. Serum titers produced with natural venom were similar to those produced with irradiated venom. Immunogenic capacity was maintained after 60Co-irradiation. The sera produced with native venom showed neutralizing potency and capacity similar to those of the sera produced with irradiated venom. All antibodies were able to neutralize five LD50 from these venoms. Clinical alterations were minimum during hyperimmunization with irradiated venom, however, necrosis and death occurred in animals inoculated with native venom.

  15. Venoms of Heteropteran Insects: A Treasure Trove of Diverse Pharmacological Toolkits

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    Andrew A. Walker

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The piercing-sucking mouthparts of the true bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera have allowed diversification from a plant-feeding ancestor into a wide range of trophic strategies that include predation and blood-feeding. Crucial to the success of each of these strategies is the injection of venom. Here we review the current state of knowledge with regard to heteropteran venoms. Predaceous species produce venoms that induce rapid paralysis and liquefaction. These venoms are powerfully insecticidal, and may cause paralysis or death when injected into vertebrates. Disulfide-rich peptides, bioactive phospholipids, small molecules such as N,N-dimethylaniline and 1,2,5-trithiepane, and toxic enzymes such as phospholipase A2, have been reported in predatory venoms. However, the detailed composition and molecular targets of predatory venoms are largely unknown. In contrast, recent research into blood-feeding heteropterans has revealed the structure and function of many protein and non-protein components that facilitate acquisition of blood meals. Blood-feeding venoms lack paralytic or liquefying activity but instead are cocktails of pharmacological modulators that disable the host haemostatic systems simultaneously at multiple points. The multiple ways venom is used by heteropterans suggests that further study will reveal heteropteran venom components with a wide range of bioactivities that may be recruited for use as bioinsecticides, human therapeutics, and pharmacological tools.

  16. Venoms of Heteropteran Insects: A Treasure Trove of Diverse Pharmacological Toolkits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew A; Weirauch, Christiane; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2016-02-12

    The piercing-sucking mouthparts of the true bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera) have allowed diversification from a plant-feeding ancestor into a wide range of trophic strategies that include predation and blood-feeding. Crucial to the success of each of these strategies is the injection of venom. Here we review the current state of knowledge with regard to heteropteran venoms. Predaceous species produce venoms that induce rapid paralysis and liquefaction. These venoms are powerfully insecticidal, and may cause paralysis or death when injected into vertebrates. Disulfide-rich peptides, bioactive phospholipids, small molecules such as N,N-dimethylaniline and 1,2,5-trithiepane, and toxic enzymes such as phospholipase A2, have been reported in predatory venoms. However, the detailed composition and molecular targets of predatory venoms are largely unknown. In contrast, recent research into blood-feeding heteropterans has revealed the structure and function of many protein and non-protein components that facilitate acquisition of blood meals. Blood-feeding venoms lack paralytic or liquefying activity but instead are cocktails of pharmacological modulators that disable the host haemostatic systems simultaneously at multiple points. The multiple ways venom is used by heteropterans suggests that further study will reveal heteropteran venom components with a wide range of bioactivities that may be recruited for use as bioinsecticides, human therapeutics, and pharmacological tools.

  17. Biochemical and hematological study of goats envenomed with natural and 60Co-irradiated bothropic venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lucas de Oliveira, P.C.; Madruga, R.A.; Barbosa, N.P.U. [Uberaba School of Veterinary Medicine (UNIUBE), MG (Brazil)]. E-mail: pedrolucaso@uol.com.br; Sakate, M. [UNESP, Botucatu, SP (Brazil). School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry

    2007-07-01

    Venoms from snakes of the Bothrops genus are proteolytic, coagulant, hemorrhagic and nephrotoxic, causing edema, necrosis, hemorrhage and intense pain at the bite site, besides systemic alterations. Many adjuvants have been added to the venom used in the sensitization of antiserum-producer animals to increase antigenic induction and reduce the envenomation pathological effects. Gamma radiation from {sup 60}Co has been used as an attenuating agent of the venoms toxic properties. The main objective was to study, comparatively, clinical and laboratory aspects of goats inoculated with bothropic (Bothrops jararaca) venom, natural and irradiated from a {sup 60}Co source. Twelve goats were divided into two groups of six animals: GINV, inoculated with 0.5 mg/kg of natural venom; and GIIV, inoculated with 0.5 mg/kg of irradiated venom. Blood samples were collected immediately before and one, two, seven, and thirty days after venom injection. Local lesions were daily evaluated. The following exams were carried out: blood tests; biochemical tests of urea, creatinine, creatine kinase, aspartate amino-transferase and alanine amino-transferase; clotting time; platelets count; and total serum immunoglobulin measurement. In the conditions of the present experiment, irradiated venom was less aggressive and more immunogenic than natural venom. (author)

  18. Biochemical and hematological study of goats envenomed with natural and 60Co-irradiated bothropic venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. C. Lucas de Oliveira

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Venoms from snakes of the Bothrops genus are proteolytic, coagulant, hemorrhagic and nephrotoxic, causing edema, necrosis, hemorrhage and intense pain at the bite site, besides systemic alterations. Many adjuvants have been added to the venom used in the sensitization of antiserum-producer animals to increase antigenic induction and reduce the envenomation pathological effects. Gamma radiation from 60Co has been used as an attenuating agent of the venoms toxic properties. The main objective was to study, comparatively, clinical and laboratory aspects of goats inoculated with bothropic (Bothrops jararaca venom, natural and irradiated from a 60Co source. Twelve goats were divided into two groups of six animals: GINV, inoculated with 0.5mg/kg of natural venom; and GIIV, inoculated with 0.5mg/kg of irradiated venom. Blood samples were collected immediately before and one, two, seven, and thirty days after venom injection. Local lesions were daily evaluated. The following exams were carried out: blood tests; biochemical tests of urea, creatinine, creatine kinase (CK, aspartate amino-transferase (AST and alanine amino-transferase (ALT; clotting time; platelets count; and total serum immunoglobulin measurement. In the conditions of the present experiment, irradiated venom was less aggressive and more immunogenic than natural venom.

  19. Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, Camilla M; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Bansal, Paramjit; Torres, Allan M; Wong, Emily S W; Deakin, Janine E; Graves, Tina; Alsop, Amber; Schatzkamer, Kyriena; Kremitzki, Colin; Ponting, Chris P; Temple-Smith, Peter; Warren, Wesley C; Kuchel, Philip W; Belov, Katherine

    2008-06-01

    When the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) was first discovered, it was thought to be a taxidermist's hoax, as it has a blend of mammalian and reptilian features. It is a most remarkable mammal, not only because it lays eggs but also because it is venomous. Rather than delivering venom through a bite, as do snakes and shrews, male platypuses have venomous spurs on each hind leg. The platypus genome sequence provides a unique opportunity to unravel the evolutionary history of many of these interesting features. While searching the platypus genome for the sequences of antimicrobial defensin genes, we identified three Ornithorhynchus venom defensin-like peptide (OvDLP) genes, which produce the major components of platypus venom. We show that gene duplication and subsequent functional diversification of beta-defensins gave rise to these platypus OvDLPs. The OvDLP genes are located adjacent to the beta-defensins and share similar gene organization and peptide structures. Intriguingly, some species of snakes and lizards also produce venoms containing similar molecules called crotamines and crotamine-like peptides. This led us to trace the evolutionary origins of other components of platypus and reptile venom. Here we show that several venom components have evolved separately in the platypus and reptiles. Convergent evolution has repeatedly selected genes coding for proteins containing specific structural motifs as templates for venom molecules.

  20. Cloning and characterisation of novel cystatins from elapid snake venom glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Renée; St Pierre, Liam; Trabi, Manuela; Johnson, Lambro A; de Jersey, John; Masci, Paul P; Lavin, Martin F

    2011-04-01

    Snake venoms contain a complex mixture of polypeptides that modulate prey homeostatic mechanisms through highly specific and targeted interactions. In this study we have identified and characterised cystatin-like cysteine-protease inhibitors from elapid snake venoms for the first time. Novel cystatin sequences were cloned from 12 of 13 elapid snake venom glands and the protein was detected, albeit at very low levels, in a total of 22 venoms. One highly conserved isoform, which displayed close sequence identity with family 2 cystatins, was detected in each elapid snake. Crude Austrelaps superbus (Australian lowland copperhead) snake venom inhibited papain, and a recombinant form of A. superbus cystatin inhibited cathepsin L ≅ papain > cathepsin B, with no inhibition observed for calpain or legumain. While snake venom cystatins have truncated N-termini, sequence alignment and structural modelling suggested that the evolutionarily conserved Gly-11 of family 2 cystatins, essential for cysteine protease inhibition, is conserved in snake venom cystatins as Gly-3. This was confirmed by mutagenesis at the Gly-3 site, which increased the dissociation constant for papain by 10(4)-fold. These data demonstrate that elapid snake venom cystatins are novel members of the type 2 family. The widespread, low level expression of type 2 cystatins in snake venom, as well as the presence of only one highly conserved isoform in each species, imply essential housekeeping or regulatory roles for these proteins.

  1. A Study on the Effects of Bee Venom Aqua-Acupuncture on Writhing Reflex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeong Sun-Hee

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction:In spite of the use of Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture in the clinics, the scientific evaluation on effects is not enough. Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture is used according to the stimulation of acupuncture point and the chemical effects of Bee Venom. The aims of this study is to investigate the analgegic effects of the Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture, through the change of writhing reflex Materials and Methods:Pain animal model was used acetic acid method. The changes of writhing reflex of the mice which were derived pain by injecting acetic acid into the abdomen, after stimulating Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture on Chungwan(CV12 and non acupuncture point on the backside were measured. Results:1. It showed that the writhing reflex were appeared on the groups which injected acetic acid only, and saline-acetic acid group(sample I, but not on the group bee venom-saline group(sample II. 2. The change of writhing reflex by Chungwan(CV12 Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture showed significant decrease in the order of Chungwan(CV12 Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture group III(2.5×10-3g/kg, II(2.5×10-4g/kg, and I(2.5×10-5g/kg, compared with control group. There were significant decrease of number of writhing reflex in 5~10, 10~15 and 15~20 minutes intervals of Chung wan(CV12 Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture group I, and in 0~5, 5~10, 10~15 and 15~20 minutes intervals of II and III, compared with control group. 3. The change of writhing reflex by non acupuncture point Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture showed significant decrease in the 0~5 and 5~10 minutes intervals and the total number of writhing reflex in 2.5×10-4g/kg group, compared with control group 4. The effects of writhing reflex of Chungwan(CV12 Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture group showed significant decrease, compared with non acupuncture point Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture group. Conclusion:This study shows that the Bee Venom aqua-acupuncture on Chungwan(CV12 decreases the numbers of writhing reflex. As the

  2. Variations in Loxosceles spider venom composition and toxicity contribute to the severity of envenomation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Kátia C; Gonçalves de Andrade, Rute M; Piazza, Roxane M F; Ferreira, Jorge M C; van den Berg, C W; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2005-03-15

    Envenomation by Loxosceles spiders causes two main clinical manifestations: cutaneous and systemic loxoscelism. The factors contributing to the severity of loxoscelism are not fully understood. We have analysed biochemical and toxicity variations in venom of L. laeta and L. intermedia, with the aim to find a correlation with the seriousness of loxoscelism. Differences in expression of proteins, glycoproteins and sphingomyelinase activity were observed between venom from male and female spiders and between venom from the two species. These differences were reflected in the toxicity of the venoms including the capacity to induce complement-dependent haemolysis, dermonecrosis and lethality. Comparative analysis of gender and species, showed that these biological activities were more prominent in venom from female spiders, especially from L. laeta. Antiserum raised against venom from females L. laeta spiders had the highest efficacy in neutralizing venoms of males and females of both species. These results indicate that the severity of loxoscelism depends, at least partially, on the species and sex of the spider and suggest that for accidents involving L. laeta an specific serum therapy is necessary. Furthermore, it emphasizes the efficacy of the antiserum produced against L. laeta female venom in neutralizing Loxosceles venoms from different species and gender.

  3. Characterization of Three Venom Peptides from the Spitting Spider Scytodes thoracica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariki, Nathanial K.; Muñoz, Lisa E.; Armitage, Elizabeth L.; Goodstein, Francesca R.; George, Kathryn G.; Smith, Vanessa L.; Vetter, Irina; Herzig, Volker; King, Glenn F.; Loening, Nikolaus M.

    2016-01-01

    We present the solution-state NMR structures and preliminary functional characterizations of three venom peptides identified from the spitting spider Scytodes thoracica. Despite little sequence identity to other venom peptides, structural characterization reveals that these peptides contain an inhibitor cystine knot motif common to many venom peptides. These are the first structures for any peptide or protein from spiders of the Scytodidae family. Many venom peptides target neuronal ion channels or receptors. However, we have not been able to determine the target of these Scytodes peptides so we can only state with certainty the channels and receptors that they do not target. PMID:27227898

  4. Inflammatory mediators generated at the site of inoculation of Loxosceles gaucho spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbaro, Katia C; Lira, Marcela S; Araújo, Claudia A; Pareja-Santos, Alessandra; Távora, Bianca C L F; Prezotto-Neto, José Pedro; Kimura, Louise F; Lima, Carla; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Santoro, Marcelo L

    2010-11-01

    Patients bitten by Loxosceles spiders generally manifest marked local inflammatory reaction and dermonecrosis. This report evaluated edema formation, leukocyte infiltration and release of inflammatory mediators at the injection site of Loxosceles gaucho venom. BALB/c mice were i.d. injected with venom and thereafter paws were disrupted and homogenized to obtain differential counts of migrated cells, as well to assay the levels of cytokines, chemokines and lipid mediators. Increased footpad thickness was detected as soon as 30 min after venom injection, and 24h later was similar to that of the control group. Loxosceles venom mildly augmented the recruitment of leukocytes to the footpad in comparison with PBS-injected mice. Moreover, it stimulated the release of IL-6, MCP-1 and KC at 2 and 24h after venom injection. In addition, higher levels of PGE(2) were detected 30 min after venom injection in comparison with control group. However, the venom failed to increase levels of IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, TXB(2) and LTB(4). Our results demonstrate that L. gaucho venom evokes an early complex inflammatory reaction, stimulating the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lipid mediators (PGE(2)), and recruiting leukocytes to the footpad which contribute to the local reaction induced by L. gaucho venom.

  5. Characterization of Three Venom Peptides from the Spitting Spider Scytodes thoracica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathanial K Ariki

    Full Text Available We present the solution-state NMR structures and preliminary functional characterizations of three venom peptides identified from the spitting spider Scytodes thoracica. Despite little sequence identity to other venom peptides, structural characterization reveals that these peptides contain an inhibitor cystine knot motif common to many venom peptides. These are the first structures for any peptide or protein from spiders of the Scytodidae family. Many venom peptides target neuronal ion channels or receptors. However, we have not been able to determine the target of these Scytodes peptides so we can only state with certainty the channels and receptors that they do not target.

  6. Biological and Pathological Studies of Rosmarinic Acid as an Inhibitor of Hemorrhagic Trimeresurus flavoviridis (habu Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatake Niwa

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available In our previous report, rosmarinic acid (RA was revealed to be an antidote active compound in Argusia argentea (family: Boraginaceae. The plant is locally used in Okinawa in Japan as an antidote for poisoning from snake venom, Trimeresurus flavoviridis (habu. This article presents mechanistic evidence of RA’s neutralization of the hemorrhagic effects of snake venom. Anti-hemorrhagic activity was assayed by using several kinds of snake venom. Inhibition against fibrinogen hydrolytic and collagen hydrolytic activities of T. flavoviridis venom were examined by SDS-PAGE. A histopathological study was done by microscopy after administration of venom in the presence or absence of RA. RA was found to markedly neutralize venom-induced hemorrhage, fibrinogenolysis, cytotoxicity and digestion of type IV collagen activity. Moreover, RA inhibited both hemorrhage and neutrophil infiltrations caused by T. flavoviridis venom in pathology sections. These results demonstrate that RA inhibited most of the hemorrhage effects of venom. These findings indicate that rosmarinic acid can be expected to provide therapeutic benefits in neutralization of snake venom accompanied by heat stability.

  7. Insects as biological models to assay spider and scorpion venom toxicity

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    M. F. Manzoli-Palma

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was undertaken to develop an experimental protocol using insects as biological models to assay venom toxicity of the following spiders Loxosceles gaucho, Phoneutria nigriventer, Nephilengys cruentata and Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Three different insect species were bioassayed: Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Grillus assimilis (Orthoptera, and Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera. Venoms were injected into the hemocele of insects with a microsyringe at concentrations that caused dose/weight-dependent effects; doses causing either paralysis (ED50 or death (LD50 were recorded for each venom and insect test-species. T. serrulatus and L. gaucho venoms were lethal to all tested species, while P. nigriventer venom caused paralysis and death, and N. cruentata venom caused only paralysis at the doses assayed. A comparison between the insect test species described above revealed that A. mellifera was highly sensitive to all venoms tested; even a tiny amount of N. cruentata non-lethal venom caused a change in the walking pattern leading to transient paralysis. D. saccharalis larvae were very resistant to all four venoms.

  8. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  9. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández;

    2011-01-01

    -fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation...

  10. Ant colonies for the travelling salesman problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorigo, M; Gambardella, L M

    1997-01-01

    We describe an artificial ant colony capable of solving the travelling salesman problem (TSP). Ants of the artificial colony are able to generate successively shorter feasible tours by using information accumulated in the form of a pheromone trail deposited on the edges of the TSP graph. Computer simulations demonstrate that the artificial ant colony is capable of generating good solutions to both symmetric and asymmetric instances of the TSP. The method is an example, like simulated annealing, neural networks and evolutionary computation, of the successful use of a natural metaphor to design an optimization algorithm.

  11. Anti-scorpion venom activity of Andrographis paniculata: A combined and comparative study with anti-scorpion serum in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranjana S Kale

    2013-01-01

    Conclusions: Present study demonstrates that, both plant extract and ASV have their own scorpion venom neutralising ability in vivo and in vitro, but their combination is most effective in venom neutralizing ability.

  12. Faster-is-slower effect in escaping ants revisited: Ants do not behave like humans

    CERN Document Server

    Parisi, Daniel R; Josens, Roxana

    2014-01-01

    In this work we studied the trajectories, velocities and densities of ants when egressing under controlled levels of stress produced by a chemical repellent at different concentrations. We found that, unlike other animals escaping under life-and-death conditions and pedestrian simulations, ants do not produce a higher density zone near the exit door. Instead, ants are uniformly distributed over the available space allowing for efficient evacuations. Consequently, the faster-is-slower effect observed in ants (Soria et al., 2012) is clearly of a different nature to that predicted by de social force model. In the case of ants, the minimum evacuation time is correlated with the lower probability of taking backward steps. Thus, as biological model ants have important differences that make their use inadvisable for the design of human facilities.

  13. Firing the Sting: Chemically Induced Discharge of Cnidae Reveals Novel Proteins and Peptides from Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) Venom

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Cnidarian venom research has lagged behind other toxinological fields due to technical difficulties in recovery of the complex venom from the microscopic nematocysts. Here we report a newly developed rapid, repeatable and cost effective technique of venom preparation, using ethanol to induce nematocyst discharge and to recover venom contents in one step. Our model species was the Australian box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), which has a notable impact on public health. By utilizing scanning e...

  14. Cubozoan Venom-Induced Cardiovascular Collapse Is Caused by Hyperkalemia and Prevented by Zinc Gluconate in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Chironex fleckeri (Australian box jellyfish) stings can cause acute cardiovascular collapse and death. We developed methods to recover venom with high specific activity, and evaluated the effects of both total venom and constituent porins at doses equivalent to lethal envenomation. Marked potassium release occurred within 5 min and hemolysis within 20 min in human red blood cells (RBC) exposed to venom or purified venom porin. Electron microscopy revealed abundant ~12-nm transmembrane pores i...

  15. The Effects of a Chactoid Scorpion Venom and Its Purified Toxins on Rat Blood Pressure and Mast Cells Histamine Release

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    The effect of the venom of the Chactoid family of scorpions on blood pressure was scantly investigated and was addressed in the present study using the venom of the Israeli scorpion, Scorpio maurus palmatus. Blood pressure in rats was monitored via cannulated femoral artery, while venom and toxins were introduced into femoral vein. Venom injection elicited a biphasic effect, expressed first by a fast and transient hypotensive response, which lasted up to 10 min, followed by a hypertensive res...

  16. Evaluation of different glycoforms of honeybee venom major allergen phospholipase A2 (Api m 1) produced in insect cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blank, Simon; Seismann, Henning; Plum, Melanie;

    2011-01-01

    Allergic reactions to hymenoptera stings are one of the major reasons for IgE-mediated anaphylaxis. However, proper diagnosis using venom extracts is severely affected by molecular cross-reactivity. In this study recombinant honeybee venom major allergen phospholipase A2 (Api m 1) was produced......-derived recombinant Api m 1 with defined CCD phenotypes might provide further insights into hymenoptera venom IgE reactivities and contribute to an improved diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy....

  17. Multitasking in a plant-ant interaction: how does Acacia myrtifolia manage both ants and pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Bauer, Angélica E; Martínez, Gerardo Cerón; Murphy, Daniel J; Burd, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Plant associations with protective ants are widespread among angiosperms, but carry the risk that ants will deter pollinators as well as herbivores. Such conflict, and adaptations to ameliorate or prevent the conflict, have been documented in African and neotropical acacias. Ant-acacia associations occur in Australia, but little is known of their ecology. Moreover, recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that Australian acacias are only distantly related to African and American acacias, providing an intercontinental natural experiment in the management of ant-pollinator conflict. We examined four populations of Acacia myrtifolia over a 400-km environmental gradient in southeastern Australia using ant and pollinator exclusion as well as direct observation of ants and pollinators to assess the potential for ant-pollinator conflict to affect seed set. Native bees were the only group of floral visitors whose visitation rates were a significant predictor of fruiting success, although beetles and wasps may play an important role as "insurance" pollinators. We found no increase in pollinator visitation or fruiting success following ant exclusion, even with large sample sizes and effective exclusion. Because ants are facultative visitors to A. myrtifolia plants, their presence may be insufficient to interfere greatly with floral visitors. It is also likely that the morphological location of extrafloral nectaries tends to draw ants away from reproductive parts, although we commonly observed ants on inflorescences, so the spatial separation is not strict. A. myrtifolia appears to maintain a generalized mutualism over a wide geographic range without the need for elaborate adaptations to resolve ant-pollinator conflict.

  18. 9 CFR 354.121 - Ante-mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Ante-mortem inspection. 354.121 Section 354.121 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections § 354.121 Ante-mortem inspection. An ante-mortem inspection of...

  19. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heinze, J.; Cremer, Sylvia; Eckl, N.;

    2006-01-01

    Many invasive ant species, such as the Argentine ant or the red imported fire ant, have huge colonies with thousands of mass-foraging workers, which quickly monopolise resources and therefore represent a considerable threat to the native ant fauna. Cardiocondyla obscurior and several other species...

  20. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...... and diversity of life-styles within the attine clade. We find significant differences in enzyme activity between different genera and life-styles of the ants. How these findings relate to attine ant coevolution and crop optimization are discussed....

