Animal toxins and renal ion transport: Another dimension in tropical nephrology

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Renal vascular and tubular ion channels and transporters involved in toxin injury are reviewed. Vascular ion channels modulated by animal toxins, which result in haemodynamic alterations and changes in blood pressure, include ENaC/Degenerin/ASIC, ATP sensitive K channels (KATP), Ca activated K channels (Kca) and voltage gated Ca channels, mostly L-type. Renal tubular Na channels and K channels are also targeted by animal toxins. NHE3 and ENaC are two important targets. NCC and NKCC may be involved indirectly by vasoactive mediators induced by inflammation. Most renal tubular K channels including voltage gated K channels (Kv1), KATP, ROMK1, BK and SK are blocked by scorpion toxins. Few are inhibited by bee, wasp and spider venoms. Due to small envenoming, incomplete block and several compensatory mechanisms in renal tubules, serum electrolyte charges are not apparent. Changes in serum electrolytes are observed in injury by large amount of venom when several channels or transporters are targeted. Envenomings by scorpions and bees are examples of toxins targeting multiple ion channels and transporters.


Sitprija et al have reviewed the issue regarding renal vascular and renal tubular ion channels and transporters involved in animal toxin injury. Several vascular and renal tubular ion channels have been modulated by various animal toxins,resulting in hemodynamic alterations.

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