In vitrostudies with renal proximal tubule cells show direct cytotoxicity ofAndroctonus australis hectorscorpion venom triggered by oxidative stress, caspase activation and apoptosis

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Scorpion envenomation injures a number of organs, including the kidney. Mechanisms proposed to explain the renal tubule injury include direct effects of venom on tubule epithelial cells, as well as indirect effects of the autonomic nervous system, and inflammation. Here, we report direct effects of Androctonus australis hector (Aah) scorpion venom on the viability of Renal Proximal Tubule (RPT) cells in vitro, unlike distal tubule and collecting duct cells. Extensive NucGreen nuclear staining was observed in immortalized rabbit RPT cells following treatment with Aah venom, consistent with cytotoxicity. The involvement of oxidative stress is supported by the observations that 1) anti-oxidants mitigated the Aah venom-induced decrease in the number of viable RPT cells, and 2) Aah venom-treated RPT cells were intensively stained with the CellROX® Deep Red reagent, an indicator of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Relevance to normal RPT cells is supported by the red fluorescence observed in Aah venom treated primary rabbit RPT cell cultures following their incubation with the Flica reagent (indicative of caspase activation and apoptosis), and the green fluorescence of Sytox Green (indicative of dead cells).HighlightsAndroctonus australis hector venom reduces renal proximal tubule cell viability.Androctonus australis hector venom induces oxidative stress in proximal tubule cells.Androctonus australis hector venom causes caspase activation in proximal tubule cells.

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