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Effect of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom and its major toxin, TsTX-I, on the complement system in vivo


Effect of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom and its major toxin, TsTX-I, on the complement system in vivo



Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology 41(4): 501-508



ISSN/ISBN: 0041-0101

PMID: 12657320

DOI: 10.1016/s0041-0101(02)00391-4

The effects of Tityus serrulatus venom and TsTX-I (Ts1 or gamma-toxin) on the lytic activity of the complement system (CS) were investigated in vivo. Serum classical pathway (CP) and alternative pathway (AP) activities were determined in sera of rats (200+/-10 g) injected i.p. with soluble venom (150 microg/kg), TsTX-I (150 microg/kg) or saline (control). The animals were sacrificed 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 24 and 48 h after injection. The results showed an increase in serum lytic activity of animals injected with venom, reaching values up to 70% above controls in CP activity and 120% in AP activity. These effects were biphasic with maximum values 1 and 24 h after venom injection. Similar effects were obtained for TsTX-I, but with lower intensity. Hematocrit values of all tested animals were determined to evaluate the effect of hemoconcentration on the lytic activity of the CS. It was observed that the maximum hematocrit value was obtained 1 h after injection and returned to normal values within 24 h. These data indicate that hemoconcentration can play a relevant role in the first peak of complement activity, but we cannot discard a direct action of the venom on the system during this period, since the serum venom concentration is maximal 15-30 min after envenomation. The high lytic activity of the serum observed after 24 h, period in which the hematocrit values are normal and no venom can be detected, may be consequence of the inflammatory process induced by the venom or toxin. The lytic activity of the serum of rats injected with venom, TsTX-I or saline was abolished when the serum was previously adsorbed on zymosan. These data confirm that the increase of the lytic activity of the serum induced by the venom or toxin is dependent on CS. These results show that CS is involved in the inflammatory process induced by the venom or toxin and consequently in the lung edema, hemolysis, leukocytosis, among other clinical manifestations of severe envenomation.

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