In vitro effects of Crotalus atrox snake venom on chick and mouse neuromuscular preparations

Raphael Schezaro-Ramos, Saulo L Da Silva, Beatriz B Pereira, Ananda T Santa Fé Miguel, Bruno Mendes, Noroska G S Mogollón, Stephen Hyslop, Victor C Carregari, José R Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neuromuscular effect of venoms is not a major clinical manifestation shared between rattlesnakes native to the Americas, which showed two different venom phenotypes. Taking into account this dichotomy, nerve muscle preparations from mice and chicks were used to investigate the ability of Crotalus atrox venom to induce in vitro neurotoxicity and myotoxicity. Unlike crotalic venoms of South America, low concentrations of C. atrox venom did not result in significant effects on mouse neuromuscular preparations. The venom was more active on avian nerve-muscle, showing reduction of twitch heights after 120 min of incubation with 10, 30 and 100 μg/mL of venom with diminished responses to agonists and KCl. Histological analysis highlighted that C. atrox was myotoxic in both species of experimental animals; as evidenced by degenerative events, including edematous cells, delta lesions, hypercontracted fibers and muscle necrosis, which can lead to neurotoxic action. These results provide key insights into the myotoxicity and low neurotoxicity of C. atrox in two animal models, corroborating with previous genomic and proteomic findings and would be useful for a deeper understanding of venom evolution in snakes belonging to the genus Crotalus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalComparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Crotalid Venoms/pharmacology
  • Crotalus/growth & development
  • Diaphragm/cytology
  • Drug Resistance
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Contraction/drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal/cytology
  • Nerve Fibers/drug effects
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents/pharmacology
  • Neuromuscular Junction/drug effects
  • North America
  • Organ Specificity
  • Paraspinal Muscles/cytology
  • Phrenic Nerve/cytology
  • Species Specificity
  • Spinal Nerves/cytology


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