Effects of Mauritia flexuosa L. f. buriti oil on symptoms induced by Bothrops moojeni snake envenomation

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In Brazil, there are species of snakes that become involved in accidents and cause serious health problems to the inhabitants, highlighting the genus Bothrops for being responsible for approximately 90% of accidents reported annually. In the northern region of the country, this genus is responsible for the largest number of accidents, especially among rural dwellers. These populations invest in alternative treatments for with the purpose of improving the symptoms caused by snakebites. The species Mauritia flexuosa L. f., known as buriti, is traditionally used for the treatment of envenomation by snakes. Aim of the study This study aimed to evaluate the antiophidic potential of the oil of Mauritia flexuosa L. f. for Bothrops moojeni H. venom, confronting cultural and scientific knowledge. Materials and methods The physicochemical properties were determined, and the components present in the oil, extracted from fruit pulp, were analyzed by Gas Chromatography Coupled with Mass Spectrometry. The in vitro inhibitory capacity of the oil for phospholipase, metalloprotease and serine protease activities was investigated. In the in vivo studies, male Swiss mice were used to evaluate the effect of oil on lethality and toxicity, and hemorrhagic, myotoxic and edematogenic activities were assessed. Results GC‒MS analysis identification of 90.95% of the constituents of the oil, with the main components being 9-eicosenoic acid, (Z)- (34.54%), n-hexadecanoic acid (25.55%) and (E)-9-octadecenoic acid ethyl ester (12.43%). For the substrates, the outcomes indicate that the oil inhibited the activity of the main classes of toxins present in Bothrops moojeni H. venom (VBm) at the highest dose tested (0.5 μL), with inhibition of 84% for the hydrolysis of the selective substrate for serine protease and inhibition of 60% for the hydrolysis of substrates for PLA2 and metalloproteases. The antiophidic activity in vivo was evaluated with two concentrations of the oil: 1.5 mg, the dosage the population, diluted in mineral oil to a volume of 1 tablespoon and 15 mg, administered by gavage 30 min before poisoning and at time zero (concomitant to poisoning), and both concentrations administered by gavage in combination with topical use at time zero. The bleeding time in the group treated with oil at a concentration of 15 mg administered at time zero was significantly lower than that in the control group (p < 0.05). However, a greater inhibition of bleeding time was observed when local application was combined with the gavage treatment at both concentrations tested at time zero (p < 0.05). In the myotoxicity test, oil was efficient in reducing the myotoxic effects induced by the venom at the two concentrations tested, with gavage administration at time zero and gavage plus topical administration at time zero (p < 0.05). Conclusions The data obtained show that the oil is safe to use at the concentrations studied and contains fatty acids that may collaborate for cellular-level repair of the injuries caused by Bm poisoning. The in vitro and in vivo experiments showed that oil inhibits the main proteolytic enzymes present in the venom and that it has important activities to control the local effects caused by bothropic venom.
Rodrigues PSM, Martins HC, Falcão MS, Trevisan M, Portaro FCV, Silva LG, et al. Effects of Mauritia flexuosa L. f. buriti oil on symptoms induced by Bothrops moojeni snake envenomation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2023 May; 313:116612. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2023.116612.
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