Dexamethasone antagonizes thein vivo myotoxic and inflammatory effects ofBothrops venoms

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In the present work we investigated the toxic activities of two Bothrops snake venoms using in vivo and in vitro experimental protocols in mice and tested the protective effect of dexamethasone (DEXA) in different conditions, comparing it with the polyvalent antivenom. We also expanded the investigations on the antiophidic effect of the Eclipta prostrata (EP) crude extract.

The administration of Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops jararacussu snake venoms induced muscle damage demonstrated in vivo by the elevation on plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity in mice and by the decrease in CK content in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of these animals, and in vitro by the increase in the rate of CK release from the isolated EDL muscle. We also observed inflammatory response following perimuscular injection of B. jararacussu venom (1.0 mg/kg). Treatment with DEXA (1.0 mg/kg) preserved over 50% of the EDL muscle CK content in vivo when evaluated 24 and 72 h after the injection of B. jararacussu venom in mice, and likewise reduced about 20% of the edema induced by this venom. DEXA reduced in 50% the presence of inflammatory cells and their activity in EDL muscle. The EP extract (50 mg/kg) showed similar ability in preventing the induction of edema and the decrease in muscle CK content, and its association with DEXA showed additive effect. EP reduced over 77% of the plasma CK activity induced by the B. jararacussu venom. In the in vitro experiments, DEXA was not able to change the rate of CK release from EDL muscles exposed to 25 μg/mL of B. jararacussu venom, neither to prevent the fall in the amplitude of the indirectly evoked twitch at the phrenic-diaphragm preparation. EP extract showed otherwise a protective effect on these protocols, reaching up to 100% of protection when concentrations of 50.0 and 100.0 μg/mL were used.

Altogether our results show that inflammation is at least in part responsible for the tissue damage induced by Bothrops snake venoms, once the steroidal anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone was able to decrease the myotoxic effects of these venoms, by reducing the inflammatory response to the venom injection.


★ We explore the toxic effects of Bothrops venoms. ★ The role of inflammation on the myonecrosis induced by Bothrops venoms is studied. ★ The ability of dexamethasone to antagonize in vivo effects of Bothrops venoms is investigated.

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