  1. Rose Atoll - Eradication of Invasive Ants

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — There are at least 9 species of ants introduced to Rose Atoll, including species that tend to scale insects that are devastating the Pisonia grandis trees on the 15...

  2. Venomous snakebite in Thailand. I: Medically important snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanhome, L; Cox, M J; Wilde, H; Jintakoon, P; Chaiyabutr, N; Sitprija, V

    1998-05-01

    Thailand has an abundance of venomous snakes. Among the neurotoxic family Elapidae, there are three species of the genus Naja (cobras), three of the genus Bungarus (kraits), and the king cobra of the genus Ophiophagus. Other Elapidae snakes in Thailand include sea snakes and Asian coral snakes of the genus Calliophis. They have potent venoms but rarely bite humans. Tissue and hemotoxic snakes are represented by family Viperidae, subfamilies Viperinae and Crotalinae. They remain an occupational hazard for farmers and rubber tappers, causing serious morbidity but only rare deaths, since competent treatment is now widely available throughout Thailand. Purified equine antivenin is manufactured locally for the monocled and Siamese spitting cobras (Naja kaouthia and N. siamensis), king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), most green pit vipers (Trimeresurus sp.), Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma), and the Siamese Russell's viper (Daboia russelli siamensis).

  3. Techniques applicable for purifying Chironex fleckeri (box-jellyfish) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Othman, I; Burnett, J W

    1990-01-01

    A survey of several techniques to isolate a purified lethal factor from the tentacles of Chironex fleckeri was completed. Heterologous band patterns were obtained from specific eluates after gel filtration, ion exchange, immunoaffinity and hydrophobic chromatography. SDS-PAGE revealed a dense band at 24,000 mol. wt in many of these fractions. Isoelectric focusing of the crude venom resulted in considerable loss of activity but indicated significant purification in the fractions having a pI of 5.2-6.8. These fractions were also immunologically active against sera from a convalescing post-evenomation patient. The primary difficulties encountered in jellyfish venom purification are the lack of stability and the tendency of the active toxins to adhere to each other and to various support matrices.

  4. Scorpion venom peptides with no disulfide bridges: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Albalas, Qosay

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich sources of biologically active peptides that are classified into disulfide-bridged peptides (DBPs) and non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBPs). DBPs are the main scorpion venom components responsible for the neurotoxic effects observed during scorpion envenomation as they usually target membrane bound ion channels of excitable and non-excitable cells. Several hundred DBPs have been identified and functionally characterized in the past two decades. The NDBPs represent a novel group of molecules that have gained great interest only recently due to their high diversity both in their primary structures and bioactivities. This review provides an overview of scorpion NDBPs focusing on their therapeutic applications, modes of discovery, mechanisms of NDBPs genetic diversity and structural properties. It also provides a simple classification for NDBPs that could be adopted and applied to other NDBPs identified in future studies.

  5. Electrophysiological Characterization of the Antarease Metalloprotease from Tityus serrulatus Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zornetta, Irene; Scorzeto, Michele; Mendes Dos Reis, Pablo Victor; De Lima, Maria E.; Montecucco, Cesare; Megighian, Aram; Rossetto, Ornella

    2017-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest venomous living organisms and the family Buthidae is the largest and most medically relevant one. Scorpion venoms include many toxic peptides, but recently, a metalloprotease from Tityus serrulatus called antarease was reported to be capable of cleaving VAMP2, a protein involved in the neuroparalytic syndromes of tetanus and botulism. We have produced antarease and an inactive metalloprotease mutant in a recombinant form and analyzed their enzymatic activity on recombinant VAMP2 in vitro and on mammalian and insect neuromuscular junction. The purified recombinant antarease paralyzed the neuromuscular junctions of mice and of Drosophila melanogaster whilst the mutant was inactive. We were unable to demonstrate any cleavage of VAMP2 under conditions which leads to VAMP proteolysis by botulinum neurotoxin type B. Antarease caused a reduced release probability, mainly due to defects upstream of the synaptic vesicles fusion process. Paired pulse experiments indicate that antarease might proteolytically inactivate a voltage-gated calcium channel. PMID:28264432

  6. Antitumoral Potential of Tunisian Snake Venoms Secreted Phospholipases A2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raoudha Zouari-Kessentini

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Phospholipases type A2 (PLA2s are the most abundant proteins found in Viperidae snake venom. They are quite fascinating from both a biological and structural point of view. Despite similarity in their structures and common catalytic properties, they exhibit a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities. Besides being hydrolases, secreted phospholipases A2 (sPLA2 are an important group of toxins, whose action at the molecular level is still a matter of debate. These proteins can display toxic effects by different mechanisms. In addition to neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, hemolytic activity, antibacterial, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet effects, some venom PLA2s show antitumor and antiangiogenic activities by mechanisms independent of their enzymatic activity. This paper aims to discuss original finding against anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities of sPLA2 isolated from Tunisian vipers: Cerastes cerastes and Macrovipera lebetina, representing new tools to target specific integrins, mainly, and integrins.

  7. KohonAnts: A Self-Organizing Ant Algorithm for Clustering and Pattern Classification

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandes, C; Merelo, J J; Ramos, V; Laredo, J L J

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we introduce a new ant-based method that takes advantage of the cooperative self-organization of Ant Colony Systems to create a naturally inspired clustering and pattern recognition method. The approach considers each data item as an ant, which moves inside a grid changing the cells it goes through, in a fashion similar to Kohonen's Self-Organizing Maps. The resulting algorithm is conceptually more simple, takes less free parameters than other ant-based clustering algorithms, and, after some parameter tuning, yields very good results on some benchmark problems.

  8. Evaluation of the effect of gamma rays on the venom of Vipera lebetina by biochemical study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennacef-Heffar, N.; Laraba-Djebari, F. [USTHB Bab Ezzouar, Lab. de Biologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire, Faculte des Sciences Biologiques, Alger (Algeria)]. E-mail: flaraba@ibnsina.ands.dz

    2003-12-01

    Snake bites represent a serious public health problem in many areas of the world. In Algeria, two widespread snakes are Vipera lebetina and Cerastes cerastes. Vipera lebetina venom causes local hemorrhage and necrosis, and it may lead to permanent limb loss. The principal causes of mortality after snakebites are acute renal failure and hemorrhage, which occur not only locally, at the site of the bite, but also systemically, contributing to the cardiovascular shock characteristic of severe envenomation. Gamma radiation has been shown to be effective for attenuating venom toxicity. Vipera lebetina venom was irradiated with two doses of gamma rays (1 and 2 kGy) from a {sup 60}Co source, and the venom's toxic, enzymatic, and structural properties were analyzed. Intraperitoneal injection of the irradiated venoms (100-500 {mu}g/20 g mouse body mass) revealed a significant decrease of the toxicity. Irradiated venoms with 1 and 2 kGy doses were four and nine times less toxic, respectively, than the native venom. A biochemical characterization of in vitro enzymatic activities was performed. Vipera lebetina displayed in vitro caseinolytic, amidolytic, esterasic, coagulant, and phospholipase A{sub 2} activities. Caseinolytic, amidolytic, esterasic, and coagulative activities were reduced for the irradiated venoms; only phospholipase A{sub 2} activity was abolished in the irradiated venom with a dose of 2 kGy. The native and irradiated venoms were separated by gel filtration and electrophoresis. Chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles were drastically changed as compared with the native venom. Vipera lebetina venom detoxified by gamma rays was used for active immunization, and the presence of antibody in the immune sera was detected by ELISA. The immunogenic properties were preserved and the antisera obtained with the irradiated venoms could cross-react. Antisera were able to neutralize the toxic effect of V. lebetina native venom. These results indicate that

  9. Understanding Biological Roles of Venoms Among the Caenophidia: The Importance of Rear-Fanged Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackessy, Stephen P; Saviola, Anthony J

    2016-11-01

    Snake venoms represent an adaptive trophic response to the challenges confronting a limbless predator for overcoming combative prey, and this chemical means of subduing prey shows several dominant phenotypes. Many front-fanged snakes, particularly vipers, feed on various vertebrate and invertebrate prey species, and some of their venom components (e.g., metalloproteinases, cobratoxin) appear to have been selected for "broad-brush" incapacitation of different prey taxa. Using proteomic and genomic techniques, the compositional diversity of front-fanged snakes is becoming well characterized; however, this is not the case for most rear-fanged colubroid snakes. Because these species consume a high diversity of prey, and because venoms are primarily a trophic adaptation, important clues for understanding specific selective pressures favoring venom component composition will be found among rear-fanged snake venoms. Rear-fanged snakes typically (but not always) produce venoms with lower complexity than front-fanged snakes, and there are even fewer dominant (and, arguably, biologically most relevant) venom protein families. We have demonstrated taxon-specific toxic effects, where lizards and birds show high susceptibility while mammals are largely unaffected, for both Old World and New World rear-fanged snakes, strongly indicating a causal link between toxin evolution and prey preference. New data are presented on myotoxin a, showing that the extremely rapid paralysis induced by this rattlesnake toxin is specific for rodents, and that myotoxin a is ineffectual against lizards. Relatively few rear-fanged snake venoms have been characterized, and basic natural history data are largely lacking, but directed sampling of specialized species indicates that novel compounds are likely among these specialists, particularly among those species feeding on invertebrate prey such as scorpions and centipedes. Because many of the more than 2200 species of colubroid snakes are rear

  10. Comparison of venoms from wild and long-term captive Bothrops atrox snakes and characterization of Batroxrhagin, the predominant class PIII metalloproteinase from the venom of this species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas-de-Sousa, L A; Amazonas, D R; Sousa, L F; Sant'Anna, S S; Nishiyama, M Y; Serrano, S M T; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, I L M; Chalkidis, H M; Moura-da-Silva, A M; Mourão, R H V

    2015-11-01

    Comparisons between venoms from snakes kept under captivity or collected at the natural environment are of fundamental importance in order to obtain effective antivenoms to treat human victims of snakebites. In this study, we compared composition and biological activities of Bothrops atrox venom from snakes collected at Tapajós National Forest (Pará State, Brazil) or maintained for more than 10 years under captivity at Instituto Butantan herpetarium after have been collected mostly at Maranhão State, Brazil. Venoms from captive or wild snakes were similar except for small quantitative differences detected in peaks correspondent to phospholipases A2 (PLA2), snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) class PI and serine proteinases (SVSP), which did not correlate with fibrinolytic and coagulant activities (induced by PI-SVMPs and SVSPs). In both pools, the major toxic component corresponded to PIII-SVMPs, which were isolated and characterized. The characterization by mass spectrometry of both samples identified peptides that matched with a single PIII-SVMP cDNA characterized by transcriptomics, named Batroxrhagin. Sequence alignments show a strong similarity between Batroxrhagin and Jararhagin (96%). Batroxrhagin samples isolated from venoms of wild or captive snakes were not pro-coagulant, but inhibited collagen-induced platelet-aggregation, and induced hemorrhage and fibrin lysis with similar doses. Results suggest that in spite of environmental differences, venom variability was detected only among the less abundant components. In opposition, the most abundant toxin, which is a PIII-SVMP related to the key effects of the venom, is structurally conserved in the venoms. This observation is relevant for explaining the efficacy of antivenoms produced with venoms from captive snakes in human accidents inflicted at distinct natural environments.

  11. Deterministic ants in labirynth -- information gained by map sharing

    CERN Document Server

    Malinowski, Janusz

    2014-01-01

    A few of ant robots are dropped to a labirynth, formed by a square lattice with a small number of nodes removed. Ants move according to a deterministic algorithm designed to explore all corridors. Each ant remembers the shape of corridors which she has visited. Once two ants met, they share the information acquired. We evaluate how the time of getting a complete information by an ant depends on the number of ants, and how the length known by an ant depends on time. Numerical results are presented in the form of scaling relations.

  12. An Improved Heuristic Ant-Clustering Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunfei Chen; Yushu Liu; Jihai Zhao

    2004-01-01

    An improved heuristic ant-clustering algorithm(HAC)is presented in this paper. A device of 'memory bank' is proposed,which can bring forth heuristic knowledge guiding ant to move in the bi-dimension grid space.The device experiments on real data sets and synthetic data sets.The results demonstrate that HAC has superiority in misclassification error rate and runtime over the classical algorithm.

  13. Inhibitory and enzyme-kinetic investigation of chelerythrine and lupeol isolated from Zanthoxylum rhoifolium against krait snake venom acetylcholinesterase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahmad, Mustaq, E-mail: mushtaq213@yahoo.com [University of Science and Technology, Bannu, (Pakistan). Department of Biotechnology; Weber, Andrea D.; Zanon, Graciane; Tavares, Luciana de C.; Ilha, Vinicius; Dalcol, Ionara I.; Morel, Ademir F., E-mail: ademirfariasm@gmail.com [Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, RS (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica

    2014-01-15

    The in vitro activity of chelerythrine and lupeol, two metabolites isolated from Zanthoxylum rhoifolium were studied against the venom of the snake Bungarus sindanus (Elapidae). The venom, which is highly toxic to humans, consists mainly by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Both compounds showed activity against the venom, and the alkaloid chelerythrine presented higher activity than did triterpene lupeol. (author)

  14. Elucidation of the molecular envenomation strategy of the cone snail Conus geographus through transcriptome sequencing of its venom duct

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hu Hao

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The fish-hunting cone snail, Conus geographus, is the deadliest snail on earth. In the absence of medical intervention, 70% of human stinging cases are fatal. Although, its venom is known to consist of a cocktail of small peptides targeting different ion-channels and receptors, the bulk of its venom constituents, their sites of manufacture, relative abundances and how they function collectively in envenomation has remained unknown. Results We have used transcriptome sequencing to systematically elucidate the contents the C. geographus venom duct, dividing it into four segments in order to investigate each segment’s mRNA contents. Three different types of calcium channel (each targeted by unrelated, entirely distinct venom peptides and at least two different nicotinic receptors appear to be targeted by the venom. Moreover, the most highly expressed venom component is not paralytic, but causes sensory disorientation and is expressed in a different segment of the venom duct from venoms believed to cause sensory disruption. We have also identified several new toxins of interest for pharmaceutical and neuroscience research. Conclusions Conus geographus is believed to prey on fish hiding in reef crevices at night. Our data suggest that disorientation of prey is central to its envenomation strategy. Furthermore, venom expression profiles also suggest a sophisticated layering of venom-expression patterns within the venom duct, with disorientating and paralytic venoms expressed in different regions. Thus, our transcriptome analysis provides a new physiological framework for understanding the molecular envenomation strategy of this deadly snail.

  15. PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF SNAKE VENOM L- AMINO ACID OXIDASES

    OpenAIRE

    Joseph Baby; Rajan Sheeja S; M.V Jeevitha; S.U Ajisha

    2011-01-01

    L-Amino acid oxidases are flavoenzymes which catalyze the stereospecific oxidative deamination of an L-amino acid substrate to a corresponding a-ketoacid with hydrogen peroxide and ammonia production. These enzymes, which are widely distributed in many different organisms, exhibit a marked affinity for hydrophobic amino acids, including phenylalanine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and leucine. Snake venom LAAO induces platelet aggregation and cytotoxicity in various cancer cell lines. The enzyme has ...

  16. Neuromuscular Activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae Venom in Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Carbajal-Saucedo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we have examined the neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Mexican coral snake venom (MLV in vertebrate isolated nerve-muscle preparations. In chick biventer cervicis preparations, the MLV induced an irreversible concentration- and time-dependent (1–30 µg/mL neuromuscular blockade, with 50% blockade occurring between 8 and 30 min. Muscle contractures evoked by exogenous acetylcholine were completely abolished by MLV, whereas those of KCl were also significantly altered (86% ± 11%, 53% ± 11%, 89% ± 5% and 89% ± 7% for one, three, 10 and 30 µg of venom/mL, respectively; n = 4; p < 0.05. In mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations, MLV (1–10 µg/mL promoted a slight increase in the amplitude of twitch-tension (3 µg/mL, followed by neuromuscular blockade (n = 4; the highest concentration caused complete inhibition of the twitches (time for 50% blockade = 26 ± 3 min, without exhibiting a previous neuromuscular facilitation. The venom (3 µg/mL induced a biphasic modulation in the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs/min, causing a significant increase after 15 min, followed by a decrease after 60 min (from 17 ± 1.4 (basal to 28 ± 2.5 (t15 and 12 ± 2 (t60. The membrane resting potential of mouse diaphragm preparations pre-exposed or not to d-tubocurarine (5 µg/mL was also significantly less negative with MLV (10 µg/mL. Together, these results indicate that M. laticollaris venom induces neuromuscular blockade by a combination of pre- and post-synaptic activities.

  17. Scorpion venoms: taking the sting out of lung disease.

    OpenAIRE

    1996-01-01

    Scorpion venoms contain specific toxins which block large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BKCa) channels. Use of these toxins has shown that a significant proportion of the action of bronchodilators such as beta-agonists, theophylline, and nitric oxide occurs as a result of the opening of BKCa channels. Similarly, these toxins have shown that inhibitors of airway neurotransmission also operate via BKCa channels. Drugs that open BKCa channels may be alternative bronchodilators (possib...

  18. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Toxic industrial deposits are often contaminated by heavy metals and the substrates have low pH values. In such systems, soil development is thus slowed down by high toxicity and acidic conditions which are unfavourable to soil fauna. Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) are considered tolerant to heavy metal pollution and are known to increase organic matter content and microbial activity in their nests. Here, we focused on soil remediation caused by three ant species (Formica sanguinea, Lasius niger, and Tetramorium sp.) in an ore-washery sedimentation basin near Chvaletice (Czech Republic). Soil samples were taken from the centre of ant nests and from the nest surroundings (>3 m from nests). Samples were then analyzed for microbial activity and biomass and contents of organic matter and nutrients. As a result, ant species that most influenced soil properties was F. sanguinea as there were higher microbial activity and total nitrogen and ammonia contents in ant nests than in the surrounding soil. We expected such a result because F. sanguinea builds conspicuous large nests and is a carnivorous species that brings substantial amounts of nitrogen in insect prey to their nests. Effects of the other two ant species might be lower because of smaller nests and different feeding habits as they rely mainly on honeydew from aphids or on plant seeds that do not contain much nutrients.

  19. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Gold, Gregory; Zangwill, Andrew; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2014-03-01

    Many social animals move and communicate within confined spaces. In subterranean fire ants Solenopsis invicta, mobility within crowded nest tunnels is important for resource and information transport. Within confined tunnels, communication and traffic flow are at odds: trafficking ants communicate through tactile interactions while stopped, yet ants that stop to communicate impose physical obstacles on the traffic. We monitor the bi-directional flow of fire ant workers in laboratory tunnels of varied diameter D. The persistence time of communicating ant aggregations, τ, increases approximately linearly with the number of participating ants, n. The sensitivity of traffic flow increases as D decreases and diverges at a minimum diameter, Dc. A cellular automata model incorporating minimal traffic features--excluded volume and communication duration--reproduces features of the experiment. From the model we identify a competition between information transfer and the need to maintain jam-free traffic flow. We show that by balancing information transfer and traffic flow demands, an optimum group strategy exists which maximizes information throughput. We acknowledge funding from NSF PoLS #0957659 and #PHY-1205878.

  20. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, D. L.; Phonekeo, S.; Altshuler, E.; Brochard-Wyart, F.

    2016-07-01

    Both cells and ants belong to the broad field of active matter, a novel class of non-equilibrium materials composed of many interacting units that individually consume energy and collectively generate motion or mechanical stresses. However cells and ants differ from fish and birds in that they can support static loads. This is because cells and ants can be entangled, so that individual units are bound by transient links. Entanglement gives cells and ants a set of remarkable properties usually not found together, such as the ability to flow like a fluid, spring back like an elastic solid, and self-heal. In this review, we present the biology, mechanics and dynamics of both entangled cells and ants. We apply concepts from soft matter physics and wetting to characterize these systems as well as to point out their differences, which arise from their differences in size. We hope that our viewpoints will spur further investigations into cells and ants as active materials, and inspire the fabrication of synthetic active matter.

  1. Radioprotection: mechanism and radioprotective agents including honeybee venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varanda, E.A.; Tavares, D.C. [UNESP, Araraquara, SP (Brazil). Escola de Ciencias Farmaceuticas. Dept. de Ciencias Biologicas

    1998-07-01

    Since 1949, a great deal of research has been carried on the radioprotective action of chemical substances. These substances have shown to reduce mortality when administered to animals prior to exposure to a lethal dose of radiation. This fact is of considerable importance since it permits reduction of radiation-induced damage and provides prophylactic treatment for the damaging effects produced by radiotherapy. The following radioprotection mechanisms were proposed: free radical scavenger, repair by hydrogen donation to target molecules formation of mixed disulfides, delay of cellular division and induction of hypoxia in the tissues. Radioprotective agents have been divided into four major groups: the thiol compounds, other sulfur compounds, pharmacological agents (anesthetic drugs, analgesics, tranquilizers, etc.) and other radioprotective agents (WR-1065, WR-2721, vitamins C and E, glutathione, etc.). Several studies revealed the radioprotective action of Apis mellifera honeybee venom as well as that of its components mellitin and histamine. Radioprotective activity of bee venom involves mainly the stimulation of the hematopoietic system. In addition, release of histamine and reduction in oxygen tension also contribute to the radioprotective action of bee venom. (author)

  2. Australian venomous jellyfish, envenomation syndromes, toxins and therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibballs, James

    2006-12-01

    The seas and oceans around Australia harbour numerous venomous jellyfish. Chironex fleckeri, the box jellyfish, is the most lethal causing rapid cardiorespiratory depression and although its venom has been characterised, its toxins remain to be identified. A moderately effective antivenom exists which is also partially effective against another chirodropid, Chiropsalmus sp. Numerous carybdeids, some unidentified, cause less severe illness, including Carybdea rastoni whose toxins CrTX-A and CrTX-B are large proteins. Carukia barnesi, another small carybdeid is one cause of the 'Irukandji' syndrome which includes delayed pain from severe muscle cramping, vomiting, anxiety, restlessness, sweating and prostration, and occasionally severe hypertension and acute cardiac failure. The syndrome is in part caused by release of catecholamines but the cause of heart failure is undefined. The venom contains a sodium channel modulator. Two species of Physalia are present and although one is potentially lethal, has not caused death in Australian waters. Other significant genera of jellyfish include Tamoya, Pelagia, Cyanea, Aurelia and Chyrosaora.

  3. Scorpions from Mexico: From Species Diversity to Venom Complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Francke, Oscar F; Ureta, Carolina; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-12-24

    Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world's medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided.

  4. Importance of basophil activation testing in insect venom allergy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kosnik Mitja

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Venom immunotherapy (VIT is the only effective treatment for prevention of serious allergic reactions to bee and wasp stings in sensitized individuals. However, there are still many questions and controversies regarding immunotherapy, like selection of the appropriate allergen, safety and long term efficacy. Methods Literature review was performed to address the role of basophil activation test (BAT in diagnosis of venom allergy. Results In patients with positive skin tests or specific IgE to both honeybee and wasp venom, IgE inhibition test can identify sensitizing allergen only in around 15% and basophil activation test increases the identification rate to around one third of double positive patients. BAT is also diagnostic in majority of patients with systemic reactions after insect stings and no detectable IgE. High basophil sensitivity to allergen is associated with a risk of side effects during VIT. Persistence of high basophil sensitivity also predicts a treatment failure of VIT. Conclusion BAT is a useful tool for better selection of allergen for immunotherapy, for identification of patients prone to side effects and patients who might be treatment failures. However, long term studies are needed to evaluate the accuracy of the test.

