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The neurotoxicity of the venom phospholipases A2, notexin and taipoxin

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor John Harris


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The presynaptically active, toxic phospholipases known as notexin and taipoxin are principal components of the venom of the Australian tiger snake and the Australian taipan respectively. The inoculation of the toxins into one hind limb of rats caused, within 1 h, the depletion of transmitter from the motor nerve terminals of the soleus muscle. This was followed by the degeneration of the motor nerve terminals and of the axonal cytoskeleton. By 24 h 70% of muscle fibers were completely denervated. Regeneration and functional reinnervation were almost fully restored by 5 days, but collateral innervation was common in the regenerated muscles, and this abnormality persisted for at least 9 months. The data provide an explanation for both the severity of neuromuscular paralysis that can accompany envenoming bites by tiger snakes and taipans and the difficulty experienced by physicians in managing the envenomed subjects. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harris JB; Grubb BD; Maltin CA; Dixon R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Experimental Neurology

Year: 2000

Volume: 161

Issue: 2

Pages: 517-526

ISSN (print): 0014-4886

ISSN (electronic): 1090-2430

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1006/exnr.1999.7275

PubMed id: 10686073


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