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Title

THE EFFECT OF THE YELLOW IRANIAN SCORPION ODONTHOBUTHUS DORIAE VENOM ON SKELETAL MUSCLE PREPARATIONS IN VITRO

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Abstract

 Introduction: The yellow Iranian scorpion Odonthobuthus doriae can cause fatal envenoming, but its mechanism of action is unclear. One of the reported manifestations of envenoming is moderate to severe involuntary tremor of skeletal muscle.Methods: In order to better understand the mechanism of action of this venom on skeletal muscle function, we examined the effects of the venom in vitro on chick biventer cervicis (CBC) and mouse hemidiaphragm (MHD) nerve muscle preparations.Results: Odonthobuthus doriae venom (0.3-10μg/ml) initially increased and then decreased twitch height. At 0.3-10μg/ml, the venom caused contracture in MHD preparations. In mouse triangularis sterni preparations, use for all intracellular recording techniques, the venom enhanced the release of acetylcholine and induced repetitive firing of nerve action potentials and end plate potential in response to single shock stimulation. With extracellular recording techniques, scorpion venom (1μg/ml) was found to cause changes to the perineural waveform associated with nerve terminal action potentials consistent with effects on Na+ and K+ currents.Conclusion: The main effects of Odonthobuthus doriae venom are likely to be due to toxins that affect Na+ channels in nerve-muscle preparations similar to most Old World scorpion venoms, but blocking effects on K+ channels are also possible. Such effects could lead to initial enhancement of transmitter release that could underlie the muscle tremors seen in victims.

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