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1

Late embryos and bony skull development in Bothropoides jararaca (Serpentes, Viperidae).  

PubMed

In recent years, developmental anatomy received increasing interest as a potential new source for phylogenetic research. For skeletal development, studies mainly rely on the first appearance of ossification centers. However, informative events occur during the whole course of skeletogenesis; interactions between external and internal development occur and morphometric changes take place - all of which present potential sources for phylogenetic analyses. Therefore, the Standard Event System (SES) was used to traceably describe the external development of the snake species Bothropoides jararaca and external measurements were analyzed. We then applied micro-computed tomography (?CT), clearing and double-staining, and 2D and 3D morphometric methods to describe, illustrate, and analyze the development of the head in great detail. We found a 3D flattening of the skull during ontogeny, a pattern that is not reflected in external development. This may be explained by a different relationship of skeletogenesis and external characters to the developing jaw musculature or simply by the different type of data. Clearing and double-staining and ?CT-scanning revealed a broadly similar sequence in the onset of ossification. Minute differences may be due to the treatment of embryos. Bones of the dermatocranium are among the first to ossify and the development of the calcified endolymph may reflect its function as a calcium source during development. The value of phylogenetic observations using the sequence of first ossifications is critically discussed. The related heterochronic changes are interpreted to contribute at least to the very first phase of divagating skull formation among taxa. PMID:23348050

Polachowski, Katja M; Werneburg, Ingmar

2013-02-01

2

Differences in endothelin receptor types in the vasculature of Bothrops jararaca (Viperidae) and Oxyrhopus guibei (Colubridae) snakes.  

PubMed

Endothelins (ETs) are vasoactive peptides evolutionary well conserved that exert their effects through two specific receptors (ET(A) and ET(B)) widely distributed in all vertebrates. In snakes, the presence and function of endothelins and their receptors are still scarcely described. We have recently demonstrated the presence of ET(A) and ET(B2) receptors in the snake Bothrops jararaca (Bj). In the present work we showed that distinctively from Bj, the vascular contraction induced by endothelin in Oxyrhopus guibei (Og) snake is mediated only by ET(A) receptors. Selective ET(B) agonists (SRTX-c and IRL(1620)) and antagonists (IRL(1038) and BQ(788)) were ineffective in Og preparations of isolated aorta. We also showed that ET-1 response on Og arterial blood pressure was monophasic hypertensive as opposed to biphasic (hypotension followed by hypertension) in Bj. Furthermore, we characterized the relaxing properties of endothelin receptor ET(B1) in pre-contracted aorta preparations. We showed that IRL(1620) induced relaxation of pre-contracted Bj aorta but was ineffective in relaxing Og preparations. IRL(1620) relaxing effect on Bj aorta was abolished by l-NAME, indicating involvement of NO release, and was reduced by selective ET(B) antagonists. Our findings suggest that Og snake has a more primitive spectrum of ET receptors (only ET(A) receptor) than Bj (presence of ET(A), ET(B1) and ET(B2) receptors). PMID:18436483

Mesquita, Lívia S M; Frias, Flávia T; Carmona, Eurídice; Borgheresi, Rosa A M B

2008-07-01

3

Prospection, structural analysis and phylogenetic relationships of endogenous gamma-phospholipase A(2) inhibitors in Brazilian Bothrops snakes (Viperidae, Crotalinae).  

PubMed

During the last 20 years, there have been an increasing number of reports on endogenous phospholipase A(2) inhibitors (PLIs) in the sera of snakes. These studies have demonstrated the existence of three different structural classes of PLIs (alpha, beta and gamma). The gamma class members are potent inhibitors of phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)) from the venom of Viperidae snakes. These enzymes, together with the mammalian pro-inflammatory PLA(2), belong to the IIA class of the PLA(2)-superfamily. Although coming from distinct sources, these phospholipases A(2) share main structural features. For this reason, gammaPLIs have been considered as potential models for the development of selective inhibitors of pro-inflammatory PLA(2) in humans. In spite of the rich diversity of the ophidian fauna in Brazil, only two gammaPLI representatives, from Crotalus durissus terrificus and Lachesis muta, have been described in Brazilian snakes so far. Here we investigated the presence of transcripts of novel gammaPLIs in six Bothrops species (Viperidae, Crotalinae) commonly found in our country: Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops erythromelas, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu, Bothrops moojeni and Bothrops neuwiedi. gammaPLI transcripts were present in every species analysed. The deduced mature proteins possessed 181 amino acid residues following a 19-residue signal peptide, similar to the gammaPLIs from C. d. terrificus taken as our model, with the exception of the deduced proteins from B. erythromelas and B. neuwiedi snakes. In these particular cases, an insertion of 4-amino acid residues was consistently present. A Bayesian tree was obtained for the Brazilian Bothrops gammaPLIs, showing four clusters: (1) L. muta and B. jararacussu, (2) B. alternatus, (3) B. erythromelas and B. neuwiedi, (4) B. jararaca and B. moojeni. Detailed structural analysis and further comparisons of these novel Bothrops inhibitors with gammaPLIs from New and Old World snakes are provided. PMID:18620721

