Seasonality in Crotalus durissus venom

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Rattlesnakes belonging to the genus Crotalus are widely distributed throughout the Americas. In Brazil, symptoms commonly associated with envenomation by Crotalus durissus collilineatus include myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, renal failure, neurotoxicity, and progressive paralysis, which are related to the protein composition of this venom. Snake venom composition exhibits compositional variability that may reflect geographic distribution, age, captivity, diet, sex, and even individual genetics. Although seasonality is also considered a possible source of variation, there are few reports of such variability in snake venom. In this work, venoms of the same eight C. durissus collilineatus were extracted every three months for two years, to analyze seasonal changes in composition and activities. To this end, venom composition was analyzed by protein quantification, SDS-PAGE, and HPLC, and the LAAO, PLA2 and coagulant activities were measured. Venoms of these C. d. collilineatus showed minor seasonal differences in venom activities and no composition differences were found. LAAO and coagulant activities displayed a pattern of seasonal change, while PLA2 activity seemed to have no seasonality tendency. Also, there are sexual differences, in which males seem to be more stable than females in regard to some activities. Individual variability occurs even in seasonal variation of activities, highlighting the importance of controlling circumstances of venom extraction before comparing results between groups of snakes.
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