Quantitative variability in the biodistribution and in toxinokinetic studies of the three main alpha toxins from the Androctonus australis hector scorpion venom

Abstract : Scorpion stings represent a medical problem in numerous countries. The scorpion Androctonus australis hector produces three alpha toxins (Aah I to III), which are responsible for most of the lethality in mammals. These toxins act on sodium channel and do not cross-react immunologically. We used RIA and ELISA to measure the concentrations of these three toxins in plasma, urine and different organs after i.v. and s.c. injections of water extracts of venoms in rabbits or mice. In both animals, the toxins rapidly appeared in plasma after s.c. injection as it was previously described for the whole venom. However, the toxins disappeared from the blood more quickly than did other main components of the venom. Thus, serotherapy must be initiated immediately to prevent the toxin from reaching its target. We also detected the toxins in urine, kidneys, heart and lungs, but not in the brain. However, the concentration of Aah II was always lower than that of Aah I. Analysis of five samples of venom collected in different areas of southern Tunisia showed that a large polymorphism exists for the three toxins. This is yet another difficulty for serotherapy as there is no cross-antigenicity between them.
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Christiane Devaux, Besma Jouirou, Mohamed Naceur Krifi, Olivier Clot-Faybesse, Mohamed El Ayeb, et al.. Quantitative variability in the biodistribution and in toxinokinetic studies of the three main alpha toxins from the Androctonus australis hector scorpion venom. Toxicon, Elsevier, 2004, 43 (6), pp.661-669. ⟨10.1016/j.toxicon.2004.02.021⟩. ⟨pasteur-02042692⟩

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