Estevão-Costa, Maria Inácia; Rocha, Bruno Coelho; de Alvarenga Mudado, Maurício; Redondo, Rodrigo; Franco, Glória Regina; Fortes-Dias, Consuelo Latorre

2008-07-01

4

Morphological variation in the lancehead pitviper Bothrops asper (Garman) (Serpentes: Viperidae) from Middle America.  

PubMed

Variation of morphological characters in the pitviper Bothrops asper (Garman) was studied in terms of scutellation, color patterns, and landmark measures for 374 Middle American specimens. Gender, ontogeny, and geographic effects were examined for each character. In this species, females are larger than males and have more ventral and dorsal rows, and can be distinguished by some landmark variables. Males have a higher number of subcaudals and usually are more heavily pigmented in the supralabial region. Age does not affect scutellation, although it does influence pigmentation patterns. Geographic differences were evident in several traits. The seven Middle American populations included in these analyses can be clustered in two major groups: those from Mexico and Nuclear Central America and those from Isthmian Central America. Distinction between these groups is possible in terms of univariate statistics and differences are explained in terms of population fragmentation due to the dynamics of rainforest during Quaternary or by isolation by distance among populations within each region. PMID:12298254

Sasa, Mahmood

2002-03-01

5

Is the population of Crotalus durissus (Serpentes, Viperidae) expanding in Brazil?  

PubMed

Crotalus durissus are found from Mexico to northern Argentina in a highly disjunct distribution. According to some studies, this species is prone to occupy areas disturbed by human activities and floods comprise a plausible method of dispersal as inferred for some North American rattlesnakes. Based on the literature, it seems plausible that Crotalus durissus expanded their natural distribution in Brazil due to floods, but only in a few municipalities in Rio de Janeiro State. Data entries of Butantan Institute, in São Paulo, Brazil, from 1998 to 2012 show a declining tendency of snakes brought by donors. In addition, research shows no evidence of Crotalus durissus being an expanding species in the Brazilian territory. PMID:24314146

Duarte, Marcelo Ribeiro; Menezes, Frederico Alcântara

2013-01-01

6

Electrophoretic characterisation of the venom samples obtained from various Anatolian snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae, Viperidae, Elapidae)  

Microsoft Academic Search

The venoms extracted from a colubrid snake (Malpolon monspessulanus (Hermann)), seven viperids (Montivipera xanthina (Gray), Montivipera wagneri Nilson &Andrén, Vipera ammodytes (Linnaeus), Vipera kaznakovi (Nikolsky), Vipera eriwanensis (Bonaparte), Vipera barani Böhme & Joger, Macrovipera lebetina (Linnaeus)) and an elapid snake (Walterinnesia aegyptia (Lataste)) collected from various regions of Anatolia were compared using polyacrylamide gel disc electrophoresis and densitometry analysis methods.

Hüseyin ARIKAN; Bayram GÖÇMEN; Yusuf KUMLUTA?; Çetin ILGAZ; Mehmet-Zülfü YILDIZ

7

Is the population of Crotalus durissus (Serpentes, Viperidae) expanding in Brazil?  

PubMed Central

Crotalus durissus are found from Mexico to northern Argentina in a highly disjunct distribution. According to some studies, this species is prone to occupy areas disturbed by human activities and floods comprise a plausible method of dispersal as inferred for some North American rattlesnakes. Based on the literature, it seems plausible that Crotalus durissus expanded their natural distribution in Brazil due to floods, but only in a few municipalities in Rio de Janeiro State. Data entries of Butantan Institute, in São Paulo, Brazil, from 1998 to 2012 show a declining tendency of snakes brought by donors. In addition, research shows no evidence of Crotalus durissus being an expanding species in the Brazilian territory.