  5. Snake venom metalloproteinases and disintegrins: interactions with cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamiguti A.S.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Metalloproteinases and disintegrins are important components of most viperid and crotalid venoms. Large metalloproteinases referred to as MDC enzymes are composed of an N-terminal Metalloproteinase domain, a Disintegrin-like domain and a Cys-rich C-terminus. In contrast, disintegrins are small non-enzymatic RGD-containing cysteine-rich polypeptides. However, the disintegrin region of MDC enzymes bears a high degree of structural homology to that of the disintegrins, although it lacks the RGD motif. Despite these differences, both components share the property of being able to recognize integrin cell surface receptors and thereby to inhibit integrin-dependent cell reactions. Recently, several membrane-bound MDC enzymes, closely related to soluble venom MDC enzymes, have been described in mammalian cells. This group of membrane-anchored mammalian enzymes is also called the ADAM family of proteins due to the structure revealing A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase domains. ADAMs are involved in the shedding of molecules from the cell surface, a property which is also shared by some venom MDC enzymes.

  6. Bacterial associates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Bacterial communities are highly diverse and have great ecological importance. In the present study, we used an in silico analysis of terminal restriction fragments (tRF) to characterize the bacterial community of the plant ant Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus. This species is an obligate inhabitant of Acacia myrmecophytes and feeds exclusively on plant-derived food sources. Ants are the dominant insect group in tropical rain forests. Associations of ants with microbes, which contribute particularly to the ants' nitrogen nutrition, could allow these insects to live on mostly or entirely plant-based diets and could thus contribute to the explanation of the high abundances that are reached by tropical ants. We found tRF patterns representing at least 30 prokaryotic taxa, of which the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes comprised 93%. Because most bacterial taxa were found in all ant-derived samples studied and because the bacteria detected on the ants' host plant revealed little overlap with this community, we regard our results as reliably representing the bacterial community that is associated with P. ferrugineus. Genera with a likely function as ant symbionts were Burkholderia, Pantoea, Weissella, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of these and various other groups was confirmed via independent PCR and cultivation approaches. Many of the bacteria that we detected belong to purportedly N-fixing taxa. Bacteria may represent important further partners in ant-plant mutualisms, and their influences on ant nutrition can contribute to the extraordinary abundance and evolutionary success of tropical arboreal ants.

  7. [Isolation and partial structural characteristics of major toxic components of Latrodectus pallidus venom].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charakha, A R; Shevchenko, L V; Molodkin, A K; Pluzhnikov, K A; Volkova, T M; Grishin, E V

    1997-03-01

    Toxic components of the Latrodectus pallidus spider venom were isolated and characterized. The venom was shown to contain a toxin specific for mammals and at least one insectospecific toxin. Partial amino acid sequences of both toxins were determined, and their high structural homology with previously studied alpha-latrotoxin and alpha-latroinsectotoxin from L. mactans tredecimguttatus was found.

  8. Maturity-related changes in venom toxicity of the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon leopoldi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchhoff, Kim N; Klingelhöfer, Ines; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Morlock, Gertrud; Wilke, Thomas

    2014-12-15

    Aquatic venomous animals such as stingrays represent a largely untapped source for venom-based drug development. However, the major challenge for a potential drug development pipeline is the high inter- and intraspecific variability in toxicity and venom composition. As of today, little is known about maturity-driven changes in these traits in stingrays. The present study investigates the differences in toxicity and venom composition in different maturity stages of the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon leopoldi. This species can be found in the Xingú River basin (Brazil), where it mainly feeds on invertebrates, while being predated by other stingrays or large catfishes. P. leopoldi, as commonly known for stingrays, can cause severe injuries with the venomous dentine spine located at its tails. The toxicity of tissue extracts of juvenile and mature specimens was recorded on a myoblast cell culture bioassay. Venom composition and bioactivity of compounds were analyzed with planar chromatography linked to an Aliivibrio fischeri bioassay. Results revealed a decrease in venom toxicity during maturation, but no changes in venom composition. These findings may indicate that toxicity in mature specimens becomes evolutionary less important, probably due to a decrease in predation pressure.

  9. Characterization of inflammatory response induced by Potamotrygon motoro stingray venom in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Louise F; Prezotto-Neto, José P; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Simone Gs; Santoro, Marcelo L; Barbaro, Katia C

    2014-05-01

    Freshwater stingray accidents cause intense pain followed by edema, erythema, and necrosis formation. Treatment for stingray envenomation is based on administration of analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory drugs. This report evaluated the local inflammatory reaction-including edema formation, leukocyte recruitment, release of inflammatory mediators, and histopathological changes-after the intraplantar injection of Potamotrygon motoro stingray venom in mice. Edema was observed as soon as 15 min after venom injection, peaking at 30 min, and lasted up to 48 h. In addition, P. motoro venom increased neutrophil counts in the site of injection, at all time periods and venom doses analyzed. Increased eosinophil and lymphocyte counts were detected mainly at 24 h. Moreover, monocytes/macrophages were observed in large amounts at 24 and 48 h. Microscopically, the venom induced leukocyte migration to the injured tissue, edema, mast cell degranulation, angiogenesis, and epidermal damage. Inflammatory mediator release (IL-6, MCP-1 and KC) was detected as soon as 1 h after venom injection, and it increased significantly at 4 h. At 24 h, the venom induced only the production of MCP-1. These results show that this stingray venom evokes a complex inflammatory reaction, with rapid and persistent edema formation, leukocyte recruitment, and release of cytokines and chemokines.

  10. In Vitro Toxic Effects of Puff Adder (Bitis arietans Venom, and Their Neutralization by Antivenom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Fernandez

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the in vitro toxic effects of Bitis arietans venom and the ability of antivenom produced by the South African Institute of Medical Research (SAIMR to neutralize these effects. The venom (50 µg/mL reduced nerve-mediated twitches of the chick biventer muscle to 19% ± 2% of initial magnitude (n = 4 within 2 h. This inhibitory effect of the venom was significantly attenuated by prior incubation of tissues with SAIMR antivenom (0.864 µg/µL; 67% ± 4%; P < 0.05; n = 3–5, unpaired t-test. Addition of antivenom at t50 failed to prevent further inhibition or reverse the inhibition of twitches and responses to agonists. The myotoxic action of the venom (50 µg/mL was evidenced by a decrease in direct twitches (30% ± 6% of the initial twitch magnitude and increase in baseline tension (by 0.7 ± 0.3 g within 3 h of the chick biventer. Antivenom failed to block these effects. Antivenom however prevented the venom induced cytotoxic effects on L6 skeletal muscle cells. Venom induced a marginal but significant reduction in plasma clotting times at concentrations above 7.8 µg/100 µL of plasma, indicating poor procoagulant effects. In addition, the results of western immunoblotting indicate strong immunoreactivity with venom proteins, thus warranting further detailed studies on the neutralization of the effects of individual venom toxins by antivenom.

  11. Evolution of separate predation- and defence-evoked venoms in carnivorous cone snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Hamilton, Brett; Sunagar, Kartik; Lavergne, Vincent; Dutertre, Valentin; Fry, Bryan G; Antunes, Agostinho; Venter, Deon J; Alewood, Paul F; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-03-24

    Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus contains high levels of paralytic toxins that potently block neuromuscular receptors, consistent with its lethal effects on humans. In contrast, C. geographus predation-evoked venom contains prey-specific toxins mostly inactive at human targets. Predation- and defence-evoked venoms originate from the distal and proximal regions of the venom duct, respectively, explaining how different stimuli can generate two distinct venoms. A specialized defensive envenomation strategy is widely evolved across worm, mollusk and fish-hunting cone snails. We propose that defensive toxins, originally evolved in ancestral worm-hunting cone snails to protect against cephalopod and fish predation, have been repurposed in predatory venoms to facilitate diversification to fish and mollusk diets.

  12. Determination of the Median Lethal Dose and Electrophoretic Pattern of Hottentotta saulcyi (Scorpiones, Buthidae Scorpion Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ErsenAydın Yağmur

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: In this study, we investigated the lethal potency, electrophoretic protein pattern and in vivo effects of Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom in mice.Methods: Scorpions were collected at night, by using a UV lamp from Mardin Province, Turkey. Venom was obtained from mature H. saulcyi scorpions by electrical stimulation of the telson. The lethality of the venom was determined by i.v. injections using Swiss mice. In vivo effects of the venom were assessed by using the intraperitoneal route (ip injections into mice (20±1g and monitored for 24 h. The protein profiles of the scorpion venom were analyzed by NuPAGE® Novex® 4–12 % gradient Bis-Tris gel followed by Coomassie blue staining.Results: The lethal assay of the venom was 0.73 mg/kg in mice. We determined the electrophoretic protein pattern of this scorpion venom to be 4, 6, 9, 31, 35, 40, 46 and 69 kDa by SDS-PAGE. Analysis of electrophoresis indicated that H. saulcyi scorpion intoxicated mice exhibited autonomic nervous system symptoms (tachypnea, restlessness, hyperexcitability, convulsions, salivation, lacrimation, weakness.Conclusions: Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom includes short-chain neurotoxins and long-chain neurotoxins according to the electrophoretic protein patterns. The stings of H. saulcyi scorpion must be considered of risk for humans in the southeastern region, Turkey.

  13. Peptidomics combined with cDNA library unravel the diversity of centipede venom

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rong, Mingqiang; Yang, Shilong; Wen, Bo

    2015-01-01

    showed a larger different to known peptide toxins such spider or scorpion toxins. Moreover, only 29 peptides from this centipede venom were identified with known function. It suggested that our work not only important to understand the composition of centipede venom, but also provide many valuable...

  14. Tentacle Transcriptome and Venom Proteome of the Pacific Sea Nettle, Chrysaora fuscescens (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia Ponce

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Jellyfish venoms are rich sources of toxins designed to capture prey or deter predators, but they can also elicit harmful effects in humans. In this study, an integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify putative toxins and their potential role in the venom of the scyphozoan jellyfish Chrysaora fuscescens. A de novo tentacle transcriptome, containing more than 23,000 contigs, was constructed and used in proteomic analysis of C. fuscescens venom to identify potential toxins. From a total of 163 proteins identified in the venom proteome, 27 were classified as putative toxins and grouped into six protein families: proteinases, venom allergens, C-type lectins, pore-forming toxins, glycoside hydrolases and enzyme inhibitors. Other putative toxins identified in the transcriptome, but not the proteome, included additional proteinases as well as lipases and deoxyribonucleases. Sequence analysis also revealed the presence of ShKT domains in two putative venom proteins from the proteome and an additional 15 from the transcriptome, suggesting potential ion channel blockade or modulatory activities. Comparison of these potential toxins to those from other cnidarians provided insight into their possible roles in C. fuscescens venom and an overview of the diversity of potential toxin families in cnidarian venoms.

  15. Intersexual variations in the pharmacological properties of Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae) spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzig, Volker; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2009-02-01

    This study aimed to determine the biochemical, insecticidal and neurotoxic properties of venom from both sexes of the Australian spider Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae). Insecticidal properties were tested in crickets, while in vitro neurotoxicity was determined in an avian skeletal muscle preparation. Some intersexual differences in venom composition were identified by rp-HPLC and by LC-MS, but the majority of components were found in venoms of both sexes. Injecting the venom into crickets revealed that venom from male specimens was slightly more potent, while female venom induced more prominent effects in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The results from the chick assay suggest the presence of at least two vertebrate-active neurotoxins. A pre-synaptic neurotoxin may explain the reversible inhibition of muscle twitches and the unaffected response to nicotinic agonists at medium concentrations of female and medium to high concentrations of male venom. In addition, the presence of a neurotoxin that blocks post-synaptic nicotinic receptors might explain the irreversible inhibition of muscle twitches and the reduced response to nicotinic agonists at high concentrations (5-10 microg/ml) of venom from female specimens only.

  16. Comparative analyses of venoms from American and African Sicarius spiders that differ in sphingomyelinase D activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A; Bodner, Melissa R; Binford, Greta J

    2010-06-15

    Spider venoms are cocktails of toxic proteins and peptides, whose composition varies at many levels. Understanding patterns of variation in chemistry and bioactivity is fundamental for understanding factors influencing variation. The venom toxin sphingomyelinase D (SMase D) in sicariid spider venom (Loxosceles and Sicarius) causes dermonecrotic lesions in mammals. Multiple forms of venom-expressed genes with homology to SMase D are expressed in venoms of both genera. SMase D activity levels differ among major clades with American Sicarius vastly reduced relative to all Loxosceles and African Sicarius despite expression of SMase D homologs in venoms of American Sicarius. Here we report comparative analyses of protein composition and insecticidal activity of crude venoms from three Sicarius species, two from South Africa and one from Central America. Comparative 2-dimensional electrophoresis shows dense regions of proteins in the size range of SMase D in all three species, but there are differences in sizes and isoelectric points (pIs). Few proteins strictly co-migrate and there are clusters of proteins with similar pIs and molecular weights whose patterns of similarity do not necessarily reflect phylogenetic relatedness. In addition, PD(50) estimates on crickets indicate a small though significant decrease in potency of South American Sicarius venoms relative to African species.

  17. Proteomic Characterization and Comparison of Malaysian Tropidolaemus wagleri and Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus Venom Using Shotgun-Proteomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syafiq Asnawi Zainal Abidin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Tropidolaemus wagleri and Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus are venomous pit viper species commonly found in Malaysia. Tandem mass spectrometry analysis of the crude venoms has detected different proteins in T. wagleri and C. purpureomaculatus. They were classified into 13 venom protein families consisting of enzymatic and nonenzymatic proteins. Enzymatic families detected in T. wagleri and C. purpureomaculatus venom were snake venom metalloproteinase, phospholipase A2, ʟ-amino acid oxidase, serine proteases, 5′-nucleotidase, phosphodiesterase, and phospholipase B. In addition, glutaminyl cyclotransferase was detected in C. purpureomaculatus. C-type lectin-like proteins were common nonenzymatic components in both species. Waglerin was present and unique to T. wagleri—it was not in C. purpureomaculatus venom. In contrast, cysteine-rich secretory protein, bradykinin-potentiating peptide, and C-type natriuretic peptide were present in C. purpureomaculatus venom. Composition of the venom proteome of T. wagleri and C. purpureomaculatus provides useful information to guide production of effective antivenom and identification of proteins with potential therapeutic applications.

  18. New analysis of the toxic compounds from the Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus scorpion venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oukkache, Naoual; Rosso, Jean-Pierre; Alami, Meriem; Ghalim, Norredine; Saïle, Rachid; Hassar, Mohammed; Bougis, Pierre E; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France

    2008-04-01

    Scorpion venoms are very complex mixtures of molecules, most of which are peptides displaying different kinds of biological activity. Indeed, these peptides specifically bind to a variety of pharmacological targets, in particular ionic channels located in prey tissues, resulting in neurotoxic effects. Toxins modulating Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Cl(-) currents have been described in scorpion venoms. In this work, we have used several specific antibodies raised against the most lethal scorpion toxins already described to screen the Moroccan scorpion Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus venom in order to characterize new compounds. This immunological screening was also implemented by toxicity tests in mice and with mass spectrometry study, providing new informations on the molecular composition of this venom. In fine, we were able to determine the molecular masses of 70-80 different compounds. According to the immunological data obtained, many toxins cross-react with three sera raised against the most lethal alpha-toxins found in North African scorpion venoms, but not at all with those raised against the main beta-toxins from South and North American venoms. Some of the previously described toxins from Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus venom could thus be detected by combining immunological tests, toxicity in mice and molecular masses. Among these toxins, one of them, which showed a mild cross-reaction with the serum raised against AaH I (a highly potent toxin from the venom of Androctonus australis), was identified as Amm III and fully sequenced.

  19. Snake venomics and antivenomics of the arboreal neotropical pitvipers Bothriechis lateralis and Bothriechis schlegelii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomonte, Bruno; Escolano, José; Fernández, Julián; Sanz, Libia; Angulo, Yamileth; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2008-06-01

    We report the comparative proteomic characterization of the venoms of two related neotropical arboreal pitvipers from Costa Rica of the genus Bothriechis, B. lateralis (side-striped palm pit viper) and B. schlegelii (eyelash pit viper). The crude venoms were fractionated by reverse-phase HPLC, followed by analysis of each chromatographic fraction by SDS-PAGE, N-terminal sequencing, MALDI-TOF mass fingerprinting, and collision-induced dissociation tandem mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides. The venom proteomes of B. lateralis and B. schlegelii comprise similar number of distinct proteins belonging, respectively, to 8 and 7 protein families. The two Bothriechis venoms contain bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs), and proteins from the phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2), serine proteinase, l-amino acid oxidase (LAO), cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), and Zn (2+)-dependent metalloproteinase (SVMP) families, albeit each species exhibit different relative abundances. Each venom also contains unique components, for example, snake venom vascular endothelial growth factor (svVEGF) and C-type lectin-like molecules in B. lateralis, and Kazal-type serine proteinase inhibitor-like proteins in B. schlegelii. Using a similarity coefficient, we estimate that the similarity of the venom proteins between the two Bothriechis taxa may be venom compositions, in spite of the fact that both species have evolved to adapt to arboreal habits. The major toxin families of B. lateralis and B. schlegelii are SVMP (55% of the total venom proteins) and PLA 2 (44%), respectively. Their different venom toxin compositions provide clues for rationalizing the distinct signs of envenomation caused by B. schlegelii and B. lateralis. An antivenomic study of the immunoreactivity of the Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP) polyvalent antivenom toward Bothriechis venoms revealed that l-amino acid oxidase and SVMPs represent the major antigenic protein species in both venoms. Our results provide a ground for

  20. Report on the changes of LD50 of Bee venom Herbal Acupuncture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki Rok Kwon

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : This experiment was conducted to reevaluate LD50 of Korean bee venom acupuncture as many changes have occurred over the years. Methods : ICR mice were used as the experiment animals and bee venom acupuncture was manufactured under the protocols of Korean Institute of herbal Acupuncture. Based on the previous reports, experiment was divided into pre and main sections. Results : 1. Presumed LD50 value is at 5.25mg/kg. 2. Deaths of experiment animals occurred within 48 hours. 3. Reduced toxicity of the bee venom acupuncture is likely to be the results of more refined manufacturing process and production. Conclusion : Comparing with the values of the previous results, toxicity of the bee venom acupuncture showed significant changes and more accurate findings on LD50 value must be accomplished to lead further studies on the bee venom acupuncture.

  1. Electrospray liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry fingerprinting of Acanthophis (death adder) venoms: taxonomic and toxinological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Bryan G; Wickramaratna, Janith C; Hodgson, Wayne C; Alewood, Paul F; Kini, R M; Ho, Hao; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2002-01-01

    Death adders (genus Acanthophis) are unique among elapid snakes in both morphology and venom composition. Despite this genus being among the most divergent of all elapids, the venom has been historically regarded as relatively quite simple. In this study, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis has revealed a much greater diversity in venom composition, including the presence of molecules of novel molecular weights that may represent a new class of venom component. Furthermore, significant variation exists between species and populations, which allow for the LC/MS fingerprinting of each species. Mass profiling of Acanthophis venoms clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of this technique which underpins fundamental studies ranging from chemotaxonomy to drug design.

  2. Partial purification of box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) nematocyst venom isolated at the beachside.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloom, D A; Burnett, J W; Alderslade, P

    1998-08-01

    Chironex fleckeri, the northern Australian box jellyfish produces one of, if not, the most potent animal venoms. Study of the venom has been hampered by the limits of the animals' range and the venom's thermolability. Using retained lethality and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (NPAGE), we show that lyophilization of autolysis isolated nematocysts is an effective method of transporting the venom. In addition, Sephadex G-200 chromatography, spin concentration, and NPAGE fail to demonstrate the presence of a 600 kDa protein to which the bulk of the lethal activity has been ascribed. Sodium dodecyl sulfate capillary electrophoresis of crude venom yields several protein bands with a molecular weight range of 30-200 kDa. Freeze-thaw studies show a loss of activity and NPAGE bands after two freeze thaw cycles.

  3. Comparative analysis of methods for concentrating venom from jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cuiping; Yu, Huahua; Feng, Jinhua; Chen, Xiaolin; Li, Pengcheng

    2009-02-01

    In this study, several methods were compared for the efficiency to concentrate venom from the tentacles of jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye. The results show that the methods using either freezing-dry or gel absorption to remove water to concentrate venom are not applicable due to the low concentration of the compounds dissolved. Although the recovery efficiency and the total venom obtained using the dialysis dehydration method are high, some proteins can be lost during the concentrating process. Comparing to the lyophilization method, ultrafiltration is a simple way to concentrate the compounds at high percentage but the hemolytic activities of the proteins obtained by ultrafiltration appear to be lower. Our results suggest that overall lyophilization is the best and recommended method to concentrate venom from the tentacles of jellyfish. It shows not only the high recovery efficiency for the venoms but high hemolytic activities as well.

  4. Comparative analysis of methods for concentrating venom from jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Huahua; FENG Jinhua; CHEN Xiaolin; LI Pengcheng

    2009-01-01

    In this study, several methods were compared for the efficiency to concentrate venom from the tentacles of jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye. The results show that the methods using either freezing-dry or gel absorption to remove water to concentrate venom are not applicable due to the low concentration of the compounds dissolved. Although the recovery efficiency and the total venom obtained using the dialysis dehydration method are high, some proteins can be lost during the concentrating process. Comparing to the lyophilization method, ultrafiltration is a simple way to concentrate the compounds at high percentage but the hemolytic activities of the proteins obtained by ultrafiltration appear to be lower. Our results suggest that overall lyophilization is the best and recommended method to concentrate venom from the tentacles of jellyfish. It shows not only the high recovery efficiency for the venoms but high hemolytic activities as well.

  5. Therapeutic potential of snake venom in cancer therapy:current perspectives

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vivek Kumar Vyas; Keyur Brahmbhatt; Hardik Bhatt; Utsav Parmar

    2013-01-01

    Many active secretions produced by animals have been employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as hypertension and cancer. Snake venom toxins contributed significantly to the treatment of many medical conditions. There are many published studies describing and elucidating the anti-cancer potential of snake venom. Cancer therapy is one of the main areas for the use of protein peptides and enzymes originating from animals of different species. Some of these proteins or peptides and enzymes from snake venom when isolated and evaluated may bind specifically to cancer cell membranes, affecting the migration and proliferation of these cells. Some of substances found in the snake venom present a great potential as anti-tumor agent. In this review, we presented the main results of recent years of research involving the active compounds of snake venom that have anticancer activity.

