Document Detail

Neurotoxicity of ammodytoxin a in the envenoming bites of Vipera ammodytes ammodytes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18800006     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Envenoming bites by Vipera ammodytes ammodytes (the long-nosed viper) can cause life-threatening neurotoxicity, particularly in children. We investigated the mechanisms of the neurotoxicity of ammodytoxin A, the principal toxin in the venom of these snakes, in isolated nerve-muscle preparations from mice. The toxin was bound selectively to the neuromuscular junction, and at concentrations similar to those likely to be found in the circulation of young bite victims, it blocked the response of the muscle to indirect but not direct stimulation. Electron microscopy showed that the toxin induced a small but insignificant depletion of synaptic vesicles from motor nerve terminals; nerve terminal mitochondria were swollen and damaged, but plasma membranes of terminal boutons were undamaged. Exposure to the toxin did not affect postjunctional acetylcholine receptors or cause structural damage to preterminal motor axons or muscle fibers. Spontaneous transmitter release was similarly unaffected. Taken together, these results indicate that ammodytoxin A is the principal agent involved in the neurotoxic activity of the venom of V ammodytes ammodytes and that the underlying cause of the failure of transmission may be the deenergization of the nerve terminal resulting from mitochondrial degeneration and subsequent impairment of coupling between the action-potential-induced depolarization of the nerve terminal and the evoked transmitter release.
Uros Logonder; Igor Krizaj; Edward G Rowan; John B Harris
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology     Volume:  67     ISSN:  0022-3069     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol.     Publication Date:  2008 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-10-01     Completed Date:  2008-10-23     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985192R     Medline TA:  J Neuropathol Exp Neurol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1011-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / drug effects
Diaphragm / pathology
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Microscopy, Confocal
Microscopy, Electron
Muscle, Skeletal / innervation,  pathology
Nerve Degeneration / chemically induced,  pathology
Neuromuscular Junction / drug effects,  pathology
Neurotoxins / toxicity*
Phrenic Nerve / pathology
Snake Bites / pathology*
Viper Venoms / toxicity*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Neurotoxins; 0/Viper Venoms; 97089-72-0/ammodytoxin A

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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