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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins

Print version ISSN 0104-7930On-line version ISSN 1678-4936

Abstract

MURTHY, K. RADHA KRISHNA  and  ZARE, M. ABBAS. SCORPION ANTIVENOM REVERSES METABOLIC, ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC, AND HORMONAL DISTURBANCES CAUSED BY THE INDIAN RED SCORPION Mesobuthus tamulus concanesis, Pocock ENVENOMATION. J. Venom. Anim. Toxins [online]. 2002, vol.8, n.1, pp.30-48. ISSN 1678-4936.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-79302002000100004.

Electrocardiographic (ECG) changes were induced in dogs by injection of scorpion venom from Mesobuthus tamulus concanesis, Pocock. Venom (3 mg/kg body weight) was given subcutaneously (SQ) while 10 ml of scorpion antivenom (SAV) was administered intravenously (IV) to experimental dogs. Group 1 received only the venom; Groups 2, 3, and 4 received SAV at 0, 30, and 60 min, respectively, following envenoming. Thick, ropy and profuse salivation; muscle fasciculation; clonus and tetany-like contractions; frequent urination; and bowel emptying sometimes stained with bile and occasionally blood and bile were observed 20-25 minutes after envenoming. Following envenoming, hyperglycemia, increase in free fatty acid (FFA) levels, and reduction in triglyceride levels were observed in Groups 1, 3, and 4. There was an initial rise in insulin levels at 30 min followed by a reduction at 60 min. SAV caused a subsequent rise in insulin levels but there was a reduction in blood sugar to euglycemia levels and lipogenesis (reduction in FFA and increase in triglycerides levels) in Groups 3 and 4. Abnormal ECG changes and arrhythmias were not observed after SAV. Normal sinus rhythm was restored in Group 4. Scorpion envenoming with multi-system-organ failure (MSOF), characterized by a massive release of counter-regulatory hormones (catecholamines, glucagon, cortisol), angiotensin-II, and changes in insulin secretion, is a condition of fuel-energy deficits and an inability to utilize the existing metabolic substrates. These disturbances are reversed by SAV possibly through insulin release. It is concluded that SAV, under the laboratory conditions, effectively neutralizes, prevents, and reverses scorpion venom toxicity.

Keywords : antivenom; scorpion venom; Mesobuthus tamulus concanesis; hyperglycemia; free fatty acids; triglycerides; insulin; hyperinsulinemia; insulin resistance; electrocardiographic changes.

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