  6. Venom-spraying behavior of the scorpion Parabuthus transvaalicus (Arachnida: Buthidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisani, Zia; Hayes, William K

    2015-06-01

    Many animals use chemical squirting or spraying behavior as a defensive response. Some members of the scorpion genus Parabuthus (family Buthidae) can spray their venom. We examined the stimulus control and characteristics of venom spraying by Parabuthus transvaalicus to better understand the behavioral context for its use. Venom spraying occurred mostly, but not always, when the metasoma (tail) was contacted (usually grasped by forceps), and was absent during stinging-like thrusts of the metasoma apart from contact. Scorpions were significantly more likely to spray when contact was also accompanied by airborne stimuli. Sprays happened almost instantaneously following grasping by forceps (median=0.23s) as a brief (0.07-0.30s, mean=0.18s), fine stream (scorpion predators. Successive venom sprays varied considerably in duration and velocity. Collectively, these results suggest that venom spraying might be useful as an antipredator function and can be modulated based on threat.

  7. Effects of the Bee Venom Herbal Acupuncture on the Neurotransmitters of the Rat Brain Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyoung-Seok Yun

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available In order to study the effects of bee venom Herbal Acupuncture on neurotransmitters in the rat brain cortex, herbal acupuncture with bee venom group and normal saline group was performed at LI4 bilaterally of the rat. the average optical density of neurotransmitters from the cerebral cortex was analysed 30 minutes after the herbal aqupuncture, by the immunohistochemistry. The results were as follows: 1. The density of NADPH-diaphorase in bee venom group was increased significantly at the motor cortex, visual cortex, auditory cortex, cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex and perirhinal cortex compared to the normal saline group. 2. The average optical density of vasoactive intestinal peptide in bee venom group had significant changes at the insular cortex, retrosplenial cortex and perirhinal cortex, compared to the normal saline group. 3. The average optical density of neuropeptide-Y in bee venom group increased significantly at the visual cortex and cingulate cortex, compared to the normal saline group.

  8. Sphingomyelinase D in sicariid spider venom is a potent insecticidal toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A; Kerins, Alec E; Binford, Greta J

    2012-09-01

    Spider venoms have evolved over hundreds of millions of years with a primary role of immobilizing prey. Sphingomyelinase D (SMase D) and homologs in the SicTox gene family are the most abundantly expressed toxic protein in venoms of Loxosceles and Sicarius spiders (Sicariidae). While SMase D is well known to cause dermonecrotic lesions in mammals, little work has investigated the bioactivity of this enzyme in its presumed natural role of immobilizing insect prey. We expressed and purified recombinant SMase D from Loxosceles arizonica (Laz-SMase D) and compared its enzymatic and insecticidal activity to that of crude venom. SMase D enzymatic activities of purified protein and crude venom from the same species were indistinguishable. In addition, SMase D and crude venom have comparable and high potency in immobilization assays on crickets. These data indicate that SMase D is a potent insecticidal toxin, the role for which it presumably evolved.

  9. Processing of Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: Generation of Toxin Diversity and Enzyme Inactivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana M. Moura-da-Silva

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs are abundant in the venoms of vipers and rattlesnakes, playing important roles for the snake adaptation to different environments, and are related to most of the pathological effects of these venoms in human victims. The effectiveness of SVMPs is greatly due to their functional diversity, targeting important physiological proteins or receptors in different tissues and in the coagulation system. Functional diversity is often related to the genetic diversification of the snake venom. In this review, we discuss some published evidence that posit that processing and post-translational modifications are great contributors for the generation of functional diversity and for maintaining latency or inactivation of enzymes belonging to this relevant family of venom toxins.

  10. Snake Venomics and Antivenomics of Bothrops diporus, a Medically Important Pitviper in Northeastern Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, Carolina; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J.; Pla, Davinia

    2015-01-01

    Snake species within genus Bothrops are responsible for more than 80% of the snakebites occurring in South America. The species that cause most envenomings in Argentina, B. diporus, is widely distributed throughout the country, but principally found in the Northeast, the region with the highest rates of snakebites. The venom proteome of this medically relevant snake was unveiled using a venomic approach. It comprises toxins belonging to fourteen protein families, being dominated by PI- and PIII-SVMPs, PLA2 molecules, BPP-like peptides, L-amino acid oxidase and serine proteinases. This toxin profile largely explains the characteristic pathophysiological effects of bothropic snakebites observed in patients envenomed by B. diporus. Antivenomic analysis of the SAB antivenom (Instituto Vital Brazil) against the venom of B. diporus showed that this pentabothropic antivenom efficiently recognized all the venom proteins and exhibited poor affinity towards the small peptide (BPPs and tripeptide inhibitors of PIII-SVMPs) components of the venom. PMID:26712790

  11. Solution to the problem of ant being stuck by ant colony routing algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Jing; TONG Wei-ming

    2009-01-01

    Many ant colony routing (ACR) algorithms have been presented in recent years, but few have studied the problem that ants will get stuck with probability in any terminal host when they are searching paths to route packets around a network. The problem has to be faced when designing and implementing the ACR algorithm. This article analyzes in detail the differences between the ACR and the ant colony optimization (ACO). Besides, particular restrictions on the ACR are pointed out and the three causes of ant being-stuck problem are obtained. Furthermore, this article proposes a new ant searching mechanism through dual path-checking and online routing loop removing by every intermediate node an ant visited and the destination host respectively, to solve the problem of ant being stuck and routing loop simultaneously. The result of numerical simulation is abstracted from one real network. Compared with existing two typical ACR algorithms, it shows that the proposed algorithm can settle the problem of ant being stuck and achieve more effective searching outcome for optimization path.

  12. Modulation of the Pharmacological and Biochemical Actions of Leiurusquinquestriatus (L.q) Scorpion Venom by Exposure to Gamma Radiation

    OpenAIRE

    Heba A. Mohamed*, Esmat A. Shaaban* , Aber M Amin** and Sanaa A. Kenawy

    2011-01-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of gamma radiation (1.5 KGy & 3 KGy) on L.q scorpion venom. This was carried out by studying the toxicological, biochemical & immunological properties of the venom before and after exposure to gamma radiation. Material and methods Animals, venom, antivenin, gamma radiation, 125I. Results Data revealed that the toxicity of irradiated venom (1.5 KGy & 3 KGy) decreased as compared to that of the native one. LD50 of irradiated venom were 3.5 mg/kg ...

  13. The descent of ant: field-measured performance of gliding ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munk, Yonatan; Yanoviak, Stephen P; Koehl, M A R; Dudley, Robert

    2015-05-01

    Gliding ants avoid predatory attacks and potentially mortal consequences of dislodgement from rainforest canopy substrates by directing their aerial descent towards nearby tree trunks. The ecologically relevant measure of performance for gliding ants is the ratio of net horizontal to vertical distance traveled over the course of a gliding trajectory, or glide index. To study variation in glide index, we measured three-dimensional trajectories of Cephalotes atratus ants gliding in natural rainforest habitats. We determined that righting phase duration, glide angle, and path directness all significantly influence variation in glide index. Unsuccessful landing attempts result in the ant bouncing off its target and being forced to make a second landing attempt. Our results indicate that ants are not passive gliders and that they exert active control over the aerodynamic forces they experience during their descent, despite their apparent lack of specialized control surfaces.

  14. Ants as shell collectors: notes on land snail shells found around ant nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barna Páll-Gergely

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the shell collecting activities of harvester ants (Messor spp. in semi-arid grasslands and shrubs in Turkey. We found eleven species of snails in the area, two of them were not collected by ants. Eight – mainly small sized – snail species were found on ant nests in a habitat characterized by shrubs, three in rocky grassland and four in a grassland habitat. Some shells (e.g. Chondrus zebrula tantalus, Multidentula ovularis might be taken into the nests, and we hypothesise that some of these snail species are consumed by ants (Monacha spp.. From a fauna inventory perspective, shell collecting activities of harvester ant may help malacologists to find snail species which are normally hidden for a specialist (e.g. Oxychilus hydatinus, Cecilioides spp. due to their special habits.

  15. Expression of enzymatically inactive wasp venom phospholipase A1 in Pichia pastoris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Borodina

    Full Text Available Wasp venom allergy is the most common insect venom allergy in Europe. It is manifested by large local reaction or anaphylactic shock occurring after a wasp sting. The allergy can be treated by specific immunotherapy with whole venom extracts. Wasp venom is difficult and costly to obtain and is a subject to composition variation, therefore it can be advantageous to substitute it with a cocktail of recombinant allergens. One of the major venom allergens is phospholipase A1, which so far has been expressed in Escherichia coli and in insect cells. Our aim was to produce the protein in secreted form in yeast Pichia pastoris, which can give high yields of correctly folded protein on defined minimal medium and secretes relatively few native proteins simplifying purification.Residual amounts of enzymatically active phospholipase A1 could be expressed, but the venom protein had a deleterious effect on growth of the yeast cells. To overcome the problem we introduced three different point mutations at the critical points of the active site, where serine137, aspartate165 or histidine229 were replaced by alanine (S137A, D165A and H229A. All the three mutated forms could be expressed in P. pastoris. The H229A mutant did not have any detectable phospholipase A1 activity and was secreted at the level of several mg/L in shake flask culture. The protein was purified by nickel-affinity chromatography and its identity was confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The protein could bind IgE antibodies from wasp venom allergic patients and could inhibit the binding of wasp venom to IgE antibodies specific for phospholipase A1 as shown by Enzyme Allergo-Sorbent Test (EAST. Moreover, the recombinant protein was allergenic in a biological assay as demonstrated by its capability to induce histamine release of wasp venom-sensitive basophils.The recombinant phospholipase A1 presents a good candidate for wasp venom immunotherapy.

  16. Cytotoxicity and hemolytic activity of jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Changkeun; Munawir, Al; Cha, Mijin; Sohn, Eun-Tae; Lee, Hyunkyoung; Kim, Jong-Shu; Yoon, Won Duk; Lim, Donghyun; Kim, Euikyung

    2009-07-01

    The recent bloom of a giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai has caused a danger to sea bathers and fishery damages in the waters of China, Korea, and Japan. The present study investigated the cytotoxic and hemolytic activities of crude venom extract of N. nomurai using a number of in vitro assays. The jellyfish venom showed a much higher cytotoxic activity in H9C2 heart myoblast than in C2C12 skeletal myoblast (LC(50)=2 microg/mL vs. 12 microg/mL, respectively), suggesting its possible in vivo selective toxicity on cardiac tissue. This result is consistent with our previous finding that cardiovascular function is a target of the venom. In order to determine the stability of N. nomurai venom, its cytotoxicity was examined under the various temperature and pH conditions. The activity was relatively well retained at low environmental temperature (or=60 degrees C). In pH stability test, the venom has abruptly lost its activity at low pH environment (pHvenom was examined using the erythrocytes of cat, dog, human, rabbit and rat. Venom concentration-dependent hemolysis could be observed from 10 microg/mL of protein equivalents or higher with variable potencies in different species, among which dog erythrocyte was the most susceptible to the venom (EC(50)=151 microg/mL). SDS-PAGE analysis of N. nomurai venom showed the molecules of 20-40 kDa and 10-15 kDa appeared to be the major protein components of the venom.

  17. Milking and partial characterization of venom from the Brazilian spider Vitalius dubius (Theraphosidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha-E-Silva, Thomaz A A; Sutti, Rafael; Hyslop, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The theraphosid spider genus Vitalius contains several species found in southeastern Brazil. In this work, we used electrostimulation to obtain venom from Vitalius dubius and examined its general composition. Male spiders yielded significantly less (p venom (12.5 +/- 0.7 mg of liquid/spider, n = 16; mean +/- S.E.M.) than female spiders (25.5 +/- 2.0 mg of liquid/spider, n = 11). However, when corrected for spider weight, males yielded slightly more venom (2.89 +/- 0.16 mg/g vs. 2.45 +/- 0.76 mg/g for males and females, respectively, p Venom yield correlated linearly with spider weight for spiders weighing up to approximately 12-13 g, but decreased in very heavy females. There was a marked decrease in venom yield after the first milking. The protein concentration of pooled venom was 18.3 +/- 2.4 mg/ml (n = 4) and accounted for 16.6 +/- 4.7% of the dry venom weight. The venom contained high hyaluronidase activity (275 +/- 24 TRU/mg of protein, n = 4), with a molecular mass of approximately 45 kDa estimated by zymography. SDS-PAGE revealed a few proteins with molecular masses >14 kDa but showed two staining bands of peptides venom reacted in ELISA with affinity-purified IgG from commercial arachnidic antivenom. Immunoblotting with this IgG detected proteins of 30-140 kDa only. Fractionation of the venom by reverse-phase chromatography resulted in five major and eight minor peaks.

  18. Oecophylla smaragdina food conversion efficiency: prospects for ant farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Oecophylla ants are sold at high prices on several commercial markets as a human delicacy, as pet food or as traditional medicine. Currently markets are supplied by ants collected from the wild; however, an increasing interest in ant farming exists as all harvest is easily sold and as ant farming...... can be combined with the use of the ants in biological control programmes in tropical plantations where pest insects are converted into ant biomass. To assess the cost-benefits of ant farming based on artificial feeding, food consumption and food conversion efficiency (ECI) of Oecophylla smaragdina...... (Fabricius) was tested under laboratory conditions. Of the two types of food offered, the ants ingested 76% pure sucrose and 24% insect prey (dry weights) leading to ECI’s of 29% and 39% including brood only or brood plus imago gain, respectively. Based on Thai sugar and protein food costs and ant brood...

  19. Impacts of residual insecticide barriers on perimeter-invading ants, with particular reference to the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2004-04-01

    Three liquid insecticide formulations were evaluated as barrier treatments against perimeter-invading ants at a multifamily housing complex in West Lafayette, IN. Several ant species were present at the study site, including (in order of abundance) pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum (L.); honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Say); odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say); thief ant, Solenopsis molesta (Say); acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi (Mayr); crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), field ants, Formica spp.; and carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer). Studies began in May 2001 and concluded 8 wk later in July. Individual replicate treatments were placed 0.61 in (2 feet) up and 0.92 m (3 feet) out from the ends of 46.1 by 10.1-m (151 by 33-foot) apartment buildings. Ant sampling was performed with 10 placements of moist cat food for 1 h within treatment zones, followed by capture and removal of recruited ants for later counting. All treatments led to substantial reductions in ant numbers relative to untreated controls. The most effective treatment was fipronil, where 2% of before-treatment ant numbers were present at 8 wk after treatment. Both imidacloprid and cyfluthrin barrier treatments had efficacy comparative with fipronil, but to 4 and 2 wk, respectively. Odorous house ants were not sampled before treatment. Comparisons of ant species composition between treatments and controls revealed an increase in odorous house ant frequencies at 1-8 wk after treatment in treated locations only. These results demonstrate efficacy for both nonrepellent and repellent liquid insecticides as perimeter treatments for pest ants. In addition, our findings with odorous house ant highlight an apparent invasive-like characteristic of this species that may contribute to its dramatic increase in structural infestation rates in many areas of the United States.

  20. Age-related Variation in Snake Venom:Evidence from Two Snakes (Naja atra and Deinagkistrodon acutus) in Southeastern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ying HE; Jianfang GAO; Longhui LIN; Xiaomei MA; Xiang JI

    2014-01-01

    In this study we explored electrophoretic proifles, enzymatic activities and immunoreactivity of neonate and adult venoms from two snakes (Naja atra and Deinagkistrodon acutus) coexisting in southeastern China. Age-related variation in electrophoretic proifles was found in both species and proteolytic and ifbrinogenolytic activity was higher in neonate than adult venoms. Neonate D. acutus venom had higher 5' nucleotidase, PLA2, hyaluronidase and gelatinolytic activity, but lower esterolytic activity, than adult venom. Neonate and adult D. acutus venoms showed identical phosphomonoesterase, LAO and ifbrinolytic activities. Neonate N. atra venom had higher phosphomonoesterase and LAO activity, but lower 5' nucleotidase, PLA2, hyaluronidase and AchE activities than adult venom. Neonate and adult N. atra venoms showed similar gelatinolytic activity. Further, age-dependent immunoreactivity was found in both species, and cross-reactions between homologous venoms and antiserums were closely related to venom composition. We speculate that age-related variation in venom characteristics is possibly driven by evolutionary forces associated with ontogenetic shifts in dietary habits, competition and predation pressure.

  1. Fine structure of the stinger, histology and histochemistry of the venom gland in the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi (Buthidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belal A. Soliman

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The venom apparatus of the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi has been identified histologically and histochemically in the present study. The results showed that this apparatus composed of a pair of venom glands and a stinger located in the terminal segment called telson. The stinger of the venom apparatus has been studied by the light microscope and SEM. The stinger, located at the end section of the telson, is sickle-shaped. The venom is ejected through a pair of venom pores on its subterminal portion. Both venom ducts extend along the stinger without contact with each other since they are separated by connective tissue cells. The stinger is covered by cuticle and spines. Each venom gland is covered by a sheath of striated muscle and is lined with extensively folded secretory epithelium that consists of non-secretory and secretory venom-producing cells. The venom-producing cells reacted positively to histochemical tests for carbohydrates and proteins. The outcomes also revealed that the venom-producing cells of both glands produce neutral mucosubstances. The structure and secretion of scorpion venom glands are discussed within the context of the present results.

  2. Anti-proliferative Effects of Androctonus amoreuxi Scorpion and Cerastes cerastes Snake Venoms on Human Prostate Cancer Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akef, Hassan; Kotb, Nahla; Abo-Elmatty, Dina; Salem, Sayed

    2017-01-01

    The present study evaluated the effects of Androctonus amoreuxi scorpion venom, Cerastes cerastes snake venom and their mixture on prostate cancer cells (PC3). An MTT assay was used to determine the anti-proliferative effect of the venoms, while quantitative real time PCR was used to evaluate the expression of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2). Furthermore, colorimetric assays were used to measure the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant enzymes. Our results show that the venoms significantly reduced PC3 cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, these venoms significantly decreased Bcl-2 gene expression. Additionally, C. cerastes venom significantly reduced Bax gene expression, while A. amoreuxi venom and a mixture of A. amoreuxi & C. cerastes venoms did not alter Bax expression. Consequently, these venoms significantly increased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the oxidative stress biomarker MDA. Furthermore, these venoms also increased the activity levels of the antioxidant enzymes, catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase. Overall, the venoms have cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects on PC3 cells. PMID:28382285

  3. The action of red scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus coconsis, pocock venom and its isolated protein fractions on blood sodium levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. V. Badhe

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Red scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus or Buthus tamulus venom samples were collected at different regions of India: western (Chiplun and Ahmednagar from Maharashtra State and southern (Ratnagiri and Chennai from Tamil Nadu State. The action of whole venoms on the blood sodium levels of mice was assessed using flame photometry. Seven peptides were common to all venom samples. They were separated using the native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE technique and their activities were also studied using flame photometry. There was a decrease in the concentration of sodium ions in the serum, which suggested the blockage of such ions by scorpion venom toxins. Among the 10 protein bands isolated, the band at 79.6 kDa presented maximum activity in decreasing serum sodium ions concentration. Whole venom from Chiplun region also showed maximum activity. The western blotting technique demonstrated that the anti-scorpion venom sera produced by Haffkine Biopharmaceuticals Corporation Ltd., India, neutralized all four venom samples.

  4. Extracts of Renealmia alpinia (Rottb. MAAS Protect against Lethality and Systemic Hemorrhage Induced by Bothrops asper Venom: Insights from a Model with Extract Administration before Venom Injection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arley Camilo Patiño

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Renealmia alpinia (Rottb. MAAS, obtained by micropropagation (in vitro and wild forms have previously been shown to inhibit some toxic activities of Bothrops asper snake venom if preincubated before injection. In this study, assays were performed in a murine model in which extracts were administered for three days before venom injection. R. alpinia extracts inhibited lethal activity of B. asper venom injected by intraperitoneal route. Median Effective Dose (ED50 values were 36.6 ± 3.2 mg/kg and 31.7 ± 5.4 mg/kg (p > 0.05 for R. alpinia wild and in vitro extracts, respectively. At a dose of 75 mg/kg, both extracts totally inhibited the lethal activity of the venom. Moreover, this dose prolonged survival time of mice receiving a lethal dose of venom by the intravenous route. At 75 mg/kg, both extracts of R. alpinia reduced the extent of venom-induced pulmonary hemorrhage by 48.0% (in vitro extract and 34.7% (wild extract, in agreement with histological observations of lung tissue. R. alpinia extracts also inhibited hemorrhage in heart and kidneys, as evidenced by a decrease in mg of hemoglobin/g of organ. These results suggest the possibility of using R. alpinia as a prophylactic agent in snakebite, a hypothesis that needs to be further explored.

  5. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

    The ultrastructure of the ant-egg cataractous lens has been studied. Comparison of tissue demineralized by means of EDTA with untreated tissue showed the calcium salts in the ant-eggs to be mostly crystalline. A laminar appearance of the ant-egg seen in EDTA treated material suggested an intermit......The ultrastructure of the ant-egg cataractous lens has been studied. Comparison of tissue demineralized by means of EDTA with untreated tissue showed the calcium salts in the ant-eggs to be mostly crystalline. A laminar appearance of the ant-egg seen in EDTA treated material suggested...

  6. Hopfield neural network based on ant system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    洪炳镕; 金飞虎; 郭琦

    2004-01-01

    Hopfield neural network is a single layer feedforward neural network. Hopfield network requires some control parameters to be carefully selected, else the network is apt to converge to local minimum. An ant system is a nature inspired meta heuristic algorithm. It has been applied to several combinatorial optimization problems such as Traveling Salesman Problem, Scheduling Problems, etc. This paper will show an ant system may be used in tuning the network control parameters by a group of cooperated ants. The major advantage of this network is to adjust the network parameters automatically, avoiding a blind search for the set of control parameters.This network was tested on two TSP problems, 5 cities and 10 cities. The results have shown an obvious improvement.

  7. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayle, Tom M; Scholtz, Olivia; Dumbrell, Alex J; Russell, Stephen; Segar, Simon T; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII) from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1) to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1), there was no evidence (with small sample sizes) for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  8. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

    Full Text Available Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1 to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1, there was no evidence (with small sample sizes for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  9. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    1. With an expanding human population placing increasing pressure on the environment, agriculture needs sustainable production that can match conventional methods. Integrated pest management (IPM) is more sustainable, but not necessarily as efficient as conventional non-sustainable measures. 2...... of agricultural systems, this review emphasizes the potential of managing ants to achieve sustainable pest management solutions. The synthesis suggests future directions and may catalyse a research agenda on the utilization of ants, not only against arthropod pests, but also against weeds and plant diseases...

  10. Ant-plants and fungi: a new threeway symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Selosse, Marc-André; Dubois, Marie-Pierre; Mondolot, Laurence; Faccio, Antonella; Djieto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2009-06-01

    Symbioses between plants and fungi, fungi and ants, and ants and plants all play important roles in ecosystems. Symbioses involving all three partners appear to be rare. Here, we describe a novel tripartite symbiosis in which ants and a fungus inhabit domatia of an ant-plant, and present evidence that such interactions are widespread. We investigated 139 individuals of the African ant-plant Leonardoxa africana for occurrence of fungus. Behaviour of mutualist ants toward the fungus within domatia was observed using a video camera fitted with an endoscope. Fungi were identified by sequencing a fragment of their ribosomal DNA. Fungi were always present in domatia occupied by mutualist ants but never in domatia occupied by opportunistic or parasitic ants. Ants appear to favour the propagation, removal and maintenance of the fungus. Similar fungi were associated with other ant-plants in Cameroon. All belong to the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales; those from L. africana formed a monophyletic clade. These new plant-ant-fungus associations seem to be specific, as demonstrated within Leonardoxa and as suggested by fungal phyletic identities. Such tripartite associations are widespread in African ant-plants but have long been overlooked. Taking fungal partners into account will greatly enhance our understanding of symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms.