2013-01-01

8

[Neutralization of the hemorrhagic effect induced by Bothrops asper (Serpentes: Viperidae) venom with tropical plant extracts].  

PubMed

Organic extracts representing 48 species included in 30 families of Costa Rican tropical plants were evaluated for their ability to neutralize hemorrhagic activity induced by the venom of the snake Bothrops asper. A bioassay in mice was used, based on intradermal injection of either venom or venom-extract mixtures followed by the measurement of hemorrhagic areas. Total inhibition of hemorrhage was observed with the ethanolic, ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts of Bursera simaruba, Clusia torresii, C. palmana, Croton draco, Persea americana, Phoebe brenesii, Pimenta dioica, Sapindus saponaria, Smilax cuculmeca and Virola koschnyi. Chemical analysis of these extracts identified catequines, flavones, anthocyanines and condensated tannins, which may be responsible for the inhibitory effect observed, probably owing to the chelation of the zinc required for the catalytic activity of venom's hemorrhagic metalloproteinases. PMID:10883329

Castro, O; Gutiérrez, J M; Barrios, M; Castro, I; Romero, M; Umaña, E

1999-09-01

9

Discovery of a Novel Accessory Structure of the Pitviper Infrared Receptor Organ (Serpentes: Viperidae)  

PubMed Central

The facial pits of rattlesnakes, copperheads, lanceheads, bushmasters and other American and Asian pitvipers (Crotalinae) are highly innervated and densely vascularized infrared (IR) receptor organs. For over a century, studies have focused on a small sample of model species from North America and Asia. Based on an expanded survey of Central and South American crotalines, we report a conspicuous accessory structure composed of well-defined papillae that project from the anterior orbital adnexa. The papillae are continuous with the inner chamber of the IR receptor organ and our histological and ultrastructural data suggest that they possess a well-developed nervous network and extensive vascularization; however, they lack the characteristic IR-sensitive terminal nerve masses found in the IR-receptive pit membrane. The function of the IR receptor organ papillae is unknown.

Bolivar-G, Wilmar; Antoniazzi, Marta M.; Grant, Taran; Jared, Carlos

2014-01-01

10

The Rectangle Attack - Rectangling the Serpent  

Microsoft Academic Search

Serpent is one of the 5 AES flnalists. The best attack pub- lished so far analyzes up to 9 rounds. In this paper we present attacks on 7-round, 8-round, and 10-round variants of Serpent. We attack a 7- round variant with all key lengths, and 8- and 10-round variants with 256-bit keys. The 10-round attack on the 256-bit keys variants

Eli Biham; Orr Dunkelman; Nathan Keller

2001-01-01

11

Hepatozoon species (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae) of the corn snake, Elaphe guttata (Serpentes: Colubridae) and the pigmy rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliarius barbouri (Serpentes: Viperidae) in south Florida.  

PubMed

Hepatozoon guttata n. sp. is described from the corn snake (Elaphe guttata guttata) from south Florida. Gamonts average 14.6 x 4.6 (13-17 x 3.5-6) and are not recurved, with nucleus situated in the second quarter of the gamont. Erythrocyte cytoplasm rarely appears partially dehemoglobinized. The infected cells are usually distorted and are longer than the uninfected erythrocytes but do not differ in width; nuclei are smaller in length and width than those of uninfected cells. Sporogony in Aedes aegypti occurs within the head and the thorax but rarely in the abdomen. Oocysts are spherical to usually ovoid, 87.2 x 75.9 (45-155 x 40-152.5) and contain on average 7.1 (2-32) sporocysts. Sporocysts are spherical to ovoid, 34.8 x 31.0 (20-55 x 17.5-47.5), with 45.7 (14-89) sporozoites contained within. The pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri) in south Florida is parasitized by H. sistruri n. sp. Gamonts average 14.1 x 5.6 (12.6-15.8 x 4.7-6.3) in breadth and are not recurved, with the nucleus always situated in the second quarter of the gamont commonly at the midbody. Erythrocyte cytoplasm is not dehemoglobinized. The infected cells are always distorted and similar in length to the uninfected cells but with greater width and enlarged nuclei. Sporogony in A. aegypti occurs within head, thorax, and abdomen. Oocysts are spherical to usually ovoid, 163.6 x 154.7 (92-245 x 82-240) and contain 27.4 (12-42) sporocysts. Sporocysts are round to usually ovoid, 39.7 x 33.5 (25-50 x 20-50), with 45.7 (19-70) sporozoites. PMID:12197130

