The in vitro toxicity of venoms from South Asian Hump-nosed pit vipers (Viperidae: Hypnale)

Kalana Maduwage, Wayne Clarence Hodgson, Nicki Konstantakopoulos, Margaret O'Leary, Indika Gawarammana, Geoffrey Isbister

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Abstract

Hump-nosed pit vipers (Genus Hypnale) are venomous snakes from South India and Sri Lanka. Envenoming by Hypnale species may cause significant morbidity and is characterized by local envenoming and less commonly coagulopathy and acute renal failure. Currently there are three nominal species of this genus: H. hypnale, H. zara and H. nepa. This study investigates the biochemical and pharmacological properties of the venoms from the three Hypnale species in Sri Lanka. The three Hypnale venoms had similar chromatographic profiles using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography and fractions with procoagulant activity were identified. Hypnale venoms had potent cytotoxicity in cultured rat aorta smooth muscle cells with similar IC50 values. The venoms had weak neurotoxic and myotoxic activity in the isolated chick biventer muscle preparation. They had mild procoagulant activity with close MCC 5 values and also phospholipase activity. Locally available polyvalent antivenom did not neutralise any venom effects. The study demonstrates that the three Hypnale venoms are similar and cytotoxicity appears to be the most potent effect, although they have mild procoagulant activity. These findings are consistent with clinical reports.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17 - 23
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Venom Research
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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