Neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae) venom in Vitro

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Abstract

In this work, we have examined the neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Mexican coral snake) venom (MLV) in vertebrate isolated nerve-muscle preparations. In chick biventer cervicis preparations, the MLV induced an irreversible concentration- and time-dependent (1-30 μg/mL) neuromuscular blockade, with 50% blockade occurring between 8 and 30 min. Muscle contractures evoked by exogenous acetylcholine were completely abolished by MLV, whereas those of KCl were also significantly altered (86% ± 11%, 53% ± 11%, 89% ± 5% and 89% ± 7% for one, three, 10 and 30 μg of venom/mL, respectively; n = 4; p < 0.05). In mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations, MLV (1-10 μg/mL) promoted a slight increase in the amplitude of twitch-tension (3 μg/mL), followed by neuromuscular blockade (n = 4); the highest concentration caused complete inhibition of the twitches (time for 50% blockade = 26 ± 3 min), without exhibiting a previous neuromuscular facilitation. The venom (3 μg/mL) induced a biphasic modulation in the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs)/min, causing a significant increase after 15 min, followed by a decrease after 60 min (from 17 ± 1.4 (basal) to 28 ± 2.5 (t15) and 12 ± 2 (t60)). The membrane resting potential of mouse diaphragm preparations pre-exposed or not to d-tubocurarine (5 μg/mL) was also significantly less negative with MLV (10 μg/mL). Together, these results indicate that M. laticollaris venom induces neuromuscular blockade by a combination of pre- and post-synaptic activities. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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Carbajal-Saucedo, A., Floriano, R. S., Dal Belo, C. A., Olvera-Rodríguez, A., Alagón, A., & Rodrigues-Simioni, L. (2013). Neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae) venom in Vitro. Toxins, 6(1), 359–370. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins6010359

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