  11. Peripheral and central effects of intracerebroventricular microinjection of Hottentotta gentili (Pallary, 1924) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Hidan, Moulay Abdelmonaim; Touloun, Oulaid; El Hiba, Omar; Laadraoui, Jawad; Ferehan, Hind; Boumezzough, Ali

    2016-03-01

    Central effects of scorpion venom toxins have been neglected, due both to the common belief that scorpion venoms act by targeting peripheral organs and also to the misunderstanding that these peptides do not cross the brain-blood barrier (BBB). Determining whether scorpion neurotoxicity is restricted to peripheral actions or whether a central mechanism may be partly responsible for systemic manifestations could be crucial in clinical therapy trends. The present study therefore aims to assess histopathological damages in some organs (heart, kidney, liver, and lungs) and the related biochemical impairments, together with a neurobehavioral investigation following an intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) micro-injection of Hottentotta gentili (Scorpiones, Buthidae) venom (0.47 μg/kg). I.c.v. injection of venom produced focal fragmentation of myocardial fibers, while lungs showed rupture of the alveolar structure. Concurrently, there was a significant rise in the serum enzymes levels of ASAT, ALAT, CPK and LDH. Meanwhile, we observed behavioral alterations such as a hypoactivity, and in addition the venom seems to have a marked anxiogenic-like effect. The present investigation has brought new experimental evidence of a peripheral impact of central administration of H. gentili venom, such impact was manifested by physiological and behavioral disturbances, the last of these appearing to reflect profound neuro-modulatory action of H. gentili venom.

  12. The anti-snake venom properties of Tamarindus indica (leguminosae) seed extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushanandini, S; Nagaraju, S; Harish Kumar, K; Vedavathi, M; Machiah, D K; Kemparaju, K; Vishwanath, B S; Gowda, T V; Girish, K S

    2006-10-01

    In Indian traditional medicine, various plants have been used widely as a remedy for treating snake bites. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Tamarindus indica seed extract on the pharmacological as well as the enzymatic effects induced by V. russelli venom. Tamarind seed extract inhibited the PLA(2), protease, hyaluronidase, l-amino acid oxidase and 5'-nucleotidase enzyme activities of venom in a dose-dependent manner. These are the major hydrolytic enzymes responsible for the early effects of envenomation, such as local tissue damage, inflammation and hypotension. Furthermore, the extract neutralized the degradation of the Bbeta chain of human fibrinogen and indirect hemolysis caused by venom. It was also observed that the extract exerted a moderate effect on the clotting time, prolonging it only to a small extent. Edema, hemorrhage and myotoxic effects including lethality, induced by venom were neutralized significantly when different doses of the extract were preincubated with venom before the assays. On the other hand, animals that received extract 10 min after the injection of venom were protected from venom induced toxicity. Since it inhibits hydrolytic enzymes and pharmacological effects, it may be used as an alternative treatment to serum therapy and, in addition, as a rich source of potential inhibitors of PLA(2), metalloproteinases, serine proteases, hyaluronidases and 5 cent-nucleotidases, the enzymes involved in several physiopathological human and animal diseases.

  13. Characterization of honeybee venom by MALDI-TOF and nanoESI-QqTOF mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matysiak, Jan; Schmelzer, Christian E H; Neubert, Reinhard H H; Kokot, Zenon J

    2011-01-25

    The aim of the study was to comprehensively characterize different honeybee venom samples applying two complementary mass spectrometry methods. 41 honeybee venom samples of different bee strains, country of origin (Poland, Georgia, and Estonia), year and season of the venom collection were analyzed using MALDI-TOF and nanoESI-QqTOF-MS. It was possible to obtain semi-quantitative data for 12 different components in selected honeybee venom samples using MALDI-TOF method without further sophisticated and time consuming sample pretreatment. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) has shown that there are qualitative and quantitative differences in the composition between honeybee venom samples collected over different years. It has also been demonstrated that MALDI-TOF spectra can be used as a "protein fingerprint" of honeybee venom in order to confirm the identity of the product. NanoESI-QqTOF-MS was applied especially for identification purposes. Using this technique 16 peptide sequences were identified, including melittin (12 different breakdown products and precursors), apamine, mast cell degranulating peptide and secapin. Moreover, the significant achievement of this study is the fact that the new peptide (HTGAVLAGV+Amidated (C-term), M(r)=822.53Da) has been discovered in bee venom for the first time.

  14. Bee venom and its component apamin as neuroprotective agents in a Parkinson disease mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Alvarez-Fischer

    Full Text Available Bee venom has recently been suggested to possess beneficial effects in the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD. For instance, it has been observed that bilateral acupoint stimulation of lower hind limbs with bee venom was protective in the acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP mouse model of PD. In particular, a specific component of bee venom, apamin, has previously been shown to have protective effects on dopaminergic neurons in vitro. However, no information regarding a potential protective action of apamin in animal models of PD is available to date. The specific goals of the present study were to (i establish that the protective effect of bee venom for dopaminergic neurons is not restricted to acupoint stimulation, but can also be observed using a more conventional mode of administration and to (ii demonstrate that apamin can mimic the protective effects of a bee venom treatment on dopaminergic neurons. Using the chronic mouse model of MPTP/probenecid, we show that bee venom provides sustained protection in an animal model that mimics the chronic degenerative process of PD. Apamin, however, reproduced these protective effects only partially, suggesting that other components of bee venom enhance the protective action of the peptide.

  15. Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa Crude Venom Injection Elicits Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Response in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Bruschetta

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Cnidarian toxins represent a rich source of biologically active compounds. Since they may act via oxidative stress events, the aim of the present study was to verify whether crude venom, extracted from the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca, elicits inflammation and oxidative stress processes, known to be mediated by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS production, in rats. In a first set of experiments, the animals were injected with crude venom (at three different doses 6, 30 and 60 µg/kg, suspended in saline solution, i.v. to test the mortality and possible blood pressure changes. In a second set of experiments, to confirm that Pelagia noctiluca crude venom enhances ROS formation and may contribute to the pathophysiology of inflammation, crude venom-injected animals (30 µg/kg were also treated with tempol, a powerful antioxidant (100 mg/kg i.p., 30 and 60 min after crude venom. Administration of tempol after crude venom challenge, caused a significant reduction of each parameter related to inflammation. The potential effect of Pelagia noctiluca crude venom in the systemic inflammation process has been here demonstrated, adding novel information about its biological activity.

  16. The transcriptome recipe for the venom cocktail of Tityus bahiensis scorpion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Ursula Castro; Candido, Denise Maria; Dorce, Valquíria Abrão Coronado; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles

    2015-03-01

    Scorpion venom is a mixture of peptides, including antimicrobial, bradykinin-potentiating and anionic peptides and small to medium proteins, such as ion channel toxins, metalloproteinases and phospholipases that together cause severe clinical manifestation. Tityus bahiensis is the second most medically important scorpion species in Brazil and it is widely distributed in the country with the exception of the North Region. Here we sequenced and analyzed the transcripts from the venom glands of T. bahiensis, aiming at identifying and annotating venom gland expressed genes. A total of 116,027 long reads were generated by pyrosequencing and assembled in 2891 isotigs. An annotation process identified transcripts by similarity to known toxins, revealing that putative venom components represent 7.4% of gene expression. The major toxins identified are potassium and sodium channel toxins, whereas metalloproteinases showed an unexpected high abundance. Phylogenetic analysis of deduced metalloproteinases from T. bahiensis and other scorpions revealed a pattern of ancient and intraspecific gene expansions. Other venom molecules identified include antimicrobial, anionic and bradykinin-potentiating peptides, besides several putative new venom components. This report provides the first attempt to massively identify the venom components of this species and constitutes one of the few transcriptomic efforts on the genus Tityus.

  17. Studies on Antivenom Activity of Ceiba pentandra Leaves’ Aqueous Methanol Extract Against Echis ocellatus’ Snake Venom

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    sarkiyayi shehu

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Aqueous methanol of Ceiba pentandra leaves extract was tested for antivenom activity against Echis ocellatus snake venom. Among parameters investigated include: LD50 of the Echis ocellatus snake venom, phospholipase A2 activity, percentage hemolysis. In vivo analysis of total protein content, white blood cells, pack cell volume and haemoglobin contents were also investigated. The result reveals that Echis ocellatus has an LD50 of 0.280mg/kg ± 0.065. Haemolysis due to venom has drastically reduced by the extract from 66% to 27.4%. suggesting that the extract is effective in reducing haemolysis in mice. The in vivo studies reveals that there were significant (p<0.05 decrease in packed cell volume, total protein and haemoglobin contents for the venom group and there was only slight changes in the venom/extract and control groups suggesting that the extract has some inhibitory effect on the venom activity. The purified phospholipase incubated with the extract demonstrated neutralization effect against the phospholipase A2 activity. The result has shown that Ceiba pentandra leaves extract possess potent snake venom-neutralizing capacity. The plant leaves extract could be use as an antidote for snakebite envenomation.

  18. Screening of plants containing Naja naja siamensis cobra venom inhibitory activity using modified ELISA technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daduang, Sakda; Sattayasai, Nison; Sattayasai, Jintana; Tophrom, Pattara; Thammathaworn, Achra; Chaveerach, Arunrat; Konkchaiyaphum, Monruedee

    2005-06-15

    Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been modified for screening plants with antagonistic activity to Naja naja siamensis cobra venom. Aqueous extracts from plants were investigated for their inhibitory effects on the binding of anti-cobra venom antibody to antigen, cobra venom, fixed onto 96-well microtiter plates. Ingredients in extracts were allowed to react with immobilized venom before the subsequent addition of antivenom antibody. Venom components affected by exposure to the extracts, unable to interact with their specific antibody, were predicted to be unable to bind to their native destinations or natural receptors. Curcuma cf. zedoaria, an old Thai medicinal plant, showed clear inhibitory activity in the ELISA test. Neurotoxin and protein degradative enzymes, major components in venom, were identified as targets of this extract in Western immunoblotting analysis. Ingredients in the extract showed high affinity to the toxin in competition assay by immunoprecipitation. The extract attenuated toxin activity by extending contraction time of diaphragm muscle after envenomation and had a potency to protect cellular proteins from venom degradative enzymes. Curcuma parviflora, with less activity in ELISA, exhibited acceptable results in two experiments but negative results in two experiments, whereas Curcuma longa, having low activity in the ELISA test, never showed any favorable results. Screening of 36 samples could classify plants into an inhibition range of 0 to 86%. This modified ELISA is recommended as a preliminary screening method for inhibitors with a large number of samples.

  19. Inflammatory events induced by brown spider venom and its recombinant dermonecrotic toxin: a pharmacological investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paludo, Katia Sabrina; Biscaia, Stellee Marcela Petris; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Otuki, Michel Fleith; Naliwaiko, Katya; Dombrowski, Patrícia Andréia; Franco, Célia Regina Cavichiolo; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2009-04-01

    Accidents involving Brown spider (Loxosceles sp.) venom produce a massive inflammatory response in injured region. This venom has a complex mixture of different toxins, and the dermonecrotic toxin is the major contributor to toxic effects. The ability of Loxosceles intermedia venom and a recombinant isoform of dermonecrotic toxin to induce edema and increase in vascular permeability was investigated. These toxins were injected into hind paws and caused a marked dose and time-dependent edema and increase in vascular permeability in mice. Furthermore, the enzymatic activity of venom toxins may be primal for these effects. A mutated recombinant isoform of dermonecrotic toxin, that has only residual enzymatic activity, was not able to induce these inflammatory events. Besides the previous heating of toxins markedly reduced the paw edema and vascular permeability showing that thermolabile constituents can trigger these effects. In addition, the ability of these venom toxins to evoke inflammatory events was partially reduced in compound 48/80-pretreated animals, suggesting that mast cells may be involved in these responses. Pretreating mice with histamine (prometazine and cetirizine) and serotonin (methysergide) receptor antagonists significantly attenuated toxins induced edema and vascular permeability. Moreover, HPLC analysis of whole venom showed the presence of histamine sufficient to induce inflammatory responses. In conclusion, these inflammatory events may result from the activation of mast cells, which in turn release bioamines and may be related to intrinsic histamine content of venom.

  20. Characterization of the venom from the spider, Araneus gemma: search for a glutamate antagonist

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Early, S.L.

    1985-01-01

    Venom from three spiders, Argiope aurantia, Neoscona arabesca, and Araneus gemma have been shown to inhibit the binding of L-(/sup 3/H)glutamate to both GBP and synaptic membranes. The venom from Araneus gemma was shown to be the most potent of the three venoms in inhibiting the binding of L-(/sup 3/H)glutamate to GBP. Therefore, Araneus gemma venom was selected for further characterization. Venom from Araneus gemma appeared to contain two factors which inhibit the binding of L-(/sup 3/H)glutamate to GBP and at least one factor that inhibits L-glutamate-stimulated /sup 35/SCN flux. Factor I is thought to be L-glutamic acid, based on: (1) its similar mobility to glutamic acid in thin-layer chromatography and amino acid analysis, (2) the presence of fingerprint molecular ion peaks for glutamate in the mass spectrum for the methanol:water (17:1) extract and for the fraction from the HPLC-purification of the crude venom, and (3) its L-glutamate-like interaction with the sodium-dependent uptake system. Factor II appears to be a polypeptide, possibly 21 amino acids in length, and does not appear to contain any free amino groups or tryptophan. While the venom does not appear to contain any indoleamines, three catecholamines (epinephrine, epinine, dopamine) and one catecholamine metabolite (DOPAC) were detected.

  1. A survey of the venom of the spider Lycosa vittata by biochemical, pharmacological and transcriptomic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fan; Liu, Changjun; Tan, Huaxin; Wang, Hengyun; Jiang, Yinjie; Liang, Songping; Zhang, Fuping; Liu, Zhonghua

    2015-12-01

    Lycosa vittata, mainly distributed in the southwest of China, is a medium-sized and venomous spider, whose venom remains unexplored so far. This study aims to present an overview of the venom. It mainly consisted of diverse peptides and exhibited inhibitory effects on voltage-gated ion channels in rat dorsal root ganglia neurons, with a strongest inhibition on tetrodotoxin-sensitive and tetrodotoxin-resistant voltage-gated Na(+) channels. Interestingly, it exerted cytotoxicity to cancer cells, with approximately 10-fold selectivity on PC-3 over others, implying the existence of selective anti-PC-3 agents in the venom. Moreover, 51 toxin-like peptides were deduced from the venom gland transcriptome. Bioinformatic analyses suggested their structures might have some distinguished properties and their predicted functions were consistent with the venom activities. This study suggests that the venom is an attractive source of neurotoxins with therapeutic significance, and provides references for the structure and function investigation of specific toxins in the future.

  2. Pulsed ultrasound therapy accelerates the recovery of skeletal muscle damage induced by Bothrops jararacussu venom

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    J. Saturnino-Oliveira

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We studied the effect of pulsed ultrasound therapy (UST and antibothropic polyvalent antivenom (PAV on the regeneration of mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle following damage by Bothrops jararacussu venom. Animals (Swiss male and female mice weighing 25.0 ± 5.0 g; 5 animals per group received a perimuscular injection of venom (1 mg/kg and treatment with UST was started 1 h later (1 min/day, 3 MHz, 0.3 W/cm², pulsed mode. Three and 28 days after injection, muscles were dissected and processed for light microscopy. The venom caused complete degeneration of muscle fibers. UST alone and combined with PAV (1.0 mL/kg partially protected these fibers, whereas muscles receiving no treatment showed disorganized fascicules and fibers with reduced diameter. Treatment with UST and PAV decreased the effects of the venom on creatine kinase content and motor activity (approximately 75 and 48%, respectively. Sonication of the venom solution immediately before application decreased the in vivo and ex vivo myotoxic activities (approximately 60 and 50%, respectively. The present data show that UST counteracts some effects of B. jararacussu venom, causing structural and functional improvement of the regenerated muscle after venom injury.

  3. Antivenom potential of ethanolic extract of Cordia macleodii bark against Naja venom

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pranay Soni; Surendra H. Bodakhe

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the antivenom potential of ethanolic extract of bark of Cordia macleodii against Naja venom induced pharmacological effects such as lethality, hemorrhagic lesion, necrotizing lesion, edema, cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity.Methods:Wistar strain rats were challenged with Naja venom and treated with the ethanolic extract of Cordia macleodii bark. The effectiveness of the extract to neutralize the lethalities ofNaja venom was investigated as recommended by WHO. Results: At the dose of 400 and 800 mg/kg ethanolic extract of Cordia macleodii bark significantly inhibited the Naja venom induced lethality, hemorrhagic lesion, necrotizing lesion and edema in rats. Ethanolic extract of Cordia macleodii bark was effective in neutralizing the coagulant and defibrinogenating activity of Naja venom. The cardiotoxic effects in isolated frog heart and neurotoxic activity studies on frog rectus abdominus muscle were also antagonized by ethanolic extract of Cordia macleodii bark.Conclusions:It is concluded that the protective effect of extract of Cordia macleodii against Naja venom poisoning may be mediated by the cardiotonic, proteolysin neutralization, anti-inflammatory, antiserotonic and antihistaminic activity. It is possible that the protective effect may also be due to precipitation of active venom constituents.

  4. The effects of low-level laser on muscle damage caused by Bothrops neuwiedi venom

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    DM Dourado

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to assess the effects of low-level laser (660 nm on myonecrosis caused by the insertion of Bothrops neuwiedi venom in the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into three groups (n = 24 each: Group S (0.9% saline solution; Group V (venom and Group VLLL (venom plus low-level laser. These categories were subdivided into four additional groups (n = 6 based on the euthanasia timing (3 hours, 24 hours, 3 days and 7 days. The groups V and VLLL were inoculated with 100 µL of concentrated venom (40 µg/mL in the gastrocnemius muscle. The muscle was irradiated using a gallium-aluminum-arsenide laser (GaAlAs at 35 mW power and 4 J/cm² energy density for 3 hours, 24 hours, 3 days or 7 days after venom inoculation. To evaluate the myotoxic activity of the venom, CK activity was measured and the muscle was histologically analyzed. The low-level laser reduced venom-induced CK activity in the groups euthanized at 3 hours, 24 hours and 3 days (p < 0.0001. Histological analysis revealed that low-level laser reduced neutrophilic inflammation as well as myofibrillar edema, hemorrhage and myonecrosis following B. neuwiedi envenomation. These results suggest that low-level laser can be useful as an adjunct therapy following B. neuwiedi envenomation.

  5. The effects of low-level laser on muscle damage caused by Bothrops neuwiedi venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dourado, D.M.; Matias, R.; Almeida, M.F.; Paula, K.R. de; Carvalho, P.T.C. [University for the Development of the State and of the Region of Pantanal (UNIDERP), Campo Grande, MS (Brazil). Lab. of Experimental Histopathology]. E-mail: ccfi@uniderp.br; Vieira, R.P. [University of Sao Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil). School of Medicine. Dept. of Pathology and Physical Therapy; Oliveira, L.V.F. [Nove de Julho University (UNINOVE), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Masters Program in Rehabilitation Sciences

    2008-07-01

    The present study aimed to assess the effects of low-level laser (660 nm) on myonecrosis caused by the insertion of Bothrops neuwiedi venom in the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into three groups (n = 24 each): Group S (0.9% saline solution); Group V (venom) and Group VLLL (venom plus low-level laser). These categories were subdivided into four additional groups (n = 6) based on the euthanasia timing (3 hours, 24 hours, 3 days and 7 days). The groups V and VLLL were inoculated with 100 {mu}L of concentrated venom (40 {mu}g/mL) in the gastrocnemius muscle. The muscle was irradiated using a gallium-aluminum-arsenide laser (GaAlAs) at 35 mW power and 4 J/cm{sup 2} energy density for 3 hours, 24 hours, 3 days or 7 days after venom inoculation. To evaluate the myotoxic activity of the venom, CK activity was measured and the muscle was histologically analyzed. The low-level laser reduced venom-induced CK activity in the groups euthanized at 3 hours, 24 hours and 3 days (p < 0.0001). Histological analysis revealed that low-level laser reduced neutrophilic inflammation as well as myofibrillar edema, hemorrhage and myonecrosis following B. neuwiedi envenomation. These results suggest that low-level laser can be useful as an adjunct therapy following B. neuwiedi envenomation. (author)

  6. Local inflammation, lethality and cytokine release in mice injected with Bothrops atrox venom

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    S. F. Barros

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available We have provided evidence that: (a lethality of mice to crude Bothrops venom varies according the isogenic strain (A/J > C57Bl/6 > A/Sn > BALB/c > C3H/ HePas > DBA/2 > C3H/He; (bBALB/c mice (LD50=100.0 μg were injected i.p. with 50 μg of venom produced IL-6, IL-10, INF-γ, TNF-α and NO in the serum. In vitro the cells from the mice injected and challenged with the venom only released IL-10 while peritoneal macrophages released IL-10, INF-γ and less amounts of IL-6; (c establishment of local inflammation and necrosis induced by the venom, coincides with the peaks of TNF-α, IFN-γ and NO and the damage was neutralized when the venom was incubated with a monoclonal antibody against a 60 kDa haemorrhagic factor. These results suggest that susceptibility to Bothrops a trox venom is genetically dependent but MHC independent; that IL-6, IL10, TNF-α, IFN-γ and NO can be involved in the mediation of tissue damage; and that the major venom component inducers of the lesions are haemorrhagins.

  7. New approaches & technologies of venomics to meet the challenge of human envenoming by snakebites in India

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    David A Warrell

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The direct estimate of 46,000 snakebite deaths in India in 2005 (1 for every 2 HIV/AIDS deaths, based on verbal autopsies, renders unrealistic the total of only 47,000 snakebite deaths in the whole world in 2010, obtained indirectly as part of the "Global Burden of Disease 2010" study. Persistent underestimation of its true morbidity and mortality has made snakebite the most neglected of all the WHO′s "neglected tropical diseases", downgrading its public health importance. Strategies to address this neglect should include the improvement of antivenom, the only specific antidote to envenoming. To accommodate increased understanding of geographical intraspecific variation in venom composition and the range of snake species that are medically important in India, the design of antivenoms (choice of venom sources and species coverage should be reconsidered. Methods of preclinical and clinical testing should be improved. The relatively new science of venomics involves techniques and strategies for assessing the toxin composition of snake venoms directly through proteomics-centred approaches or indirectly via high-throughput venom gland transcriptomics and bioinformatic analysis. Antivenomics is translational venomics: a proteomics-based protocol to quantify the extent of cross-reactivity of antivenoms against homologous and heterologous venoms. These approaches could revolutionize the preclinical assessment of antivenom efficacy, leading to a new generation of antivenoms that are clinically more effective.

  8. Management of venomous snakebites in dogs and cats in Brazil

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    R.S. Ferreira Júnior

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake envenoming is a major problem both to veterinary and human medicine in tropical countries due to high incidence, severity, and sequelae. In Brazil, most envenomings involving animals are caused by Bothrops and Crotalus snakes; these are the highest risk to animals. This study reports on Bothrops and Crotalus envenomings in dogs, the main species responsible for epidemiology, pathogenesis, venom action, clinical signs, sequelae and complications, clinical pathology, necropsy findings, diagnosis, and treatment. Veterinarians must be capable of identifying the snake not only by observing its characteristics but also symptom evolution.

