Geographical variations of snake venoms can result in suboptimal effectiveness of Indian antivenoms that are currently used in most South Asian countries. This study investigated the toxicity and neutralization profile of the venom and toxins from Pakistani spectacled cobra, Naja naja, using VINS polyvalent antivenom (VPAV, India), Naja kaouthia monovalent antivenom (NKMAV, Thailand), and neuro bivalent antivenom (NBAV, Taiwan). Cation-exchange and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography fractionations followed by toxin identification through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (MS)/MS indicated that the venom comprised mainly of postsynaptic neurotoxins (NTXs) (long neurotoxins [LNTXs], 28.3%; short neurotoxins [SNTXs], 8%), cytotoxins (CTXs) (31.2%), and acidic phospholipases A2 (12.3%). NKMAV is the most effective in neutralizing the lethal effect of the venom (potency = 1.1 mg venom/mL) and its LNTX (potency = 0.5 mg toxin/mL), consistent with the high content of LNTX in N. kaouthia venom. VPAV was effective in neutralizing the CTX (potency = 0.4 mg toxin/mL), in agreement with the higher CTX abundance in Indian cobra venom. All the three antivenoms were weak in neutralizing the SNTX (potency = 0.03-0.04 mg toxin/mL), including NBAV that was raised from the SNTX-rich Taiwanese cobra venom. In a challenge-rescue experiment, envenomed mice were prevented from death by a maximal dose of VPAV (intravenous 200 μL) but the recovery from paralysis was slow, indicating the need for higher or repeated doses of VPAV. Our results suggest that optimal neutralization for Pakistani N. naja venom may be achieved by improving the formulation of antivenom production to enhance antivenom immunoreactivity against long and SNTXs.
Studies on the stem of Garcinia mangostana have led to the isolation of one new xanthone mangosharin (1) (2,6-dihydroxy-8-methoxy-5-(3-methylbut-2-enyl)-xanthone) and six other prenylated xanthones, alpha-mangostin (2), beta-mangostin (3), garcinone D (4), 1,6-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxy-2-(3-methylbut-2-enyl)-xanthone (5), mangostanol (6) and 5,9-dihydroxy-8- methoxy-2,2-dimethyl-7-(3-methylbut-2-enyl)-2H,6H-pyrano-[3,2-b]-xanthene-6-one (7). The structures of these compounds were determined by spectroscopic methods such as 1H NMR, 13C NMR, mass spectrometry (MS) and by comparison with previous studies. All the crude extracts when screened for their larvicidal activities indicated very good toxicity against the larvae of Aedes aegypti. This article reports the isolation and identification of the above compounds as well as bioassay data for the crude extracts. These bioassay data have not been reported before.
A group of stable, water-soluble and membrane-bound proteins constitute the pore forming toxins (PFTs) in cnidarians. They interact with membranes to physically alter the membrane structure and permeability, resulting in the formation of pores. These lesions on the plasma membrane causes an imbalance of cellular ionic gradients, resulting in swelling of the cell and eventually its rupture. Of all cnidarian PFTs, actinoporins are by far the best studied subgroup with established knowledge of their molecular structure and their mode of pore-forming action. However, the current view of necrotic action by actinoporins may not be the only mechanism that induces cell death since there is increasing evidence showing that pore-forming toxins can induce either necrosis or apoptosis in a cell-type, receptor and dose-dependent manner. In this review, we focus on the response of the cellular immune system to the cnidarian pore-forming toxins and the signaling pathways that might be involved in these cellular responses. Since PFTs represent potential candidates for targeted toxin therapy for the treatment of numerous cancers, we also address the challenge to overcoming the immunogenicity of these toxins when used as therapeutics.