A comparative study of pathophysiological alterations in scorpionism induced byTityus serrulatusandTityus bahiensisvenoms

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Abstract

Scorpionism is a relevant public health problem in several countries in tropical and subtropical regions. In Brazil, Tityus serrulatus sting can induce acute lung injury in part as a consequence of inflammation. Despite the occurrence of other scorpions of Tityus genus in Brazilian scorpiofauna, the knowledge regarding pulmonary alterations is related to T. serrulatus venom (Tsv). Here we studied, comparatively, the pathophysiological changes in the rat airways envenomed by Tsv or T. bahiensis venom (Tbv), since both scorpions are involved in human accidents but with severe envenomations occurring when victims are stung by T. serrulatus. After intravenous injection of the venoms (200 μg/kg), both were able to induce Evans blue extravasation (in 30 min) into airways and increased protein extravasation into lungs at 4 and 24 h, but the magnitude of such events was higher in Tsv group. Hemorrhage (in 60 min) in the lungs was higher in Tbv group, while IL-1β (at 1 h) and IL-6 (at 1 and 4 h) in lung homogenates were detected only in Tsv group. Four and 24 h after envenomation, myeloperoxidase activity in lung was equally augmented in the envenomed groups, as well as an increased in polymorphonuclear cell numbers in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. At 4 h blood leukogram showed increased leukocyte values with the highest neutrophilia in Tsv group. The numbers of leukocytes and neutrophils remained higher than control at 24 h in Tsv and Tbv groups, and it was accompanied by lympho (envenomed groups) and monocytosis (Tsv group). In conclusion, although Tbv was capable of inducing acute lung injury and blood leukocyte mobilization, most of the evaluated parameters were more affected by the Tsv. These results could help to explain the pathophysiology of the scorpionism and the clinical data arguing toward the greatest severity associated with T. serrulatus stings.

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