Telford, Sam R; Butler, J F; Telford, Randy S

2002-08-01

12

The golden lancehead Bothrops insularis (Serpentes: Viperidae) relies on two seasonally plentiful bird species visiting its island habitat  

Microsoft Academic Search

Adult individuals of the island pitviper Bothrops insularis have a diet based on birds. We analysed bird species recorded in the gut of this snake and found that it relies on two out of 41 bird species recorded on the island. When present, these two prey species were among the most abundant passerine birds on the island. A few other

Otavio A. V. Marques; Marcio Martins; Pedro F. Develey; Arthur Macarrão; Ivan Sazima

2012-01-01

13

Burnup calculation methodology in the serpent 2 Monte Carlo code  

SciTech Connect

This paper presents two topics related to the burnup calculation capabilities in the Serpent 2 Monte Carlo code: advanced time-integration methods and improved memory management, accomplished by the use of different optimization modes. The development of the introduced methods is an important part of re-writing the Serpent source code, carried out for the purpose of extending the burnup calculation capabilities from 2D assembly-level calculations to large 3D reactor-scale problems. The progress is demonstrated by repeating a PWR test case, originally carried out in 2009 for the validation of the newly-implemented burnup calculation routines in Serpent 1. (authors)

Leppaenen, J. [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O.Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland); Isotalo, A. [Aalto Univ., Dept. of Applied Physics, P.O.Box 14100, FI-00076 AALTO (Finland)

2012-07-01

14

Bothrops jararaca fibrinogen and its resistance to hydrolysis evoked by snake venoms.  

PubMed

Fibrinogen is an essential protein involved in several steps of hemostasis, being associated with the final steps of the blood coagulation mechanism. Herein, we describe the purification and characterization of a reptile fibrinogen, obtained from Bothrops jararaca plasma. Native B. jararaca fibrinogen showed a molecular mass of 372 kDa, and the reduced and alkylated fibrinogen molecule showed three chains of 71, 60 and 55 kDa, which are similar to the molecular masses of human and bovine Aalpha, Bbeta and gamma fibrinogen chains. Remarkably, B. jararaca fibrinogen was clotted by bovine thrombin, but B. jararaca, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Lachesis muta rhombeata venoms could not induce its clotting or hydrolysis. Thus, despite the similarities between B. jararaca and mammalian fibrinogens, the former shows distinctive features, which protect B. jararaca snakes from accidental envenomation. PMID:18805500

Vieira, Carolina O; Tanaka, Aparecida S; Sano-Martins, Ida S; Morais, Karen B; Santoro, Marcelo L; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita M

2008-12-01

15

Richard Owen and the sea-serpent.  

PubMed

The well known naturalist, Richard Owen, had a career long engagement with monstrous creatures. In the 1830s he famously christened large fossil reptiles, Dinosauria. He investigated fossil marine reptiles as well as the giant moa. He also looked into the sea-serpents and sea monsters then drawing wide public attention. He actively collected letters and analyzed correspondence on the topic, consulted with the admiralty on reports of Royal Navy encounters and sightings, and commented in the public press. He concluded that such reports were based upon misidentifications of whales and other large marine mammals, and not run-ins with mythological creatures. His work on the sea-serpent shows that rather than discount the idea out of hand, a number of high profile naturalists were intrigued by monsters and attempted to understand what they were. His work is key to understanding the skepticism over monsters held by modern mainstream science. This skepticism opened the field to later amateur investigators. PMID:22305471

Regal, Brian

2012-06-01

16

SERPent: Scripted E-merlin Rfi-mitigation PipelinE for iNTerferometry  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

SERPent is an automated reduction and RFI-mitigation procedure that uses the SumThreshold methodology. It was originally developed for the LOFAR pipeline. SERPent is written in Parseltongue, enabling interaction with the Astronomical Image Processing Software (AIPS) program. Moreover, SERPent is a simple "out of the box" Python script, which is easy to set up and is free of compilers.

Peck, Luke W.; Fenech, Danielle M.

2013-12-01

17

Comparative analysis of newborn and adult Bothrops jararaca snake venoms.  

