Inflammatory infiltrate in skeletal muscle injected with Bothrops asper venom
Gutiérrez, José María
Cerdas Fallas, Luis
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The time-course and composition of inflammatory infiltrate in mouse gastrocnemius injected with Bothrops asper venom was studied. The venom induced myonecrosis, and a prominent decrease in muscle levels of creatine kinase (CK) as early as 3 hr after envenomation. Inflammatory infiltrate was scarce by 6 hr. but increased markedly at 24, 48 and 72 hr. Samples of infiltrate obtained at 6 and 24 hr contained polymorphonuclear leucocytes as the predominant cell type, whereas at 48 hr and 72 hr the relative number of macrophages increased. Inflammatory cells were located within necrotic muscle cells, as well as in the interstitial space, but there were some necrotic areas devoid of inflammatory cells even one week after envenomation. When correlating the presence of inflammatory cells with degradation of myofibrillar proteins, it was observed that at 6 hr there was little muscle protein degradation. By 48 hr a decrease in "non collagen" proteins was observed, together with a reduction in some myofibrillar components, as judged by electrophoresis. Proteolytic enzymes of inflammatory cells may play an important role in myofibrillar protein degradation after myonecrosis induced by B. asper venom.