The approach of the birds to use physical and alimentary resources in degraded and modified natural habitats is an important aspect of their adaptation. This study was undertaken during 2016-2017 at forty habitats in the Moulouya plain, Morocco to examine behavioral diet, habitat use and foraging ecology of turtle dove,
. We monitored turtle doves in four major plots namely cereal plots, lucerne farms, apple orchards, and stations in the Ansgmir River covering 40 habitats. Digestive tract contents were also identified and evaluated for 68 Turtle Doves shot by hunters during two consecutive years. The results showed that the turtle doves use a variability of feeding habitats. The cereal cultivation seemed to be more preferable habitat for feeding especially in the month of May, the first breeding phase of the year. But, during the months of August and July, the riverbanks were the preferred habitat for turtle doves. The diet of this species is polyphagous and diverse with a granivorous tendency. Diet analysis showed that soft wheat and barley seeds constituted 44.53% and 38.74% respectively followed by barley seeds with 38.74% and sand stones (9.16%) of the seeds eaten by Turtle Doves. However, moderate proportion of elements (7.32%) remained undefined. All these aspects, including the variability of feeding habitats and the wide diet seem to be an adaptive strategy followed by turtle dove to counter the degradation and the modification of its natural feeding habitats.
We recently demonstrated that the snake venom extracted from Walterinnesia aegyptia (WEV) either alone or combined with silica nanoparticles (WEV+NP) enhanced the proliferation of mice immune cells and simultaneously decreased the proliferation of human breast carcinoma cell line (MDA-MB-231). However, the molecular mechanism of how this venom induced growth arrest of breast cancer cells has not been studied. In this context, we extended our study to evaluate the anti-tumor potential of WEV and WEV+NP on the human breast carcinoma cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7, as well as their effects on non-tumorigenic normal breast epithelial cells (MCF-10). The IC50 values of WEV alone and WEV+NP in these cell lines were determined to be 50 ng/ml and 20 ng/ml, respectively. Interestingly, at these concentrations, the venom did not affect the viability of normal MCF-10 cells and treatment of all these cell lines with NP alone did not affect their viability. Using annexin-V binding assay followed by flow cytometry analysis, we found that combination of WEV with NP strongly induced apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cancer cells without significant effect on normal MCF-10 cells. Furthermore, we found that WEV+NP decreased the expression of Bcl2 and enhanced the activation of caspase 3 in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. Most importantly, WEV+NP-treated breast cancer cells, but not normal MCF-10 cells, exhibited a significant (P<0.05) reduction in actin polymerization and cytoskeletal rearrangement in response to CXCL12. Our data reveal biological effects of WEV or WEV+NP and the underlying mechanisms to fight breast cancer cells.
This investigation evaluated the epidemiological aspects of scorpion stings in different areas of Saudi Arabia. A total of 72,168 cases of scorpion stings recorded in Ministry of Health Medical Centers in 11 selected areas of Saudi Arabia were analyzed based on area, age, sex, time of sting, sting site, treatment outcome, time of year, and scorpion species. Stings occurred throughout the year; the highest frequency was in June (15.08%), the lowest in February (2.52%). Most patients were male (61.8%); the majority of which were more than 15 years old (65.4%). Nocturnal envenomation (47.74%) was more common than diurnal (43.91%); most stings were in exposed limbs (90.95%), mainly in the lower limbs (63%). Most envenomings were mild (74.48%) and all evolved to cure, except for one death. Envenomation was characterized by local pain, erythema, headache, vomiting, and anxiety. This study found that the Leiurus quinquestriatus (Ehrenberg 1828), Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier 1807), and Apistobuthus pterygocercus (Finnegan 1807) were responsible for most of the stings, indicating their medical importance in Saudi Arabia. The study shows low threat to life despite the high number of stings; this is a result of the availability of medical facilities and the multi-center antivenom use in different areas of Saudi Arabia
Turaif area located in the Northern border region of Saudi Arabia is one of the most important regions of the Kingdom. This work was proposed to throw light on the diversity of lizard fauna investigated through the collection and subsequent identification of specimens from different localities of Turaif region of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sixteen species of lizards belonging to 5 families (Agamidae, Gekkonidae, Lacertidae, Scincidae and Varanidae) were recorded. Lacertidae was the most common family. Three species of lizards namely Acanthodactylus orientalis, Acanthodactylus scutellatus and Acanthodactylus grandis were reported for the first time in the Turaif region of Saudi Arabia. The geographical distribution of the collected species within this province was mapped.
Background: The toxicity of snake venom varies over time in some species. The venom of newborn and small juvenile snakes appears to be more potent than adults of the same species, and a bite from a snake that has not fed recently, such as one that has just emerged from hibernation, is more dangerous than one that has recently fed due to the larger volume of venom injected. Therefore, the potency of a snake's venom is typically determined using the LD 50 or IC 50 tests. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-tumor potential of snake venom from Walterinnesia aegyptia (WEV) on the human breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231, as well as its effect on the normal mice peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. The progression and invasion of PCa are normally mediated by the overexpression of chemokine receptors (CKRs) and the interaction between CKRs and their cognate ligands. We recently demonstrated that venom extracted from Walterinnesia aegyptia (WEV) either alone or in combination with silica nanoparticles (WEV+NP) mediated the growth arrest and apoptosis of breast cancer cells. In the present study, we evaluated the impact of WEV alone and WEV+NP on the migration, invasion, proliferation and apoptosis of prostate cancer cells. We found that WEV alone and WEV+NP decreased the viability of all cell types tested (PCa cells isolated from patient samples, PC3 cells and LNCaP cells) using an MTT assay. The IC(50) values were determined to be 10 and 5 μg/mL for WEV alone and WEV+NP, respectively. WEV+NP decreased the surface expression of the CKRs CXCR3, CXCR4, CXCR5 and CXCR6 to a greater extent than WEV alone and subsequently reduced migration and the invasion response of the cells to the cognate ligands of the CKRs (CXCL10, CXCL12, CXCL13 and CXCL16, respectively). Using a CFSE proliferation assay, we found that WEV+NP strongly inhibited epidermal growth factor-mediated PCa cell proliferation. Furthermore, analysis of the cell cycle indicated that WEV+NP strongly altered the cell cycle of PCa cells and enhanced the induction of apoptosis. Finally, we demonstrated that WEV+NP robustly decreased the expression of anti-apoptotic effectors, such as B cell Lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), B cell Lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-(XL)) and myeloid cell leukemia sequence-1 (Mcl-1), and increased the expression of pro-apoptotic effectors, such as Bcl-2 homologous antagonist/killer (Bak), Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) and Bcl-2-interacting mediator of cell death (Bim). WEV+NP also altered the membrane potential of mitochondria in the PCa cells. Our data reveal the potential of nanoparticle-sustained delivery of snake venom as effective treatments for prostate cancer.
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