PubMed

Different clinical manifestations have been reported to occur in patients bitten by newborn and adult Bothrops jararaca snakes. Herein, we studied the chemical composition and biological activities of B. jararaca venoms and their immunoneutralization by commercial antivenin at these ontogenetic stages. Important differences in protein profiles were noticed both in SDS-PAGE and two-dimensional electrophoresis. Newborn venom showed lower proteolytic activity on collagen and fibrinogen, diminished hemorrhagic activity in mouse skin and hind paws, and lower edematogenic, ADPase and 5'-nucleotidase activities. However, newborn snake venom showed higher l-amino oxidase, hyaluronidase, platelet aggregating, procoagulant and protein C activating activities. The adult venom is more lethal to mice than the newborn venom. In vitro and in vivo immunoneutralization tests showed that commercial Bothrops sp antivenin is less effective at neutralizing newborn venoms. These findings indicate remarkable differences in biological activities of B. jararaca venom over its development. We suggest that not only venom from adult specimens, but also from specimens at other ontogenetic stages should be included in the venom pool used for raising antibodies. Thus, Bothrops antivenin can efficaciously neutralize proteins lacking in the adult venom pool, especially those that promote more intense hemostatic disturbances in victims of newborn snakes. PMID:20816886

Antunes, Thatiane C; Yamashita, Karine M; Barbaro, Katia C; Saiki, Mitiko; Santoro, Marcelo L

2010-12-01

18

Bothrops jararaca venom proteome rearrangement upon neonate to adult transition.  

PubMed

The pharmacological activities displayed by Bothrops jararaca venom undergo a significant ontogenetic shift. Similarly, the diet of this species changes from ectothermic prey in early life to endothermic prey in adulthood. In this study we used large and representative newborn and adult venom samples consisting of pools from 694 and 110 specimens, respectively, and demonstrate a significant ontogenetic shift in the venom proteome complexity of B. jararaca. 2-DE coupled to MS protein identification showed a clear rearrangement of the toxin arsenal both in terms of the total proteome, as of the glycoproteome. N-glycosylation seems to play a key role in venom protein variability between newborn and adult specimens. Upon the snake development, the subproteome of metalloproteinases undergoes a shift from a P-III-rich to a P-I-rich profile while the serine proteinase profile does not vary significantly. We also used isobaric tag labeling (iTRAQ) of venom tryptic peptides for the first time to examine the quantitative changes in the venom toxins of B. jararaca upon neonate to adult transition. The iTRAQ analysis showed changes in various toxin classes, especially the proteinases. Our study expands the in-depth understanding of venom complexity variation particularly with regard to toxin families that have been associated with envenomation pathogenesis. PMID:21928397

Zelanis, André; Tashima, Alexandre K; Pinto, Antônio F M; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Stuginski, Daniel R; Furtado, Maria F; Sherman, Nicholas E; Ho, Paulo L; Fox, Jay W; Serrano, Solange M T

2011-11-01

19

Bothrops jararaca antithrombin: isolation, characterization and comparison with other animal antithrombins.  

PubMed

Antithrombin was purified from Bothrops jararaca plasma by affinity chromatography using HiTrap Heparin HP column, and its molecular weight, amino-terminal sequence, carbohydrate content, isoelectric point, inhibition of bovine thrombin, and immunological properties were studied and compared with previously described antithrombins. B. jararaca antithrombin is a single-chain glycoprotein with a total carbohydrate content of 18%. The molecular weight from SDS-PAGE was 61 kDa and the inhibitor exhibited an acidic isoelectric point (4.5). The amino-terminal sequence has been determined as His-Glu-Ser-Ser-Val-Gln-Asp-Ile-Ile-Thr, which is highly homologous to the terminal sequences of other animal antithrombins, indicating high amino acid conservation among several animals. Immunological cross-reactivity was observed among fish, frog, chicken, human, non-venomous snake and B. jararaca antithrombins. B. jararaca antithrombin showed inhibitory activity upon human and B. jararaca coagulation and amidolytic substrate S-2238. PMID:19049827

de Morais, Karen Batista; Vieira, Carolina Okamoto; Hirata, Isaura Yoshico; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

2009-02-01

20

Isolation of Bothrops jararaca snake antithrombin from the supernatant of fibrinogen purification.  

