Snakebite is a neglected disease and serious health problem in Brazil, with most bites being caused by snakes of the genus Bothrops. Although serum therapy is the primary treatment for systemic envenomation, it is generally ineffective in neutralizing the local effects of these venoms. In this work, we examined the ability of 7,8,3'-trihydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone (TM), an isoflavone from Dipteryx alata, to neutralize the neurotoxicity (in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations) and myotoxicity (assessed by light microscopy) of Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro. The toxicity of TM was assessed using the Salmonella microsome assay (Ames test). Incubation with TM alone (200 μg/mL) did not alter the muscle twitch tension whereas incubation with venom (40 μg/mL) caused irreversible paralysis. Preincubation of TM (200 μg/mL) with venom attenuated the venom-induced neuromuscular blockade by 84% ± 5% (mean ± SEM; n = 4). The neuromuscular blockade caused by bothropstoxin-I (BthTX-I), the major myotoxic PLA 2 of this venom, was also attenuated by TM. Histological analysis of diaphragm muscle incubated with TM showed that most fibers were preserved (only 9.2% ± 1.7% were damaged; n = 4) compared to venom alone (50.3% ± 5.4% of fibers damaged; n = 3), and preincubation of TM with venom significantly attenuated the venom-induced damage (only 17% ± 3.4% of fibers damaged; n = 3; p < 0.05 compared to venom alone). TM showed no mutagenicity in the Ames test using Salmonella strains TA98 and TA97a with (+S9) and without (−S9) metabolic activation. These findings indicate that TM is a potentially useful compound for antagonizing the neuromuscular effects (neurotoxicity and myotoxicity) of B. jararacussu venom.
BackgroundEvery year thousands of people are victims of burns, mainly scald burns. Many of these victims have small size wounds and superficial partial thickness and do not seek specialized medical care. As in Brazil Casearia sylvestris Sw., popularly known as guaçatonga is widely used for its analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory activities, this study sought to evaluate the effects of its hydroalcoholic extract in healing process of burns injuries.MethodsThe obtained extract was validated applying a thin layer chromatography and sophisticated validation method using Bothrops jararacussu snake venom that is necrotic and inflammatory, and by which guaçatonga extract was able to neutralize the irreversible neuromuscular blockade induced by the venom. After induction of the scald injury, the animals were treated daily with saline solution spray; spray containing extract; biofilm; or biofilm impregnated with extract.ResultsSignificant differences were observed between the four groups studied considering: extension of the healing area, neovascularization, fibroblast proliferation, and epithelialization.ConclusionThe anti-inflammatory and bactericidal effects of C. sylvestris Sw. suggests a potential therapeutic benefit in the treatment of inflammatory conditions in second-degree scald burn injuries, as well as, counteracting against the in vitro paralysis induced by B. jararacussu venom.
BackgroundSnakebite is a significant public health issue in tropical countries. In Brazil, some of the most common snake envenomations are from Bothrops. Bothrops bites trigger local and systemic effects including edema, pain, erythema, cyanosis, infections, and necrosis. Vellozia flavicans is a plant from the Brazilian “cerrado” (savanna) that is popularly used as an anti-inflammatory medicine. Since inflammation develops quickly after Bothrops bites, which can lead to infection, the aim of the present study was to observe possible anti-snake venom and antimicrobial activities of V. flavicans (Vf).MethodsThe chromatographic profile of the main constituents from the Vf leaf hydroalcoholic extract was obtained by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The anti-snake venom activity was measured by Vf’s ability to neutralize the in vitro neuromuscular blockade caused by Bothrops jararacussu venom (Bjssu) in a mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm model (PND). After a 20 min incubation, preparations of PND were added to Tyrode’s solution (control); Vf (0.2, 0.5, 1, and 2 mg/mL); 40 μg/mL Bjssu; pre-incubation for 30 min with Bjssu and 1 mg/mL Vf; and a Bjssu pretreated preparation (for 10 min) followed by 1 mg/mL Vf. Myographic recording was performed, and the contractile responses were recorded. The antimicrobial activity (minimum inhibitory concentration [MIC] and minimum bactericidal concentration [MBC]) was obtained for Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecalis, using gentamicin and vancomycin as positive controls.ResultsTLC analysis yielded several compounds from Vf, such as flavonoids (quercetin) and phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid). Bjssu completely blocked the contractile responses of PND preparations, while Vf preserved 97% (±10%) of the contractile responses when incubated with Bjssu. In the PND pretreated with Bjssu, Vf was able to inhibit the neuromuscular blockade progress. MIC and MBC of Vf ranged from 2.5 to 5.0 mg/mL for P. aeruginosa and S. aureus strains, while no antimicrobial activity was observed for E. coli and E. faecalis.ConclusionsThe hydroalcoholic extract from Vf leaves was able to neutralize and decrease the in vitro neuromuscular blockade caused by Bjssu. However, it did not show significant antimicrobial activity against the tested bacteria.
