Indian Echis carinatus bite causes sustained tissue destruction at the bite site. Neutrophils, the major leukocytes in the early defence process, accumulate at the bite site. Here we show that E. carinatus venom induces neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. The NETs block the blood vessels and entrap the venom toxins at the injection site, promoting tissue destruction. The stability of NETs is attributed to the lack of NETs-degrading DNase activity in E. carinatus venom. In a mouse tail model, mice co-injected with venom and DNase 1, and neutropenic mice injected with the venom, do not develop NETs, venom accumulation and tissue destruction at the injected site. Strikingly, venom-induced mice tail tissue destruction is also prevented by the subsequent injection of DNase 1. Thus, our study suggests that DNase 1 treatment may have a therapeutic potential for preventing the tissue destruction caused by snake venom.
Katkar, G. D., Sundaram, M. S., NaveenKumar, S. K., Swethakumar, B., Sharma, R. D., Paul, M., … Kemparaju, K. (2016). NETosis and lack of DNase activity are key factors in Echis carinatus venom-induced tissue destruction. Nature Communications, 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11361