  9. Transcriptome and venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Background The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, is the largest and most dangerous cubozoan jellyfish to humans. It produces potent and rapid-acting venom and its sting causes severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In this study, a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify C. fleckeri proteins that elicit toxic effects in envenoming. Results More than 40,000,000 Illumina reads were used to de novo assemble ∼ 34,000 contiguous cDN...

  10. [Venomous and poisonous animals. III. Elapidae snake envenomation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chippaux, J P

    2007-02-01

    Envenomation by Elapidae snakes is less frequent than by Viperidae snakes but represents a true medical emergency due to rapid progression of cobra syndrome. Elapidae venom contains neurotoxins that paralyze striated muscles especially in the thoracic cavity. Respiratory paralysis can occur within a few hours and is preceded by neurological symptoms (local paresthesia and paresis progressing to the cranial nerves). When cobra envenomation is suspected, antivenom administration by the direct venous route must be undertaken as quickly as possible to stop the envenomation process. Artificial ventilation is necessary in case of dyspnea.

  11. Venom of the ectoparasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis, influences gene expression in Musca domestica hemocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Cen; Liu, Yang; Fang, Qi; Min-Li, Yan; Liu, Shu-Sheng; Ye, Gong-Yin; Li, Yan-Min

    2013-08-01

    Insect hosts have evolved potent innate immunity against invasion by parasitoid wasps. Host/parasitoids live in co-evolutionary relationships. Nasonia vitripennis females inject venom into their dipteran hosts just prior to laying eggs on the host's outer integument. The parasitoid larvae are ectoparasitoids because they feed on their hosts within the puparium, but do not enter the host body. We investigated the influence of N. vitripennis venom on the gene expression profile of hemocytes of their hosts, pupae of the housefly, Musca domestica. We prepared venom by isolating venom glands and treated experimental host pupae with venom. We used suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to determine the influence of venom on hemocyte gene expression. At 1 h post treatment, we recorded decreases in transcript levels of 133 EST clones derived from forward a subtractive library of host hemocytes and upregulation in transcript levels of 111 EST clones from the reverse library. These genes are related to immune and stress response, cytoskeleton, cell cycle and apoptosis, metabolism, transport, and transcription/translation regulation. We verified the reliability of our data with reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR analysis of randomly selected genes, and with assays of enzyme activities. These analyses showed that the expression level of all selected genes were downregulated after venom treatment. Outcomes of our experiments support the hypothesis that N. vitripennis venom influences the gene expression in host hemocytes. We conclude that the actions of venom on host gene expression influence host biology in ways that benefit the development and emergence of the next generation of parasitoids.

  12. Risk associated with bee venom therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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    Jeong Hwan Park

    Full Text Available The safety of bee venom as a therapeutic compound has been extensively studied, resulting in the identification of potential adverse events, which range from trivial skin reactions that usually resolve over several days to life-threating severe immunological responses such as anaphylaxis. In this systematic review, we provide a summary of the types and prevalence of adverse events associated with bee venom therapy.We searched the literature using 12 databases from their inception to June 2014, without language restrictions. We included all types of clinical studies in which bee venom was used as a key intervention and adverse events that may have been causally related to bee venom therapy were reported.A total of 145 studies, including 20 randomized controlled trials, 79 audits and cohort studies, 33 single-case studies, and 13 case series, were evaluated in this review. The median frequency of patients who experienced adverse events related to venom immunotherapy was 28.87% (interquartile range, 14.57-39.74 in the audit studies. Compared with normal saline injection, bee venom acupuncture showed a 261% increased relative risk for the occurrence of adverse events (relative risk, 3.61; 95% confidence interval, 2.10 to 6.20 in the randomized controlled trials, which might be overestimated or underestimated owing to the poor reporting quality of the included studies.Adverse events related to bee venom therapy are frequent; therefore, practitioners of bee venom therapy should be cautious when applying it in daily clinical practice, and the practitioner's education and qualifications regarding the use of bee venom therapy should be ensured.

  13. In vivo analysis of effects of venom from the jellyfish Chrysaora sp. in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra-Amezcua, Mayra P; Guerrero-Legarreta, Isabel; González-Márquez, Humberto; Guzmán-García, Xochitl

    2016-04-01

    The jellyfishes of the genus Chrysaora are present in all of the world's oceans, but the toxicity of their venoms has not yet been thoroughly characterized. The zebrafish as a toxicology model can be used for general toxicity testing of drugs and the investigation of toxicological mechanisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of crude venom from jellyfish Chrysaora sp., a species of jellyfish observed in the tropical lagoons of the Gulf of Mexico, on the zebrafish Danio rerio. Juvenile zebrafish were injected with different concentrations of venom from Chrysaora sp. via intraperitoneal and subcutaneous injections. The effects of the venom were determined by histopathological analysis and through the measurement of hemolytic and phospholipase A2 activities. The crude venom was examined by SDS-PAGE. The effect of sublethal concentrations of crude venom from Chrysaora sp. on D. rerio was hemorrhaging in the eyes, while the histopathological analysis demonstrated that the primary organs targeted were the pseudobranch, which displayed hyperemia, and the gill, which displayed hyperplasia and hypertrophy. The blood analysis exhibited hemolysis, nuclear abnormalities, and echinocytes by the action of phospholipase A2, which was determined to have 596 units of activity/mg of protein in the venom. The crude venom has proteins with molecular weights ranging from 250 to 6 kDa, with more density in the bands corresponding to 70, 20 and 15 kDa. The venom of Chysaora sp. caused disturbances in circulation associated with vascular dilation due to the localized release of inflammatory mediators. The hemolysis of erythrocytes was caused by the action of phospholipase A2. These findings not only provide an excellent study model but also have a great pharmacological potential for designing new drugs and for the elucidation of the mechanisms of action of and treatment against stings.

  14. A Polychaete's powerful punch: venom gland transcriptomics of Glycera reveals a complex cocktail of toxin homologs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M; Campbell, Lahcen I; Richter, Sandy; Hering, Lars; Sykes, Dan; Hetmank, Jörg; Jenner, Ronald A; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2014-09-05

    Glycerids are marine annelids commonly known as bloodworms. Bloodworms have an eversible proboscis adorned with jaws connected to venom glands. Bloodworms prey on invertebrates, and it is known that the venom glands produce compounds that can induce toxic effects in animals. Yet, none of these putative toxins has been characterized on a molecular basis. Here we present the transcriptomic profiles of the venom glands of three species of bloodworm, Glycera dibranchiata, Glycera fallax and Glycera tridactyla, as well as the body tissue of G. tridactyla. The venom glands express a complex mixture of transcripts coding for putative toxin precursors. These transcripts represent 20 known toxin classes that have been convergently recruited into animal venoms, as well as transcripts potentially coding for Glycera-specific toxins. The toxins represent five functional categories: Pore-forming and membrane-disrupting toxins, neurotoxins, protease inhibitors, other enzymes, and CAP domain toxins. Many of the transcripts coding for putative Glycera toxins belong to classes that have been widely recruited into venoms, but some are homologs of toxins previously only known from the venoms of scorpaeniform fish and monotremes (stonustoxin-like toxin), turrid gastropods (turripeptide-like peptides), and sea anemones (gigantoxin I-like neurotoxin). This complex mixture of toxin homologs suggests that bloodworms employ venom while predating on macroscopic prey, casting doubt on the previously widespread opinion that G. dibranchiata is a detritivore. Our results further show that researchers should be aware that different assembly methods, as well as different methods of homology prediction, can influence the transcriptomic profiling of venom glands.

  15. Mast cells and IgE in defense against venoms: Possible "good side" of allergy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galli, Stephen J; Starkl, Philipp; Marichal, Thomas; Tsai, Mindy

    2016-01-01

    Physicians think of mast cells and IgE primarily in the context of allergic disorders, including fatal anaphylaxis. This 'bad side' of mast cells and IgE is so well accepted that it can be difficult to think of them in other contexts, particularly those in which they may have beneficial functions. However, there is evidence that mast cells and IgE, as well as basophils (circulating granulocytes whose functions partially overlap with those of mast cells), can contribute to host defense as components of adaptive type 2 immune responses to helminths, ticks and certain other parasites. Accordingly, allergies often are conceptualized as "misdirected" type 2 immune responses, in which IgE antibodies are produced against any of a diverse group of apparently harmless antigens, as well as against components of animal venoms. Indeed, certain unfortunate patients who have become sensitized to venoms develop severe IgE-associated allergic reactions, including fatal anaphylaxis, upon subsequent venom exposure. In this review, we will describe evidence that mast cells can enhance innate resistance to reptile or arthropod venoms during a first exposure to such venoms. We also will discuss findings indicating that, in mice which survive an initial encounter with venom, acquired type 2 immune responses, IgE antibodies, the high affinity IgE receptor (FcɛRI), and mast cells can contribute to acquired resistance to the lethal effects of both honeybee venom and Russell's viper venom. These findings support the hypothesis that mast cells and IgE can help protect the host against venoms and perhaps other noxious substances.

  16. EVALUATION OF ANTIVENOM ACTIVITY OF CALOTROPIS GIGANTEA PLANT EXTRACT AGAINST VIPERA RUSSELLI SNAKE VENOM

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    Nimmy Chacko*, Mohammed Ibrahim , Prerana Shetty and C.S. Shastry

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Ethnopharmacological relevance: Calotropis gigantea is used traditionally to treat common diseases such as fever, rheumatism, indigestion, cough, cold, eczema, asthma, elephantiasis, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, either alone or with other medicinesAim of the study: To evaluate the antivenom activity of Calotropis gigantea plant extract against Vipera russelli snake venomMaterials and methods: The lyophilized snake venom of Vipera Russelli was dissolved in saline and required concentrations were prepared. Lyophilized polyvalent snake venom antiserum was used as reference serum. The methanolic extract of Calotropis gigantea was evaluated for its efficacy to neutralize various actions of the venom like lethality, necrotizing activity, edema forming activity and haemorrahgic activity.Results: Oral administration of C. gigantea plant extract at dose levels 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight effectively neutralized the lethal effect of 2LD50 and 3LD50 of V. russelli venom in mice (in-vivo neutralization. In in-vitro studies, the plant extract at all dose levels, i.e. 100, 200 and 400mg/kg body weight effectively neutralized 2LD50 and 3 LD50 of Vipera russelli venom. Oral administration of the plant extract at various dose levels was found to effectively inhibit the induction of haemorrhage and necrosis by the venom. At doses 200 and 400 mg/kg, the antinecrotic effect of plant extract was significant. The effect of methanolic extract of C. gigantea against edema induced by viperid venom was studied at 60, 120, 180 and 240 minutes. Plant extract at dose levels 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg showed significant anti-inflammatory activity at 240 min, and effect was comparable with that produced by the antivenom. Conclusion: Present study confirms the anti snake venom activity of alcoholic extract of C. gigantea.

  17. Antihaemolytic and snake venom neutralizing effect of some Indian medicinal plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chidambaram Kumarapppan; Albert Jaswanth; Karpagam Kumarasunderi

    2011-01-01

    Objective:To validate traditional claims of usefulness of the Indian plants in management of poisonous snakebite and evaluate the antivenom properties displayed by the alcoholic extracts ofAndrographis paniculata (A. paniculata),Crateva magna (C. magna),Gloriosa superba (G. superba) andHydrocotyle javanica (H. javanica).Methods:These plants were collected, identified and the extracts were prepared by using conventional Soxhlet ethanol extraction technique. The venom neutralization activity was accessed in mice (20-25g) and number of mortalities was observed against clinically important snake (Naja nigricollis) venom. Present study also deals with in vitro membrane stabilizing activity of these plants against hyposaline induced human red blood corpuscles(HRBC).Results: Extracts ofH. javanica andG. superba gave80 % and90 %protection to mice treated with minimum lethal dose of venom (LD99). These two plants showed significant neutralization effect against the venoms of Naja nigricollis venom.H. javanica andG. superba(25-100 mg/mL) produced significant changes of membrane stabilization of human red blood cells(HRBC)exposed to hyposaline-induced haemolysis.Conclusions:We conclude that probably due to presence of various phytochemicals plays an important role in the anti-venom potential of these Indian medicinal plants against Naja nigricollis venom. The above observations confirmed thatA. paniculata, C. magna, G. superba andH. javanica plant extracts possess potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and could potentially be used as an adjuvants for antivenin therapy in case of snakebite envenomation, especially against the local effects of cobra venoms.

  18. Antisnake Venom Activity of Hibiscus aethiopicus L. against Echis ocellatus and Naja n. nigricollis

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    S. S. Hasson

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the study is to investigate whether the Hibiscus aethiopicus L. plant has neutralization activity against venoms of two clinically important snakes. The H. aethiopicus was dried and extracted with water. Different assays were performed to evaluate the plant's acute toxicity and its anti-snake venom activities. The results showed that H. aethiopicus extract alone had no effect on the viability of C2C12 muscle cells, but significantly (P<.05 protected muscle cells against the toxic effects of E. ocellatus venom at 55, 150, and 300 μg/mL. The maximum protective effect of the extract was exhibited at 75 μg/mL. The extract significantly (P<.001 inhibited the cytotoxic effects of E. ocellatus venom at 300 μg/mL. All rabbits (n=10 and guinea pigs (n=10 were alive after the two weeks of given the lethal dosage 16 g/Kg of the H. aethiopicus extract herbal solution. No abnormal behaviour was observed of both groups of animals. All guinea pigs (n=3 treated with venoms alone (5 mg/kg died. However, all guinea pigs (n=21 treated with venom (5 mg/kg and the extract (400 to 1000 mg/kg survived. Guinea pigs (n=3 treated with Naja n. nigricollis venom alone (2.5 mg/kg and guinea pigs (n=21 venom with the extract (400 to 1000 mg/kg died. The H. aethiopicus completely (100% blocked the haemorrhagic activity of E. ocellatus in the egg embryo at 3.3 mg/mL of extract. These findings suggest that H. aethiopicus may contain an endogenous inhibitor of venom-induced haemorrhage.

  19. Cardiotoxic and Arrhythmogenic Effects of Hemiscorpius lepturus Scorpion Venom in Rats

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    Khalil Pourkhalili

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Envenomation by Hemiscorpius lepturus is not painful and the clinical manifestations include bloody urine due to hemoglobinuria or hematuria, dermonecrotic reactions,cardiac arrhythmia and in minority of cases acute renal failure which may lead to death following disseminated intravascular coagulation in infants. Cardiac effects of envenomation by H. lepturus venom including inotropic, chronotropic and arrhythmogenic properties are not studied as now in rat hearts with Langendorff apparatus.Methods: Rat hearts were allowed to equilibrate in its buffer and cardiotropic plus arrhythmogenic effects induced by injection of different doses of H. lepturus venom were detected and recorded by computer acquisition based data in Langendorff apparatus. The neutralizing effects of Razi Institute antivenom and autonomic drugs were assayed in parallel studies.Results: Hemiscorpius lepturus venom (25 μg/100 l treatment caused a negative inotropic (65.4 ± 3.2 versus 110.2 ± 3.4 and chronotropic effects (186.3 ± 4.2 versus 302 ± 6.3 in comparison to normal saline. Arrhythmogenic aspects including bradycardia, QRS widening and ST depression were induced by venom injection. Pre venom treatment (20 min of Razi Institute antivenom (10 μl neutralized cardiotropic effects but post venom injection (15 min later had no therapeutic role. Pre (10 min before and post (15 min after injection of adrenaline (10 μl neneutralized cardiotropic effects while pre venom injection (20 min of propanolol (10 μl had aggravating effects.Conclusion: Our study paves the way for further in vivo investigation of cardiovascular effects of this venom for finding suitable treatments instead of its ordinary antivenom medication in cardiogenic shock induced by the venom.

  20. A rational design for the nanoencapsulation of poisonous animal venoms in liposomes prepared with natural phospholipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Costa, Maria Helena Bueno; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo A; Quintilio, Wagner; Schwendener, Reto Albert; de Araujo, Pedro Soares

    2012-11-01

    Liposomes have been used since the 1970's to encapsulate drugs envisaging enhancement in efficacy and therapeutic index, avoidance of side effects and increase in the encapsulated agent stability. The major problem when encapsulating snake venoms is the liposomal membrane instability caused by venom phospholipases. Here the results obtained encapsulating Crotalus durissimus terrificus and a pool of Bothropic venoms within liposomes (LC and LB, respectively) used to produce anti-venom sera are presented. The strategy was to modify the immunization protocol to enhance antibody production and to minimize toxic effects by encapsulating inactivated venoms within stabilized liposomes. Chemically modified venoms were solubilized in a buffer containing an inhibitor and a chelating agent. The structures of the venoms were analyzed by UV, CD spectroscopy and ELISA. In spite of the differences in the helical content between natural and modified venoms, they were recognized by horse anti-sera. To maintain long-term stability, mannitol was used as a cryoprotectant. The encapsulation efficiencies were 59 % (LB) and 99 % (LC), as followed by filtration on Sephacryl S1000. Light scattering measurements led us to conclude that both, LB (119 ±47 nm) and LC (147±56 nm) were stable for 22 days at 4 °C, even after lyophilization. Genetically selected mice and mixed breed horses were immunized with these formulations. The animals did not show clinical symptoms of venom toxicity. Both, LB and LC enhanced by at least 30 % the antibody titers 25 days after injection and total IgG titers remained high 91 days after immunization. The liposomal formulation clearly exhibited adjuvant properties.

  1. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

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    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  2. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Extrafloral nectar is the main food source offered by plants to predatory ants in most land environments. Although many studies have demonstrated the importance of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) to plant defense against herbivores, the influence of EFNs secretory activity pattern on predatory ants remains yet not fully understood. Here, we verified the relation between the extrafloral nectar production of a plant community in Cerrado in different times of the day, and its attractiveness to ants. The extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of seven plant species showed higher productivity overnight. Ant abundance was higher in times of large extrafloral nectar production, however, there was no positive relation between ant richness on plants and EFNs productivity. There was temporal resource partitioning among ant species, and it indicates strong resource competition. The nectar productivity varied among plant species and time of the day, and it influenced the visitation patterns of ants. Therefore, EFNs are a key ant-plant interaction driver in the studied system. PMID:28046069

  3. Venom of the Brazilian spider Sicarius ornatus (Araneae, Sicariidae contains active sphingomyelinase D: potential for toxicity after envenomation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Hess Lopes

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The spider family Sicariidae includes two genera, Sicarius and Loxosceles. Bites by Sicarius are uncommon in humans and, in Brazil, a single report is known of a 17-year old man bitten by a Sicarius species that developed a necrotic lesion similar to that caused by Loxosceles. Envenomation by Loxosceles spiders can result in dermonecrosis and severe ulceration. Sicarius and Loxosceles spider venoms share a common characteristic, i.e., the presence of Sphingomyelinases D (SMase D. We have previously shown that Loxosceles SMase D is the enzyme responsible for the main pathological effects of the venom. Recently, it was demonstrated that Sicarius species from Africa, like Loxosceles spiders from the Americas, present high venom SMase D activity. However, despite the presence of SMase D like proteins in venoms of several New World Sicarius species, they had reduced or no detectable SMase D activity. In order to contribute to a better understanding about the toxicity of New World Sicarius venoms, the aim of this study was to characterize the toxic properties of male and female venoms from the Brazilian Sicarius ornatus spider and compare these with venoms from Loxosceles species of medical importance in Brazil. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: SDS-PAGE analysis showed variations in the composition of Loxosceles spp. and Sicarius ornatus venoms. Differences in the electrophoretic profiles of male and female venoms were also observed, indicating a possible intraspecific variation in the composition of the venom of Sicarius spider. The major component in all tested venoms had a Mr of 32-35 kDa, which was recognized by antiserum raised against Loxosceles SMases D. Moreover, male and female Sicarius ornatus spiders' venoms were able to hydrolyze sphingomyelin, thus showing an enzymatic activity similar to that determined for Loxosceles venoms. Sicarius ornatus venoms, as well as Loxosceles venoms, were able to render erythrocytes susceptible to

  4. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the Mexican scorpion Hadrurus gertschi (Arachnida: Scorpiones

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    Rodríguez de la Vega Ricardo C

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Scorpions like other venomous animals posses a highly specialized organ that produces, secretes and disposes the venom components. In these animals, the last postabdominal segment, named telson, contains a pair of venomous glands connected to the stinger. The isolation of numerous scorpion toxins, along with cDNA-based gene cloning and, more recently, proteomic analyses have provided us with a large collection of venom components sequences. However, all of them are secreted, or at least are predicted to be secretable gene products. Therefore very little is known about the cellular processes that normally take place inside the glands for production of the venom mixture. To gain insights into the scorpion venom gland biology, we have decided to perform a transcriptomic analysis by constructing a cDNA library and conducting a random sequencing screening of the transcripts. Results From the cDNA library prepared from a single venom gland of the scorpion Hadrurus gertschi, 160 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were analyzed. These transcripts were further clustered into 68 unique sequences (20 contigs and 48 singlets, with an average length of 919 bp. Half of the ESTs can be confidentially assigned as homologues of annotated gene products. Annotation of these ESTs, with the aid of Gene Ontology terms and homology to eukaryotic orthologous groups, reveals some cellular processes important for venom gland function; including high protein synthesis, tuned posttranslational processing and trafficking. Nonetheless, the main group of the identified gene products includes ESTs similar to known scorpion toxins or other previously characterized scorpion venom components, which account for nearly 60% of the identified proteins. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge this report contains the first transcriptome analysis of genes transcribed by the venomous gland of a scorpion. The data were obtained for the species Hadrurus gertschi, belonging

  5. The comparison of Effectiveness between Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom Therapy on Chronic Lower Back Pain

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    Kim Jae-Hong

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective : The aim of this study is to investigate if Sweet Bee Venom(SBV Therapy has the equal effect in comparison with Bee Venom (BV Therapy on Chronic Lower Back Pain. Methods : Clinical studies were conducted to 39 patients who were treated Chronic Lower Back Pain in Dept. of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Dongeui University from March 1 to June 30, 2008. Subjects were randomly devided into 2 groups : BV treated group(Group A, n=19, SBV treated group(Group B, n=20 In BV treated group(Group A, we treated patients with dry needle acupuncture and BV Therapy. In SBV treated group(Group B, we treated patients with dry needle acupuncture and SBV Therapy. All process of treatment were performed by double blinding method. 1. To estimate the efficacy of venom in controlling pain, we have checked Visual Analog Scale(VAS. 2. For evaluating functional changes of patients, we have checked Oswestry Lower Back Disability Questionnaire(ODI. 3. To estimate Itching which is the most prominent symptom of allergic reaction, we have checked Visual Analog Scale(VAS. Results : 1. In controlling pain, the results of BV treated group(Group A is more effective than that of SBV treated group(Group B. 2. In promoting function, the results of BV treated group (Group A is more effective than that of SBV treated group(Group B. 3. In controlling itching, the results of SBV treated group(Group B is more effective than that of BV treated group(Group A. Conclusions According to the study, SBV Therapy shows more effective result than BV Therapy in controlling itching. But BV Therapy is more effective than SBV Therapy in controlling pain and promoting function.

