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Neurotoxic and cytotoxic effects of venom from different populations of the Egyptian Scorpio maurus palmatus

Mohamed A. Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed Alaa A. Omran, Ismail M. Abdel-Nabi, Omimah A. Nassier, Brandon J. Schemerhorn
 

Abstract

Neurotoxic and cytotoxic effects of venoms from Scorpio maurus palmatus taken from different populations were assessed for geographic based variability in toxicity, and to evaluate their insecticidal potency. Scorpions were collected from four regions. Three locations were mutually isolated pockets in the arid area of Southern Sinai. The fourth sample was collected from a population inhabiting the semi-arid environment of Western Mediterranean Coastal Desert. The neurotoxic (paralytic) effect of the venom from each population was assayed by its ability to induce permanent disability in adult cockroaches within 3 h. Venom was applied using microinjection techniques through an intersegmental membrane. Probit analysis was used to calculate the Paralytic Effective Dose (PED50, ng/100 mg). Levels of glutathione, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyl content and nitric oxide, as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and cholinesterase, were measured to assess the cytotoxicity of the venom. The results show that the injected venom from each population induced obvious spasticity, followed by flaccid paralysis. All the tested biochemical parameters, except glutathione content, revealed significant differences in toxicity in venom taken from the different scorpion populations. We conclude that (i) the venom of this scorpion has significant neurotoxic and cytotoxic effects on insect cells, (ii) its efficacy, as assessed by the PED50 unit, exhibited variation across its geographic range, and (iii) components in the venom may have the potential for being developed into effective and environmentally friendly bioinsecticides.

Keywords: Scorpio maurus palmatus, Venom diversity, PED50, Oxidative stress, ioinsecticides, Egypt






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