Bothrops snake myotoxins induce a large efflux of ATP and potassium with spreading of cell damage and pain
Cintra Francischinelli, Mariana
Angulo Ugalde, Yamileth
Gutiérrez, José María
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Myotoxins play a major role in the pathogenesis of the envenomations caused by snake bites in large parts of the world where this is a very relevant public health problem. We show here that two myotoxins that are major constituents of the venom of Bothrops asper, a deadly snake present in Latin America, induce the release of large amounts of K+ and ATP from skeletal muscle. We also show that the released ATP amplifies the effect of the myotoxins, acting as a “danger signal,” which spreads and causes further damage by acting on purinergic receptors. In addition, the release of ATP and K+ well accounts for the pain reaction characteristic of these envenomations. As Bothrops asper myotoxins are representative of a large family of snake myotoxins with phospholipase A2 structure, these findings are expected to be of general significance for snake bite envenomation. Moreover, they suggest potential therapeutic approaches for limiting the extent of muscle tissue damage based on antipurinergic drugs.
- Microbiología