Biological and biochemical activities of Vipera berus (European viper) venom
Calderón Fuentes, Leonel
Gutiérrez, José María
Hanson, Lars Ake
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Vipera berus is widely distributed throughout the northern part of Europe and Asia. Characterization of several toxic effects of its venom in the mouse, as well as of in vitro enzymatic activities was performed. Vipera berus venom displayed in vitro proteolytic, fibrinolytic, anticoagulant, and phospholipase A2 activities. The i.p. LD50 of the venom for Swiss mice was 0.86 micrograms/g (95% confidence limits 0.71-1.01 microgram/g). Significant local tissue-damaging effects, including edema, hemorrhage and myonecrosis, were observed. The local edema was characterized by rapid onset, reaching a maximum after 0.5-1 hr, and with dose-dependent persistence. The hemorrhagic potency was measured by a skin test, giving a minimum hemorrhagic dose value of 3.2 micrograms. The venom also induced a moderate local myonecrosis, evidenced by histological evaluation of injected tissue (gastrocnemius), and by biochemical parameters (increase of plasma creatine kinase activity, and decrease of muscle residual MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide)-reducing activity). Characterization of the venom by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed 10 (reduced) or 11 (unreduced) main protein bands, which were further analyzed in relation to mol. wt and relative concentration by densitometry. A rabbit antiserum to V. berus venom recognized all main venom bands by immunoblotting. This antiserum cross-reacted to a variable extent with several crotaline venoms, as assessed by enzyme immunoassay.
External link to the item10.1016/0041-0101(93)90380-2
- Microbiología