PubMed

A novel method of antithrombin (AT) purification from Bothrops jararaca snake plasma was developed to obtain this protein using a waste supernatant from B. jararaca fibrinogen purification. The AT purification was achieved by affinity chromatography on HiTrap Heparin HP. The results showed an efficient purification process yielding pure AT (purity 65-fold and specific activity 368.91). In conclusion, we showed a feasible purification method of AT from B. jararaca plasma using a discarded material. This feature is important, considering the limitation of material, such as snake plasma, and could also be useful to obtain pure plasma proteins from other animals, including human plasma. PMID:19949696

Morais-Zani, K; Tanaka, A S; Tanaka-Azevedo, A M

2009-12-01

21

Interaction of Bothrops jararaca venom metalloproteinases with protein inhibitors.  

PubMed

Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) play important roles in the local and systemic hemorrhage observed upon envenomation. In a previous study on the structural elements important for the activities of HF3 (highly hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP), bothropasin (hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP) and BJ-PI (non-hemorrhagic, P-I-SVMP), from Bothrops jararaca, it was demonstrated that they differ in their proteolysis profile of plasma and extracellular matrix proteins. In this study, we evaluated the ability of proteins DM43 and ?2-macroglobulin to interfere with the proteolytic activity of these SVMPs on fibrinogen and collagen VI and with their ability to induce hemorrhage. DM43 inhibited the proteolytic activity of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not that of HF3, and was not cleaved the three proteinases. On the other hand, ?2-macroglobulin did not inhibit any of the proteinases and was rather cleaved by them. In agreement with these findings, binding analysis showed interaction of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not HF3 to DM43 while none of the proteinases bound to ?2-macroglobulin. Moreover, DM43 promoted partial inhibition of the hemorrhagic activity of bothropasin but not that of HF3. Our results demonstrate that metalloproteinases of B. jararaca venom showing different domain composition, glycosylation level and hemorrhagic potency show variable susceptibilities to protein inhibitors. PMID:24433992

Asega, Amanda F; Oliveira, Ana K; Menezes, Milene C; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Serrano, Solange M T

2014-03-01

22

Hypericum brasiliense plant extract neutralizes some biological effects of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.  

PubMed

Alternative treatments for snake bite are currently being extensively studied, and plant metabolites are considered good candidates for such purpose. Here, the ability of a crude ethanolic extract of Hypericum brasiliense plant in neutralizing Bothrops jararaca snake venom was investigated by in vitro (coagulation, hemolysis or proteolysis) and in vivo (hemorrhage, lethality and edema) biological assays. We describe for the first time the ability of H. brasiliense extracts to inhibit some pharmacological effects of a Brazilian snake venom. Inhibitory assays were performed by incubating B. jararaca venom with H. brasiliense extracts for 30min at room temperature before the assays were performed. The results showed that H. brasiliense extracts impaired lethality, edema, hemorrhage, hemolysis, proteolysis as well as fibrinogen or plasma clotting induced by B. jararaca venom. This indicates that H. brasiliense extracts can provide promising agents to treat B. jararaca envenomation. PMID:21654896

Assafim, Mariane; de Coriolano, Eduardo Coriolano; Benedito, Sérgio Eufrázio; Fernandes, Caio Pinho; Lobo, Jonathas Felipe Revoredo; Sanchez, Eladio Florez; Rocha, Leandro Machado; Fuly, André Lopes

2011-01-01

23

Hypericum brasiliense plant extract neutralizes some biological effects of Bothrops jararaca snake venom  

PubMed Central

Alternative treatments for snake bite are currently being extensively studied, and plant metabolites are considered good candidates for such purpose. Here, the ability of a crude ethanolic extract of Hypericum brasiliense plant in neutralizing Bothrops jararaca snake venom was investigated by in vitro (coagulation, hemolysis or proteolysis) and in vivo (hemorrhage, lethality and edema) biological assays. We describe for the first time the ability of H. brasiliense extracts to inhibit some pharmacological effects of a Brazilian snake venom. Inhibitory assays were performed by incubating B. jararaca venom with H. brasiliense extracts for 30min at room temperature before the assays were performed. The results showed that H. brasiliense extracts impaired lethality, edema, hemorrhage, hemolysis, proteolysis as well as fibrinogen or plasma clotting induced by B. jararaca venom. This indicates that H. brasiliense extracts can provide promising agents to treat B. jararaca envenomation.

