A functional comparison of the venom of three Australian jellyfish: Chironex fleckeri, Chiropsalmus sp., and Carybdea xaymacana - On cytosolic Ca2+, haemolysis and Artemia sp. lethality

Paul M Bailey, Anthony J Bakker, Jamie Evan Seymour, Jacqueline A Wilce

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Cnidarian venoms produce a wide spectrum of envenoming syndromes in humans ranging from minor local irritation to death. Here, the effects of Chironex fleckeri, Chiropsalmus sp., and Carybdea xaymacana venoms on ventricular myocyte cytosolic Ca2+, haemolysis and Artemia sp. lethality are compared for the first time. All three venoms caused a large, irreversible elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ in myocytes as measured using the Ca2+ sensitive fluorescent probe Indo-1. The L-type Ca2+ channel antagonist verapamil had no effect on Ca2+ influx whilst La3+, a non-specific channel and pore blocker, inhibited the effect. Haemolytic activity was observed for all venoms, with C. xaymacana venom displaying the greatest activity. These activities are consistent with the presence of a pore-forming toxin existing in the venoms which has been demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy in the case of C. fleckeri. The venom of C. fleckeri was found to be more lethal against Artemia sp. than the venom of the other species, consistent with the order of known human toxicities. This suggests that the observed lytic effects may not underlie the lethal effects of the venom, and raises the question of how such potent activities are dealt with by envenomed humans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233 - 242
Number of pages10
JournalToxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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