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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases

On-line version ISSN 1678-9199

Abstract

COSTAL-OLIVEIRA, Fernanda et al. Cardiorespiratory alterations in rodents experimentally envenomed with Hadruroides lunatus scorpion venom. J. Venom. Anim. Toxins incl. Trop. Dis [online]. 2017, vol.23, 2.  Epub Sep 26, 2016. ISSN 1678-9199.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40409-016-0076-5.

Background

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

Methods

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

Results

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

Conclusion

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

Keywords : Hadruroides lunatus venom; Cardiorespiratory alterations; Electrocardiography; Immunofluorescence; Calcium transient.

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