  6. Low-intensity laser therapy improves tetanic contractions in mouse anterior tibialis muscle injected with Bothrops jararaca snake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vania Maria de Araújo Giaretta

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Envenomation by Bothrops snakes can produce local pain, edema, hemorrhage and myonecrosis. However, standard antivenom therapy is generally ineffective in neutralizing these effects so that alternative methods of treatment have been investigated. In experimental animals, low-level laser therapy (LLLT attenuates the local effects of Bothrops venoms, but the benefits of LLLT on muscle function after envenomation are unclear. In this study, we examined the influence of LLLT on the contractile activity of mouse skeletal muscle injected with venom from Bothrops jararaca, the principal cause of snakebite in southeastern Brazil. Methods Twenty-seven male mice were used. Mice were injected with venom (40 μg in 50 μl in the right anterior tibialis muscle, after which the muscle tendon was exposed, connected to an isometric transducer and subjected to a resting tension of 1 g. A bipolar electrode was attached to the tibial nerve for electrical stimulation. The mice were randomly allocated to five groups: A – Control (n = 3, B – Venom 3 h (n = 6, C – Venom 9 h (n = 6, D – Venom + Laser 3 h (n = 6, E – Venom + Laser 9 h (n = 6. Results The two groups that received LLLT post-venom showed improved muscle contraction and contracture in relation to muscle treated with venom alone. Conclusion These results indicate that LLLT can improve muscle function after damage induced by B. jararaca venom.

  7. Crude venom from nematocysts of Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) elicits a sodium conductance in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morabito, Rossana; Costa, Roberta; Rizzo, Valentina; Remigante, Alessia; Nofziger, Charity; La Spada, Giuseppa; Marino, Angela; Paulmichl, Markus; Dossena, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Cnidarians may negatively impact human activities and public health but concomitantly their venom represents a rich source of bioactive substances. Pelagia noctiluca is the most venomous and abundant jellyfish of the Mediterranean Sea and possesses a venom with hemolytic and cytolytic activity for which the mechanism is largely unknown. Here we show that exposure of mammalian cells to crude venom from the nematocysts of P. noctiluca profoundly alters the ion conductance of the plasma membrane, therefore affecting homeostatic functions such as the regulation and maintenance of cellular volume. Venom-treated cells exhibited a large, inwardly rectifying current mainly due to permeation of Na+ and Cl‑, sensitive to amiloride and completely abrogated following harsh thermal treatment of crude venom extract. Curiously, the plasma membrane conductance of Ca2+ and K+ was not affected. Current-inducing activity was also observed following delivery of venom to the cytosolic side of the plasma membrane, consistent with a pore-forming mechanism. Venom-induced NaCl influx followed by water and consequent cell swelling most likely underlie the hemolytic and cytolytic activity of P. noctiluca venom. The present study underscores unique properties of P. noctiluca venom and provides essential information for a possible use of its active compounds and treatment of envenomation.

  8. Research on the Perceptual Law of Artificial Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Zhaobao

    2005-01-01

    Beginning with the analysis of the behavior of natural ants, this paper illuminates the principle and method that, by adopting image texture energy as pheromone and finding their way on the track of the pheromone, artificial ants have the ability to identify and remember through similar measurement of pheromone. Based on the quantity of experiments, this paper analyzes some factors that influence the ability of artificial ants and draws some conclusions about the law of ant perception.

  9. Extended phenotype: nematodes turn ants into bird-dispersed fruits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, D P; Kronauer, D J C; Boomsma, J J

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs.......A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs....

  10. Species and regional variations in the effectiveness of antivenom against the in vitro neurotoxicity of death adder (Acanthophis) venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, B G; Wickramaratna, J C; Jones, A; Alewood, P F; Hodgson, W C

    2001-09-01

    Although viperlike in appearance and habit, death adders belong to the Elapidae family of snakes. Systemic envenomation represents a serious medical problem with antivenom, which is raised against Acanthophis antarcticus venom, representing the primary treatment. This study focused on the major Acanthophis variants from Australia and islands in the Indo-Pacific region. Venoms were profiled using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and analyzed for in vitro neurotoxicity (0.3-10 microg/ml), as well as the effectiveness of antivenom (1-5 units/ml; 10 min prior to the addition of 10 microg/ml venom). The following death adder venoms were examined: A. antarcticus (from separate populations in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia), A. hawkei, A. praelongus, A. pyrrhus, A. rugosus, A. wellsi, and venom from an unnamed species from the Indonesian island of Seram. All venoms abolished indirect twitches of the chick isolated biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, all venoms blocked responses to exogenous acetylcholine (1 mM) and carbachol (20 microM), but not KCl (40 mM), suggesting postsynaptic neurotoxicity. Death adder antivenom (1 unit/ml) prevented the neurotoxic effects of A. pyrrhus, A. praelongus, and A. hawkei venoms, although it was markedly less effective against venoms from A. antarcticus (NSW, SA, WA), A. rugosus, A. wellsi, and A. sp. Seram. However, at 5 units/ml, antivenom was effective against all venoms tested. Death adder venoms, including those from A. antarcticus geographic variants, differed not only in their venom composition but also in their neurotoxic activity and susceptibility to antivenom. For the first time toxicological aspects of A. hawkei, A. wellsi, A. rugosus, and A. sp. Seram venoms were studied.

  11. The in vitro effects of two chirodropid (Chironex fleckeri and Chiropsalmus sp.) venoms: efficacy of box jellyfish antivenom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramasamy, Sharmaine; Isbister, Geoff K; Seymour, Jamie E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2003-05-01

    The pharmacological and biochemical isolation of cnidarian venoms has been hindered by difficulties with both extracting pure venom from nematocysts and venom stability. The development of a new technique to extract active, pure venom of Chironex fleckeri and Chiropsalmus sp. has enabled identify both neurotoxic and myotoxic activity in their venoms. These activities are similar, but not identical in each species. Venom (50 micro g/ml) from both species significantly inhibited indirect and direct twitches of the chick biventer nerve-muscle preparation. Pre-incubation with 1U/ml box jellyfish antivenom did not have any significant effect on venom-induced reductions of indirect twitches. However, this activity was markedly attenuated by prior addition of 5U/ml antivenom, albeit to a lesser degree for Chiropsalmus sp. In contrast, prior addition of 5U/ml box jellyfish antivenom did not neutralise the myotoxic activity of C. fleckeri venom (50 micro g/ml), although it did inhibit the myotoxicity produced by Chiropsalmus sp. venom (50 micro g/ml). Antivenom (5U/ml) added 1h after the addition of C. fleckeri venom (50 micro g/ml) had no effect on the indirect or direct twitches of the skeletal muscle preparation. However, it partially restored the reduction in indirect twitch height caused by Chiropsalmus sp. venom (50 micro g/ml). Myotoxicity was confirmed in muscle preparations stained with hematoxylin and eosin.Therefore, although antivenom was able to neutralize the neurotoxic effects of both species, and the myotoxic effects of Chiropsalmus sp., when added prior to venom, it was unable to reverse the effects after venom addition. This suggests that antivenom is unlikely to be useful in the treatment of neurotoxic or myotoxic effects in patients, although these effects are rarely seen clinically.

  12. Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jones, Tappey H.; Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Spande, Thomas F.

    2012-01-01

    Workers of the ant Carebarella bicolor collected in Panama were found to have two major poison-frog alkaloids, cis- and trans-fused decahydroquinolines (DHQs) of the 269AB type, four minor 269AB isomers, two minor 269B isomers, and three isomers of DHQ 271D. For the first time in an ant, however......, the DHQs were accompanied by six histrionicotoxins (HTXs), viz., 283A, 285A, 285B, 285C, 287A, and 287D. This co-occurrence of the HTX and DHQ alkaloids is the usual pattern seen in dendrobatid frogs. This finding contrasts with our earlier study, where workers of a Brazilian ant, Solenopsis (Diplorhoptrum......) sp., were found to have a very similar DHQ complex but failed to show HTXs. Several new DHQ alkaloids of MW 271 (named in the frog as 271G) are reported from the above ants that have both m/z 202 and 204 as major fragment ions, unlike the spectrum seen for the poison-frog alkaloid 271D, which has...

  13. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Dunn, Rob R.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Grossman, Blair F.; Photakis, Manoli; Abril, Silvia; Agosti, Donat; Andersen, Alan N.; Angulo, Elena; Armbrecht, Ingre; Arnan, Xavier; Baccaro, Fabricio B.; Bishop, Tom R.; Boulay, Raphael; Bruhl, Carsten; Castracani, Cristina; Cerda, Xim; Del Toro, Israel; Delsinne, Thibaut; Diaz, Mireia; Donoso, David A.; Ellison, Aaron M.; Enriquez, Martha L.; Fayle, Tom M.; Feener Jr., Donald H.; Fisher, Brian L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Fitpatrick, Matthew C.; Gomez, Cristanto; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Gove, Aaron; Grasso, Donato A.; Groc, Sarah; Guenard, Benoit; Gunawardene, Nihara; Heterick, Brian; Hoffmann, Benjamin; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, Clinton; Kaspari, Michael; Klimes, Petr; Lach, Lori; Laeger, Thomas; Lattke, John; Leponce, Maurice; Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Longino, John; Lucky, Andrea; Luke, Sarah H.; Majer, Jonathan; McGlynn, Terrence P.; Menke, Sean; Mezger, Dirk; Mori, Alessandra; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, Thinandavha Caswell; Pacheco, Renata; Paknia, Omid; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Martin; Philpott, Stacy M.; Resasco, Julian; Retana, Javier; Silva, Rogerio R.; Sorger, Magdalena D.; Souza, Jorge; Suarez, Andrew V.; Tista, Melanie; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.; Vonshak, Merav; Weiser, Michael D.; Yates, Michelle; Parr, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    What forces structure ecological assemblages? A key limitation to general insights about assemblage structure is the availability of data that are collected at a small spatial grain (local assemblages) and a large spatial extent (global coverage). Here, we present published and unpublished data from 51,388 ant abundance and occurrence records of more than 2693 species and 7953 morphospecies from local assemblages collected at 4212 locations around the world. Ants were selected because they are diverse and abundant globally, comprise a large fraction of animal biomass in most terrestrial communities, and are key contributors to a range of ecosystem functions. Data were collected between 1949 and 2014, and include, for each geo-referenced sampling site, both the identity of the ants collected and details of sampling design, habitat type and degree of disturbance. The aim of compiling this dataset was to provide comprehensive species abundance data in order to test relationships between assemblage structure and environmental and biogeographic factors. Data were collected using a variety of standardised methods, such as pitfall and Winkler traps, and will be valuable for studies investigating large-scale forces structuring local assemblages. Understanding such relationships is particularly critical under current rates of global change. We encourage authors holding additional data on systematically collected ant assemblages, especially those in dry and cold, and remote areas, to contact us and contribute their data to this growing dataset.

  14. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Valerie; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Giraud, Tatiana;

    2010-01-01

    ) and secondary introductions (from sites with established invasive supercolonies) were important in the global expansion of the Argentine ant. In combination with the similar social organization of colonies in the native and introduced range, this indicates that invasiveness did not evolve recently as a unique...

  15. Ant System Algorithm Research and Its Applications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, systematic review on Ant System (AS) algorithm research and application is made, and the authors works of introducing As algorithm into continuous space application are summarized. Then the applicability characters of AS in continuous space optimization problems are also discussed.

  16. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Pedersen, Jes Søe;

    2004-01-01

    A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easi...

  17. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its ra...

  18. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-07-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating 'friends' (nest-mates) from 'foes' (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects.

  19. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    den Boer, Susanne; Stürup, Marlene; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2015-01-01

    understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

  20. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    brood. The brood stages include the egg, the larval, and the pupa.27 The brood is dependent on the colony for nourishment and warmth until fully...night for rest and to relocate the colony. The bivouac is what is created when army ants huddle together in a ball instead of building a physical nest

  1. Enhanced Pest Ant Control with Hydrophobic Bait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants occupy every ecological niche in the world where they contribute to the ecosystem, e.g., as scavengers and aerators of the soil. However, when they are transported, usually through human activities, to new locations they have powerful negative impacts on their adopted homeland. Five of the 17 l...

  2. Vestlus päevapoliitikast Ants Vahtrasega / Ants Vahtras ; interv. Hillar Padu

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Vahtras, Ants, 1953-

    2001-01-01

    Keskerakonna Hiiumaa osakonna esimees Ants Vahtras keskendub vestluses Keskerakonna kandidaatidele presidendi valimistele, arutleb presidendile vajalike isikuomaduste, haldusreformi, Hiiumaa Suurkogu, erastamiselt laekuva raha kasutamise üle ning annab hinnangu kultuuripoliitikale. Autor: Keskerakond

  3. Nõunik Ants Laansalu - rohkem talupoeg kui sulane / Ants Laansalu ; interv. Heiki Raudla

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laansalu, Ants, 1938-2011

    2008-01-01

    Intervjuu põllumajandusministeeriumi nõunikuga, kes vastab küsimustele, mis puudutavad Eesti põllumajandusministreid, põllumehe mainet, põllumajanduse tulevikku Eestis ja maailmas. Vt. samas: Ants Laansalu: CV

  4. Ants ja Jaak / Ants Juske, Jaak Juske ; intervjueerinud Margit Tõnson, Maris Sander

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2011-01-01

    Kunstiteadlane Ants Juske ja tema poliitikust poeg Jaak Juske räägivad põlvkondade erinevustest ja konfliktidest, oma poliitilisest identiteedist, haridusest, eeskujudest, huvidest, eluviisidest. Nende eluloolisi andmeid

  5. Ants Veetõusme ja tema valikud / Ants Veetõusme ; interv. Imbi E. Kaljuste

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Veetõusme, Ants, 1949-

    2002-01-01

    Eesti Maksumaksjate Liidu juhatuse esimehe Ants Veetõusme varasemast elust ning praegusest tegevusest EML-i juhi, spordijuhi ja FIE-na. Kommenteerivad Tõnu Anton ja Tiit Nuudi. Tartu linnapea 1991-1993

  6. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

    Arvustus: Oras, Ants. Luulekool. I, Apoloogia / koostajad Hando Runnel ja Jaak Rähesoo. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2003 ; Oras, Ants. Luulekool II, Meistriklass. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004 ; Lange, Anne. Ants Oras : [kirjandusteadlane, -kriitik ja tõlkija (1900-1982)]. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004

  7. Mutualistic ants as an indirect defence against leaf pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Teuber, Marcia; Kaltenpoth, Martin; Boland, Wilhelm

    2014-04-01

    Mutualistic ants are commonly considered as an efficient indirect defence against herbivores. Nevertheless, their indirect protective role against plant pathogens has been scarcely investigated. We compared the protective role against pathogens of two different ant partners, a mutualistic and a parasitic ant, on the host plant Acacia hindsii (Fabaceae). The epiphytic bacterial community on leaves was evaluated in the presence and absence of both ant partners by cultivation and by 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Pathogen-inflicted leaf damage, epiphytic bacterial abundance (colony-forming units) and number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were significantly higher in plants inhabited by parasitic ants than in plants inhabited by mutualistic ants. Unifrac unweighted and weighted principal component analyses showed that the bacterial community composition on leaves changed significantly when mutualistic ants were removed from plants or when plants were inhabited by parasitic ants. Direct mechanisms provided by ant-associated bacteria would contribute to the protective role against pathogens. The results suggest that the indirect defence of mutualistic ants also covers the protection from bacterial plant pathogens. Our findings highlight the importance of considering bacterial partners in ant-plant defensive mutualisms, which can contribute significantly to ant-mediated protection from plant pathogens.

  8. Eavesdropping on cooperative communication within an ant-butterfly mutualism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elgar, Mark A.; Nash, David Richard; Pierce, Naomi E.

    2016-01-01

    of the Australian lycaenid butterfly, Jalmenus evagoras, form an obligate association with several species of attendant ants, including Iridomyrmex mayri. Ants protect the caterpillars and pupae, and in return are rewarded with nutritious secretions. Female and male adult butterflies use ants as signals...

  9. Can the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) replace native ants in myrmecochory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

    We analyse the influence of the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) on the seed dispersal process of the myrmecochorous plants Euphorbia characias, E. biumbellata, Genista linifolia, G. triflora, G. monspessulana and Sarothamnus arboreus. The observations were made in two study plots of Mediterranean cork-oak secondary forest (invaded and non-invaded by L. humile). The presence of L. humile implies the displacement of all native ant species that disperse seeds. Seed transports in the non-invaded zone were carried out by eight ant species. In the invaded zone, L. humile workers removed and transported seeds to the nest. In vertebrate exclusion trials, we observed the same level of seed removal in the invaded and non-invaded zones. Two findings could explain this result. Although mean time to seed localization was higher for native ants (431.7 s) than that for L. humile (150.5 s), the mean proportion of seeds transported after being detected was higher (50.1%) in non-invaded than in invaded (16.8%) zones. The proportion of seeds removed and transported into an ant nest after an ant-seed interaction had dramatically reduced from non-invaded (41.9%) to invaded (7.4%) zones. The levels of seed dispersal by ants found prior to invasion are unlikely to be maintained in invaded zones. However, total replacement of seed dispersal function is possible if contact iteration finally offers similar levels or quantities of seeds reaching the nests. The results obtained confirm that the Argentine ant invasion may affect myrmecochory dramatically in the Mediterranean biome.

  10. Ants mediate the structure of phytotelm communities in an ant-garden bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    Céréghino, Régis; Leroy, Céline; Dejean,Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    International audience; The main theories explaining the biological diversity of rain forests often confer a limited understanding of the contribution of interspecific interactions to the observed patterns. We show how two-species mutualisms can affect much larger segments of the invertebrate community in tropical rain forests. Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae) is both a phytotelm (plant-held water) and an ant-garden epiphyte. We studied the influence of its associated ant species (Pachycondyl...

  11. Parameters of ante-mortem delirium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deksnyte, Aušra

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate the parameters of ante-mortem delirium of the patients in a closed psychiatric institution and to compare them with the ante-mortem psychopathology of the medical patients. Methods. There were 139 medical records of the patients analyzed, who died during the period of 1997-2003 at the in-patient psychiatric institution. The diagnoses were recorded according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10 criteria. Patients’ data included age, gender, previous psychiatric disorders, current somatic and psychiatric morbidity, and comorbidity. Results. The incidence of delirium was 83,7%. The delirium group included more elder, male persons who were more likely to have dementia and less inclined to depression. Surprisingly the incidence of delirium among non-dementia men was quite high – 76,9%, as compared to non-dementia women – 23,1% (P=0,008. The duration of delirium differed from 1 to 1335 days. Longer delirium was observed among elder than 75 years (87,7, SD 183,9 vs52,6, SD 121,4 days; P=0,019 and dementia (83,6, SD 173,6 vs 13,5, SD 11,6 days; P<0,001 patients, but did not differ in gender groups. Conclusions. Ante-mortem delirium occurred more commonly in more elder and demented patients The duration of ante-mortem delirium was shorter in younger and non-dementia patients. Patients of the psychiatric institution tend to have longer deliriums than medical patients. The patients with depression and the history of alcohol abuse were not likely to get ante-mortem delirium. Before death in many persons hyperactive and mixed delirium transformed into hypoactive.

  12. Interaction of Bothrops jararaca venom metalloproteinases with protein inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asega, Amanda F; Oliveira, Ana K; Menezes, Milene C; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Serrano, Solange M T

    2014-03-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) play important roles in the local and systemic hemorrhage observed upon envenomation. In a previous study on the structural elements important for the activities of HF3 (highly hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP), bothropasin (hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP) and BJ-PI (non-hemorrhagic, P-I-SVMP), from Bothrops jararaca, it was demonstrated that they differ in their proteolysis profile of plasma and extracellular matrix proteins. In this study, we evaluated the ability of proteins DM43 and α2-macroglobulin to interfere with the proteolytic activity of these SVMPs on fibrinogen and collagen VI and with their ability to induce hemorrhage. DM43 inhibited the proteolytic activity of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not that of HF3, and was not cleaved the three proteinases. On the other hand, α2-macroglobulin did not inhibit any of the proteinases and was rather cleaved by them. In agreement with these findings, binding analysis showed interaction of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not HF3 to DM43 while none of the proteinases bound to α2-macroglobulin. Moreover, DM43 promoted partial inhibition of the hemorrhagic activity of bothropasin but not that of HF3. Our results demonstrate that metalloproteinases of B. jararaca venom showing different domain composition, glycosylation level and hemorrhagic potency show variable susceptibilities to protein inhibitors.

  13. Crotalus durissus terrificus venom as a source of antitumoral agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MA Soares

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The basic knowledge on neoplasms is increasing quickly; however, few advances have been achieved in clinical therapy against tumors. For this reason, the development of alternative drugs is relevant in the attempt to improve prognosis and to increase patients' survival. Snake venoms are natural sources of bioactive substances with therapeutic potential. The objective of this work was to identify and characterize the antitumoral effect of Crotalus durissus terrificus venom (CV and its polypeptide, crotoxin, on benign and malignant tumors, respectively, pituitary adenoma and glioblastoma. The results demonstrated that CV possess a powerful antitumoral effect on benign (pituitary adenoma and malignant (glioblastoma multiforme tumors with IC50 values of 0.96 ± 0.11 µg/mL and 2.15 ± 0.2 µg/mL, respectively. This antitumoral effect is cell-cycle-specific and dependent on extracellular calcium, an important factor for crotoxin phospholipase A2 activity. The CV antitumoral effect can be ascribed, at least partially, to the polypeptide crotoxin that also induced brain tumor cell death. In spite of the known CV nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity, acute treatment with its antitumoral dose established in vitro was not found to be toxic to the analyzed animals. These results indicate the biotechnological potential of CV as a source of pharmaceutical templates for cancer therapy.

  14. Humanized cobra venom factor decreases myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorsuch, W Brian; Guikema, Benjamin J; Fritzinger, David C; Vogel, Carl-Wilhelm; Stahl, Gregory L

    2009-12-01

    Cobra venom factor (CVF) is a complement activating protein in cobra venom, which functionally resembles C3b, and has been used for decades for decomplementation of serum to investigate the role of complement in many model systems of disease. The use of CVF for clinical practice is considered impractical because of immunogenicity issues. Humanization of CVF was recently demonstrated to yield a potent CVF-like molecule. In the present study, we demonstrate that mice treated with recombinant humanized CVF (HC3-1496) are protected from myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MI/R) injuries with resultant preservation of cardiac function. Also, C3 deposition in the myocardium following MI/R was not observed following treatment with HC3-1496. HC3-1496 led to complement activation and depletion of C3, but preserved C5 titers. These data suggest, unlike CVF, HC3-1496 does not form a C5 convertase in the mouse, similar to recent studies in human sera/plasma. These results suggest that humanized CVF (HC3-1496) protects the ischemic myocardium from reperfusion injuries induced by complement activation and represents a novel anti-complement therapy for potential clinical use.