Many natural products influence neurotransmission and are used clinically. In particular, facilitatory agents can enhance neurotransmission and are potentially useful for treating neuromuscular diseases in which muscular weakness is the major symptom. In this work, we investigated the facilitatory effect of apolar to polar fractions of Casearia sylvestris Sw. (guaçatonga) on contractility in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) and chick biventer cervicis (BC) neuromuscular preparations exposed to indirect (via the nerve; 3 V stimuli) and direct (30 V stimuli) muscle stimulation in the absence and presence of pharmacological antagonists. Methanolic and ethyl acetate fractions, but not hexane or dichloromethane fractions, exerted a facilitatory effect on PND (indirect stimulation). The methanolic fraction was chosen for further assays to assess the involvement of: 1) presynaptic sites (axons or nerve terminals), 2) postsynaptic sites (cholinergic receptors, sarcolemma or T-tubules), and 3) the synaptic cleft (acetylcholinesterase enzyme). In preparations treated with d-tubocurarine, the methanolic fraction did not cause facilitation in response to direct stimuli; this fraction was also unable to reverse dantrolene-induced blockade (indirect stimulation). In curarized preparations, the methanolic fraction either restored neuromuscular transmission (mimicking the effect of neostigmine) or failed to cause any recovery of neurotransmission. In the presence of 3,4-diaminopyridine (3,4-DAP), the methanolic fraction decreased twitch amplitude, whereas at a high frequency of stimulation (40 Hz) there was an increase in tetanic tension. In BC preparations, the methanolic fraction did not affect contractures to exogenous acetylcholine or potassium chloride. Incubation with atropine showed there was certain modulation by prejunctional nicotinic receptors, whereas treatment with nifedipine showed that the neurofacilitation required the entry of extracellular calcium. Tetrodotoxin did not prevent the facilitatory effect of 3,4-DAP or neostigmine, but antagonized the response to the methanolic fraction. These findings indicate that neuronal sodium channels have an important role in the facilitatory response to the methanolic fraction, with extracellular calcium entry via calcium channels modulating this neurofacilitation. Possible modulation of prejunctional cholinoceptors was not excluded, particularly in view of certain antagonism by the methanolic fraction at muscarinic receptors. Since facilitation by the methanolic fraction involved enhanced acetylcholine release, use of this fraction could be potentially beneficial in neuromuscular diseases and in the reversal of residual paralysis in the post-operative period or after local anaesthesia.
Phenolic compounds from Dipteryx alata Vogel were assayed against the in vitro neurotoxic effect induced by Bothrops jararacussu (Bjssu) venom. Mutagenicity was assessed by the Ames test using Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98, TA97a, TA100, and TA102, in experiments with and without metabolic activation. Anti-bothropic activity was obtained by using mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparation and myographic technique. Control experiments with physiological Tyrode solution were used for keeping the PND preparations alive (n = 4). Concentrations of phenolic compounds were as follow: protocatechuic and vanillic acids (200 µg/mL, n = 4), vanillin (50 µg/mL, n = 4). These compounds were used alone or pre-incubated with the venom (40 µg/mL), 30 min prior the addition to the organ bath (n = 4). Phenolic compounds significantly inhibited the neuromuscular blockade of Bjssu in the following order of potency: vanillic acid > protocatechuic = vanillin. Vanillic acid added 10 min after the Bjssu venom was also able to avoid the venomblockade evolution. The mutagenicity assay indicated that all phytochemicals were unable to increase the number of revertants, demonstrating the absence of mutagenic activity. This study * Corresponding author. E. H. Yoshida et al.2 demonstrated both the safety and therapeutical potential of the three phenolic compounds as novel complementary anti-bothropic agents.
We confirmed the ability of the triterpenoid betulin to protect against neurotoxicity caused by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro in mouse isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations and examined its capability of in vivo protection using the rat external popliteal/sciatic nerve-tibialis anterior (EPSTA) preparation. Venom caused complete, irreversible blockade in PND (40 μg/mL), but only partial blockade (~30%) in EPSTA (3.6 mg/kg, i.m.) after 120 min. In PND, preincubation of venom with commercial bothropic antivenom (CBA) attenuated the venom-induced blockade, and, in EPSTA, CBA given i.v. 15 min after venom also attenuated the blockade (by ~70% in both preparations). Preincubation of venom with betulin (200 μg/mL) markedly attenuated the venom-induced blockade in PND; similarly, a single dose of betulin (20 mg, i.p., 15 min after venom) virtually abolished the venom-induced decrease in contractility. Plasma creatine kinase activity was significantly elevated 120 min after venom injection in the EPSTA but was attenuated by CBA and betulin. These results indicate that betulin given i.p. has a similar efficacy as CBA given i.v. in attenuating the neuromuscular effects of B. jararacussu venom in vivo and could be a useful complementary measure to antivenom therapy for treating snakebite.
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