Neurotoxicity of Micrurus lemniscatus lemniscatus (South American coralsnake) venom in vertebrate neuromuscular preparations in vitro and neutralization by antivenom

Floriano, Rafael S. and Schezaro-Ramos, Raphael and Silva Jr, Nelson J. and Bucaretchi, Fábio and Rowan, Edward G. and Hyslop, Stephen (2019) Neurotoxicity of Micrurus lemniscatus lemniscatus (South American coralsnake) venom in vertebrate neuromuscular preparations in vitro and neutralization by antivenom. Archives of Toxicology. ISSN 0340-5761

[img] Text (Floriano-etal-AT-2019-Neurotoxicity-of-Micrurus-lemniscatus-lemniscatus-South-American-coralsnake-venom-in-vertebrate-neuromuscular-preparations)
Floriano_etal_AT_2019_Neurotoxicity_of_Micrurus_lemniscatus_lemniscatus_South_American_coralsnake_venom_in_vertebrate_neuromuscular_preparations.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 23 May 2020.

Download (765kB) | Request a copy from the Strathclyde author

    Abstract

    We investigated the effect of South American coralsnake (Micrurus lemniscatus lemniscatus) venom on neurotransmission in vertebrate nerve-muscle preparations in vitro. The venom (0.1-30 µg/ml) showed calcium-dependent PLA2 activity and caused irreversible neuromuscular blockade in chick biventer cervicis (BC) and mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations. In BC preparations, contractures to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol (CCh), but not KCl, were abolished by venom concentrations ≥ 0.3 µg/ml; in PND preparations, the amplitude of the tetanic response was progressively attenuated, but with little tetanic fade. In low Ca2+ physiological solution, venom (10 µg/ml) caused neuromuscular blockade in PND preparations within ~ 10 min that was reversible by washing; the addition of Ca2+ immediately after the blockade temporarily restored the twitch responses, but did not prevent the progression to irreversible blockade. Venom (10 µg/ml) did not depolarize diaphragm muscle, prevent depolarization by CCh, or cause muscle contracture or histological damage. Venom (3 µg/ml) had a biphasic effect on the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials, but did not affect their amplitude; there was a progressive decrease in the amplitude of evoked end-plate potentials. The amplitude of compound action potentials in mouse sciatic nerve was unaffected by venom (10 µg/ml). Pre-incubation of venom with coralsnake antivenom (Instituto Butantan) at the recommended antivenom:venom ratio did not neutralize the neuromuscular blockade in PND preparations, but total neutralization was achieved with a tenfold greater volume of antivenom. The addition of antivenom after 50% and 80% blockade restored the twitch responses. These results show that M. lemniscatus lemniscatus venom causes potent, irreversible neuromuscular blockade, without myonecrosis. This blockade is apparently mediated by pre- and postsynaptic neurotoxins and can be reversed by coralsnake antivenom.