  15. Stabilising the Integrity of Snake Venom mRNA Stored under Tropical Field Conditions Expands Research Horizons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth Whiteley

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Snake venoms contain many proteinaceous toxins that can cause severe pathology and mortality in snakebite victims. Interestingly, mRNA encoding such toxins can be recovered directly from venom, although yields are low and quality is unknown. It also remains unclear whether such RNA contains information about toxin isoforms and whether it is representative of mRNA recovered from conventional sources, such as the venom gland. Answering these questions will address the feasibility of using venom-derived RNA for future research relevant to biomedical and antivenom applications.Venom was extracted from several species of snake, including both members of the Viperidae and Elapidae, and either lyophilized or immediately added to TRIzol reagent. TRIzol-treated venom was incubated at a range of temperatures (4-37°C for a range of durations (0-48 hours, followed by subsequent RNA isolation and assessments of RNA quantity and quality. Subsequently, full-length toxin transcripts were targeted for PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing. TRIzol-treated venom yielded total RNA of greater quantity and quality than lyophilized venom, and with quality comparable to venom gland-derived RNA. Full-length sequences from multiple Viperidae and Elapidae toxin families were successfully PCR amplified from TRIzol-treated venom RNA. We demonstrated that venom can be stored in TRIzol for 48 hours at 4-19°C, and 8 hours at 37°C, at minimal cost to RNA quality, and found that venom RNA encoded multiple toxin isoforms that seemed homologous (98-99% identity to those found in the venom gland.The non-invasive experimental modifications we propose will facilitate the future investigation of venom composition by using venom as an alternative source to venom gland tissue for RNA-based studies, thus obviating the undesirable need to sacrifice snakes for such research purposes. In addition, they expand research horizons to rare, endangered or protected snake species and provide

  16. The venom composition of the parasitic wasp Chelonus inanitus resolved by combined expressed sequence tags analysis and proteomic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Parasitic wasps constitute one of the largest group of venomous animals. Although some physiological effects of their venoms are well documented, relatively little is known at the molecular level on the protein composition of these secretions. To identify the majority of the venom proteins of the endoparasitoid wasp Chelonus inanitus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), we have randomly sequenced 2111 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from a cDNA library of venom gland. In parallel, proteins from pure venom were separated by gel electrophoresis and individually submitted to a nano-LC-MS/MS analysis allowing comparison of peptides and ESTs sequences. Results About 60% of sequenced ESTs encoded proteins whose presence in venom was attested by mass spectrometry. Most of the remaining ESTs corresponded to gene products likely involved in the transcriptional and translational machinery of venom gland cells. In addition, a small number of transcripts were found to encode proteins that share sequence similarity with well-known venom constituents of social hymenopteran species, such as hyaluronidase-like proteins and an Allergen-5 protein. An overall number of 29 venom proteins could be identified through the combination of ESTs sequencing and proteomic analyses. The most highly redundant set of ESTs encoded a protein that shared sequence similarity with a venom protein of unknown function potentially specific of the Chelonus lineage. Venom components specific to C. inanitus included a C-type lectin domain containing protein, a chemosensory protein-like protein, a protein related to yellow-e3 and ten new proteins which shared no significant sequence similarity with known sequences. In addition, several venom proteins potentially able to interact with chitin were also identified including a chitinase, an imaginal disc growth factor-like protein and two putative mucin-like peritrophins. Conclusions The use of the combined approaches has allowed to discriminate between cellular

  17. Dead ant walking: a myrmecophilous beetle predator uses parasitoid host location cues to selectively prey on parasitized ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

    Myrmecophiles (i.e. organisms that associate with ants) use a variety of ecological niches and employ different strategies to survive encounters with ants. Because ants are typically excellent defenders, myrmecophiles may choose moments of weakness to take advantage of their ant associates. This hypothesis was studied in the rove beetle, Myrmedonota xipe, which associates with Azteca sericeasur ants in the presence of parasitoid flies. A combination of laboratory and field experiments show that M. xipe beetles selectively locate and prey upon parasitized ants. These parasitized ants are less aggressive towards beetles than healthy ants, allowing beetles to eat the parasitized ants alive without interruption. Moreover, behavioural assays and chemical analysis reveal that M. xipe are attracted to the ant's alarm pheromone, the same secretion used by the phorid fly parasitoids in host location. This strategy allows beetles access to an abundant but otherwise inaccessible resource, as A. sericeasur ants are typically highly aggressive. These results are the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate a predator sharing cues with a parasitoid to gain access to an otherwise unavailable prey item. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of studying ant-myrmecophile interactions beyond just their pairwise context.

  18. Are ant feces nutrients for plants? A metabolomics approach to elucidate the nutritional effects on plants hosting weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjær, Nanna Hjort; Wollenweber, Bernd; Gislum, René

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant-plant interac......Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant......-plant interactions involving other ant species that have demonstrated the transfer of nutrients from ants to plants. In this 7-months study, a GC–MS-based metabolomics approach along with an analysis of total nitrogen and carbon levels was used to study metabolic changes in ant-hosting Coffea arabica plants compared...... with control plants. The results showed elevated levels of total nitrogen, amino acids, fatty acids, caffeine, and secondary metabolites of the phenylpropanoid pathway in leaves from ant-hosting plants. Minor effects were observed for sugars, whereas little or no effect was observed for organic acids, despite...

  19. A new scenario of bioprospecting of Hymenoptera venoms through proteomic approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LD Santos

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Venoms represent a huge and essentially unexplored reservoir of bioactive components that may cure diseases that do not respond to currently available therapies. This review select advances reported in the literature from 2000 to the present about the new scenario of Hymenoptera venom composition. On account of new technologies in the proteomic approach, which presents high resolution and sensitivity, the combination of developments in new instruments, fragmentation methods, strategic analysis, and mass spectrometry have become indispensable tools for interrogation of protein expression, molecule interaction, and post- translational modifications. Thus, the biochemical characterization of Hymenoptera venom has become a major subject of research in the area of allergy and immunology, in which proteomics has been an excellent alternative to assist the development of more specific extracts for diagnosis and treatment of hypersensitive patients to Hymenoptera venoms.

  20. A Case of Alopecia Areata Treated with Bee Venom and Carthami Flos Herbal Acupuncture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Kyung-Woon

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective : Alopecia areata is a common disease and the difficulty of its medical management is well known. This study was designed to investigate the effect of bee venom and Carthami Flos herbal acupuncture. Methods : The patient was managed by bee venom, carthami-flos herbal acupuncture and General acupunture. Herbal acupuncture was injected subcutaneously into the lesion. We checked involvement in plaque, according to evaluation of the effect on alopecia areata. Result : After 5 month of treatment, the lesion had been replaced with new terminal hair. Evaluation of the effect on alopecia areata The score changed from 0 to 3 point. Conclusion : These result suggest that bee venom and Carthami Flos herbal acupuncture has good effect on alopecia areata. But further studies are required to concretely prove the effectiveness of bee venom and Carthami Flos herbal acupuncture for treating alopecia areata.

  1. Fine structural analysis of the stinger in venom apparatus of the scorpion Euscorpius mingrelicus (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Yigit

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the morphology, histology and fine structure of the stinger, a part of the venom apparatus of Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae were studied by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM. The stinger, located at the end section of the telson, is sickle-shaped. The venom is ejected through a pair of venom pores on its subterminal portion. Both venom ducts extend along the stinger without contact with each other since they are separated by connective tissue cells. The stinger cuticle is composed of two layers. Additionally, there are many pore canals and some hemolymph vessels in the cuticle. This work constitutes the first histological and fine structure study on Euscorpius mingrelicus stinger.

  2. Inhibitory effect of plant Manilkara subsericea against biological activities of Lachesis muta snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Fernandes, Caio Pinho; Sanchez, Eladio Flores; Rocha, Leandro; Fuly, André Lopes

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom is composed of a mixture of substances that caused in victims a variety of pathophysiological effects. Besides antivenom, literature has described plants able to inhibit injuries and lethal activities induced by snake venoms. This work describes the inhibitory potential of ethanol, hexane, ethyl acetate, or dichloromethane extracts and fractions from stem and leaves of Manilkara subsericea against in vivo (hemorrhagic and edema) and in vitro (clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis) activities caused by Lachesis muta venom. All the tested activities were totally or at least partially reduced by M. subsericea. However, when L. muta venom was injected into mice 15 min first or after the materials, hemorrhage and edema were not inhibited. Thus, M. subsericea could be used as antivenom in snakebites of L. muta. And, this work also highlights Brazilian flora as a rich source of molecules with antivenom properties.

  3. Neutralization of local and systemic toxicity of Daboia russelii venom by Morus alba plant leaf extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrashekara, K T; Nagaraju, S; Nandini, S Usha; Kemparaju, K

    2009-08-01

    Antivenom therapy is the current best therapy available for the treatment of fatal snake envenomation. However, the antivenom offers less or no protection against local effects such as extensive edema, hemorrhage, dermo-, myonecrosis and inflammation at the envenomed region. Viperidae snakes are highly known for their violent local effects and such effects have been commonly treated with plant extracts without any scientific validation in rural India. In this investigation Morus alba plant leaf extract has been studied against the Indian Vipera/Daboia russelii venom induced local and systemic effects. The extract completely abolished the in vitro proteolytic and hyaluronolytic activities of the venom. Edema, hemorrhage and myonecrotic activities were also neutralized efficiently. In addition, the extract partially inhibited the pro-coagulant activity and completely abolished the degradation of Aalpha chain of human fibrinogen. Thus, the extract processes potent antisnake venom property, especially against the local and systemic effects of Daboia russelii venom.

  4. Clinical Report on the Treatment of 70 Molluscum Contagiosum Cases using Sweet Bee venom Pharmacopunture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sa Han Park

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : This study obserbed the efficiency of Sweet Bee Venom pharmacopuncture on the treatment of 70 Molluscum Contagiosum cases. Methods : 70 patients admitted for Molluscum at Love Blossoming Oriental medicine clinic from February 2007 to October 2007 were administered with Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture and measured an analyzed changes in symptoms. Results : 1. Regardless of age or duration of Molluscum Contagiosum, all 70 patients showed improvement. 2. Recurrence of Molluscum Contagiosum was not noticeable when treated with Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture, and the duration of treatment was significantly shorter than treation with conventional allopathic ointment. Conclusion : Based on above findings, we can deduce Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture has superior anti-viral effects on th pox virus of Molluscum Contagiosum.

  5. Morphological characterization of the venom apparatus in the wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis (Laxmann, 1770

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Yigit

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis (Laxmann, 1770 (Lycosidae: Araneae is distributed throughout central and eastern Europe, including Russia, Kazakhistan and Turkey. This study describes the venom apparatus morphology of L. singoriensis through scanning electron microscopy (SEM. Its structure follows the general architecture observed in other spiders. Generally, a venom apparatus is composed by a pair of venom glands and chelicerae. L. singoriensis chelicerae are robust and consist of a stout basis and a movable apical segment (fang. The fang rests in a groove on the basal segment that is covered by different types of hair. L. singoriensis venom glands present equal size and measure about 4 mm in length. Each gland is enclosed by irregular muscular layers.

  6. Effects of the Spider Venom on proliferation of Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell A549

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zengxiang HU

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Background and objective The spider venom may inspire new drugs to treat cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects and mechanisms of spider venom on lung adenocarcinoma cell A549. Methods The proliferation of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells was detected by MTT. The apoptosis rate was observed with MTT assay and flow cytometer. The activity of catalase was detected by colorimetry. The malondialdehyde (MDA content was determined by improved thiobarbituric acid fluorometric method. The expression of P38MAPK protein was analyzed with Western blot. Results Spider venom can remarkably inhibite the proliferation of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells, increased activity of catalase and MDA content, down-regulated expression of P38MAPK compared with the control group. Conclusion The reduced proliferation of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells by spider venom is may be associated with the increased of activity of catalase and MDA content and decreased expression of P38MAPK.

  7. Ophthalmia due to spitting cobra venom in an urban setting - A report of three cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie Jonathan Ang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To describe three presentations of spitting cobra venom induced ophthalmia in urban Singapore. Case notes and photographs of three patients with venom ophthalmia who presented to our clinic between 2007 and 2012 were reviewed. Two patients encountered the spitting cobra while working at a job site while the third patient had caught the snake and caged it. The venom entered the eyes in all 3 cases. Immediate irrigation with tap water was carried out before presenting to the Accident and Emergency department. All patients were treated medically with topical antibiotic prophylaxis and copious lubricants. The use of anti-venom was not required in any case. All eyes recovered with no long-term sequelae. If irrigation is initiated early, eyes can recover with no significant complications or sequelae.

  8. Crystal structure determination of alkaline haemorrhagin AaHⅢ from snake venom of Agkistrodon acutus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    龚为民; 滕脉坤; 牛立文

    1997-01-01

    The haemorrhagin AaH Ⅲ isolated from the snake venom of Agkistrodon acutus is one of the few al-kaline ones in snake venoms. Its crystals belong to space group P212121 with a = 9. 573 4 nm, b = 4. 996 7 nm and c = 4. 728 8 nm. Its crystal structure was determined by the molecular replacement method according to the model of metalloproteinase Adamalysin n from eastern rattlesnake venom. The AaHⅢ structure has been refined by PROLSQ. The final R factor was 0.254 and the RMS deviations of bond lengths and angles were 0. 001 8 nm and 1.5°. The structure comparison suggested that AaHⅢ has a similar structure to other snake venom zinc-metalloproteinases. They all belong to matrix metalloproteinases super-family.

  9. Inhibitory Effect of Plant Manilkara subsericea against Biological Activities of Lachesis muta Snake Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Coriolano De Oliveira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake venom is composed of a mixture of substances that caused in victims a variety of pathophysiological effects. Besides antivenom, literature has described plants able to inhibit injuries and lethal activities induced by snake venoms. This work describes the inhibitory potential of ethanol, hexane, ethyl acetate, or dichloromethane extracts and fractions from stem and leaves of Manilkara subsericea against in vivo (hemorrhagic and edema and in vitro (clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis activities caused by Lachesis muta venom. All the tested activities were totally or at least partially reduced by M. subsericea. However, when L. muta venom was injected into mice 15 min first or after the materials, hemorrhage and edema were not inhibited. Thus, M. subsericea could be used as antivenom in snakebites of L. muta. And, this work also highlights Brazilian flora as a rich source of molecules with antivenom properties.

  10. Molecular Docking Studies and Anti−Snake Venom Metalloproteinase Activity of Thai Mango Seed Kernel Extract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pimolpan Pithayanukul

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Snakebite envenomations cause severe local tissue necrosis and the venom metalloproteinases are thought to be the key toxins involved. In this study, the ethanolic extract from seed kernels of Thai mango (Mangifera indica L. cv. ‘Fahlun’ (Anacardiaceae and its major phenolic principle (pentagalloylglucopyranose exhibited potent and dose−dependent inhibitory effects on the caseinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities of Malayan pit viper and Thai cobra venoms in in vitro tests. molecular docking studies revealed that the binding orientations of the phenolic principles were in the binding pockets of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs. The phenolic principles could form hydrogen bonds with the three histidine residues in the conserved zinc−binding motif and could chelate the Zn2+ atom of the SVMPs, which could potentially result in inhibition of the venom enzymatic activities and thereby inhibit tissue necrosis.

  11. A Clinical Study of Bee Venom Acupuncture Therapy on External Epicondylitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Tae Kim

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective : This study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Bee Venom acupuncture therapy on external epicondylitis. Methods : We divided chronic arthritis of ankle patient into 2 groups; one group combined bee venom acupuncture therapy and acupuncture therapy, another group was only acupuncture therapy. To estimate the effectiveness of treatment that applied for two groups, we used visual analog scale(VAS. We compared the VAS score of two groups statistically. Results : 1. As a result of evaluation by using visual analog scale(VAS, treatment score at final was marked more higher than score before treatment on each groups. 2. treatment at final, acupuncture and bee venom acupuncture therapy group had significant result on visual analog scale(VAS compared with acupuncture therapy group. Conclusion : Bee Venom acupuncture therapy can be used with acupuncture therapy for highly effective treatment for external epicondylitis.

  12. The antisnake venom activities of Parkia biglobosa (Mimosaceae) stem bark extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asuzu, I U; Harvey, A L

    2003-12-01

    Snake bites in rural Nigeria are commonly treated with plant extracts. We have studied the ability of one such traditionally used plant (Parkia biglobosa; [Jacq.] Benth., Mimosaceae) to reduce the effects of two snake venoms (Naja nigricollis, and Echis ocellatus) in several experimental models. A water-methanol extract of P. biglobosa stem bark significantly (pbiglobosa extract (75, 150 and 300 microg/ml) significantly (pbiglobosa extract (400 mg/kg) did not protect mice injected i.p. with 5 and 2.5 mg/kg of E. ocellatus and N. nigricollis venoms, respectively. It, however, protected 40% of the mice from death caused by E. ocellatus venom after the extract and venom were pre-incubated for 30 min before injecting the mixture.

  13. Molecular docking studies and anti-snake venom metalloproteinase activity of Thai mango seed kernel extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Leanpolchareanchai, Jiraporn; Saparpakorn, Patchreenart

    2009-08-27

    Snakebite envenomations cause severe local tissue necrosis and the venom metalloproteinases are thought to be the key toxins involved. In this study, the ethanolic extract from seed kernels of Thai mango (Mangifera indica L. cv. 'Fahlun') (Anacardiaceae) and its major phenolic principle (pentagalloylglucopyranose) exhibited potent and dose-dependent inhibitory effects on the caseinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities of Malayan pit viper and Thai cobra venoms in in vitro tests. molecular docking studies revealed that the binding orientations of the phenolic principles were in the binding pockets of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The phenolic principles could form hydrogen bonds with the three histidine residues in the conserved zinc-binding motif and could chelate the Zn(2+) atom of the SVMPs, which could potentially result in inhibition of the venom enzymatic activities and thereby inhibit tissue necrosis.

  14. A comparative study of the biological properties of venoms from snakes of the genus Vipera (true adders)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, N H; Ponnudurai, G

    1990-01-01

    1. The hemorrhagic, procoagulant, anticoagulant, phosphodiesterase, hyaluronidase, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, 5'-nucleotidase, arginine ester hydrolase, phospholipase A, L-amino acid oxidase and protease activities of 26 samples of venoms of 13 taxa of Vipera were determined and the Sephadex G-75 gel filtration patterns for some of the venoms were also examined. 2. The results indicate the presence of certain common characteristics among the venoms, particularly if V. russelli is excluded from the comparison. The results also support the recently proposed reassignment of V. russelli to a separate genus. 3. The data show that information on venom biological properties can be used for differentiation of venoms of many species of Vipera. Particularly useful for this purpose are the protease, phosphodiesterase, phospholipase A and the procoagulant activities and the Sephadex G-75 gel filtration patterns of the venoms.

  15. The Comparison of Effective between Acupuncture and Bee Venom Acupuncture on the Treatment of Acute Lumbar Herniation of Intervertebral Disc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang So-Young

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective : Herniation of Intervertebral Disc(HIVD is the most common disease causing low back pain. Acupuncture and Bee Venom Acupuncture has been used for treatment of HIVD. This study is to investigate the effective of Bee Venom Acupuncture for HIVD. Methods : We researched 18 patients who were diagnosed by CT and MRI as having HIVD, and treated them Acupuncture only or Acupuncture and Bee Venom Acupuncture. We compared the VAS and ROM angle of two groups. Results & Conclusions : 1. In admission date, no significant improvement between Acupuncture group and Bee Venom Acupuncture group 2. In variation of flexion and extension, Bee Venom Acupuncture group shows statistically significant improvement 3. In VAS, Bee Venom Acupuncture group shows statistically significant improvement for 1 week and discharge day

  16. [Quod medicina aliis, aliis est acre venenum**--venoms as a source of anticancer agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucińska, Małgorzata; Ruciński, Piotr; Murias, Marek

    2013-01-01

    Natural product derived from plants and animals were used in folk medicine for centuries. The venoms produced by animals for hunting of self-defence are rich in bioactive compounds with broad spectrum of biological activity. The papers presents the most promising compounds isolated from venoms of snakes, scorpions and toads. For these compounds both: mechanism of anticancer activity as well as possibilities of clinical use are presented.

  17. 89 Is Basophil Specific Response to Hymenoptera Venom Related to T Regulatory Cells?

    OpenAIRE

    Kucera, Petr; Hulikova, Katarina; Cvackova, Milada; Planska, Daniela; Riegerova, Kamila

    2012-01-01

    Background The exact mechanism of systemic hypersensitivity to venom is not exactly understood. It is suggested T cells with regulatory potential can downregulate other T cell subsets and effector cells, ex. mast cell or basophils. We focused on relationship of specific basophil reactivity in relationship to proportion of regulatory T cells. Methods Forty-five patients with history of systemic symptoms of allergy to Hymenoptera venom were included. Basophil reactivity before the treatment and...

  18. Contrasting Modes and Tempos of Venom Expression Evolution in Two Snake Species

    OpenAIRE

    Margres, Mark J; McGivern, James J.; Seavy, Margaret; Wray, Kenneth P; Facente, Jack; Darin R. Rokyta

    2014-01-01

    Selection is predicted to drive diversification within species and lead to local adaptation, but understanding the mechanistic details underlying this process and thus the genetic basis of adaptive evolution requires the mapping of genotype to phenotype. Venom is complex and involves many genes, but the specialization of the venom gland toward toxin production allows specific transcripts to be correlated with specific toxic proteins, establishing a direct link from genotype to phenotype. To d...

  19. Action of polivalent bothropic antivenom on proteolytic activities from peruvian snake venoms

    OpenAIRE

    Yarlequé, Armando; Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Lima, Perú. Biólogo.; Vivas, Dan; Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Apartado 11-0058, Lima 11, Perú.; Inga, Rosío; Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Lima, Perú. Laboratorio de Reactivos de Diagnóstico, Centro Nacional de Productos Biológicos, Instituto Nacional de Salud. Lima, Perú. Biólogo, magister en Biología Molecular.; Rodríguez, Edith; Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Lima, Perú. biólogo, magíster en Biología Molecular.; Sandoval, Gustavo Adolfo; Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Lima, Perú. Biólogo.; Pessah, Silvia; Centro Nacional de Productos Biológicos, Instituto Nacional de Salud. Lima, Perú. Médico.; Bonilla, César; Centro Nacional de Productos Biológicos, Instituto Nacional de Salud. Lima, Perú. Biólogo.

    2008-01-01

    Peruvian snake venoms responsible for most of ophidism accidents, contain proteolytic enzymes that can degrade tissue and plasmatic proteins, as well as cause hypotension and blood coagulation. Objectives. The inhibiting capacity of liquid polyvalent bothropic antivenom produced by Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS), has been evaluated on caseinolytic, coagulant and amidolytic activities on Bothrops atrox, Bothrops brazili, Bothrops pictus and Bothrops barnetti venoms. Material and methods....

  20. Cardiotoxic effects of venoms from Chironex fleckeri and Chiropsalmus sp. on an invertebrate model

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    Extracted venoms from two species of cubozoan, Chironex fleckeri (C. fleckeri)and Chiropsalmus sp., were injected into the freshwater crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (C. quadricarinatus). By means of a Vascular Doppler, the cardiac parameters heart rate and contraction amplitude were recorded, with the theoretical total heart output calculated from these two recordings. Cherax quadricarinatus reflects prey items utilized by these two species in the wild and so comparisons of venom action on t...