Influence of different processing techniques on the toxicity and biochemical characteristics of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom

Studies of scorpion venoms have used different venom drying methods: lyophilization, desiccation, lyophilization after mixing with 0.9% saline or purified water and centrifugation. The aim of this study was to see if these different approaches cause some alteration in the composition of the venom or interfere with its biological effects. Mice were injected (i.p.) with T. serrulatus scorpion venom in the liquid form (G-liq) or dried by different methods (lyophilized – G-lyo; centrifuged and the supernatant lyophilized – G-cen; desiccated – G-des), and observed regarding the occurrence of the symptoms respiratory difficulty, convulsion and death. The occurrence of seizures, although occurring in all groups and with the various doses used, did not prove to be effective to determine differences between the different handling techniques. Respiratory distress appeared to be useful in analyzing differences between groups, where this effect was less pronounced in the G-liq and G-des groups. In general, death occurred in a certain proportion with increasing dose for all groups. G-liq and G-des seemed to be more "active" at lower doses and G-cen and G-lyo at higher doses. The electrophoretic and chromatographic profile demonstrated main differences between G-liq and the dried groups. In the electrophoretic profile, the liquid venom showed bands of proteins of higher concentration and greater number of major bands and the three dried venom had the lowest number of protein bands. The HPLC profile and densitometry of the electrophoretic profiles showed some differences that may be associated with different protein conformation/aggregation. Our data indicated that lyophilization is the most suitable method for processing T. serrulatus scorpion venom after extraction.
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Scorpion venom;  Tityus serrulatus;  Envenomation;  Venom processing

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Dorce VAC, Rocha MMT, Candido DM, Nencioni ALA, Auada AVV, Barbaro KC, et al. Influence of different processing techniques on the toxicity and biochemical characteristics of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom. Toxicon. 2018;156:41-7. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2018.11.004.
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