Assafim, Mariane; de Coriolano, Eduardo Coriolano; Benedito, Sergio Eufrazio; Fernandes, Caio Pinho; Lobo, Jonathas Felipe Revoredo; Sanchez, Eladio Florez; Rocha, Leandro Machado; Fuly, Andre Lopes

2011-01-01

24

Vitellogenin and yolk protein processing in Bothrops jararaca (Wied), a tropical venomous snake  

Microsoft Academic Search

The plasma vitellogenin of Bothrops jararaca is composed of two subunits. The larger subunit (160 kDa) is phosphate rich and carbohydrate poor, while the smaller (110 kDa) is highly glycosylated and less phosphorylated. As in other vertebrates, the vitellogenin of B. jararaca is synthesized in the liver under estrogen control. The newly synthesized vitellogenin molecule is a 270 kDa polypeptide.

Thélia R. F. Janeiro-Cinquini; Paulo E. M. Ribolla; Margarethde L. Capurro; Carlos E. Winter

1999-01-01

25

Lachesis muta (Viperidae) cDNAs Reveal Diverging Pit Viper Molecules and Scaffolds Typical of Cobra (Elapidae) Venoms: Implications for Snake Toxin Repertoire Evolution  

Microsoft Academic Search

Efforts to describe toxins from the two major families of venomous snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae) usually reveal proteins belonging to few structural types, particular of each family. Here we carried on an effort to determine uncommon cDNAs that represent possible new toxins from Lachesis muta (Viperidae). In addition to nine classes of typical toxins, atypical molecules never observed in the

Inácio L. M. Junqueira-de-Azevedo; Ana T. C. Ching; Eneas Carvalho; Fernanda Faria; Milton Y. Nishiyama Jr; Paulo L. Ho; Marcelo R. V. Diniz

2006-01-01

26

Jararhagin, a hemorrhagic snake venom metalloproteinase from Bothrops jararaca.  

PubMed

Jararhagin is a metalloproteinase isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, which has been extensively studied. These studies showed its involvement on most of the systemic and local damaging effects of snakebite envenomings. In this review we comment on the major targets of jararhagin as the vascular endothelium, platelets and coagulation factors and also its action on other cell systems as inflammatory cells and their mediators, cancer and cell signaling. The mechanisms of jararhagin action are discussed together with structural features essential for the expression of its biological activities. The studies reviewed here denote jararhagin as a prototype for studies of snake venom metalloproteinases, bringing new insights into cellular-matrix interactions and adding for the improvement of snakebite treatment. PMID:22534074

Moura-da-Silva, Ana M; Baldo, Cristiani

2012-09-01

27

Ancient scientific basis of the "great serpent" from historical evidence  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Zoological data and a growing mythology contributed to ancient Western knowledge about large serpents. Yet little modern attention has been paid to the sources, transmission, and receipt in the early Middle Ages of the ancients' information concerning "dragons" and "sea serpents." Real animals--primarily pythons and whales--lie behind the ancient stories. Other animals, conflations of different animals, simple misunderstandings, and willful exaggerations are found to account for the fanciful embellishments, but primitive myths played no significant role in this process during classical times. The expedition of Alexander the Great into India (327-325 B.C.) and the Bagradas River incident in North Africa (256 B.C.) had enormous repercussions on the development of serpent lore. Credible evidence is found for the presence of ancient populations of pythons living along the North African coast west of Egypt and along the coast of the Arabian Sea between the Indus River and the Strait of Hormuz--places where they no longer exist today. The maximum sizes of ancient pythons may have been greater than those of today's specimens.

Stothers, Richard B.

2004-01-01

28

Ancient scientific basis of the "great serpent" from historical evidence.  

PubMed

Zoological data and a growing mythology contributed to ancient Western knowledge about large serpents. Yet little modern attention has been paid to the sources, transmission, and receipt in the early Middle Ages of the ancients' information concerning "dragons" and "sea serpents." Real animals--primarily pythons and whales--lie behind the ancient stories. Other animals, conflations of different animals, simple misunderstandings, and willful exaggerations are found to account for the fanciful embellishments, but primitive myths played no significant role in this process during classical times. The expedition of Alexander the Great into India (327-325 B.C.) and the Bagradas River incident in North Africa (256 B.C.) had enormous repercussions on the development of serpent lore. Credible evidence is found for the presence of ancient populations of pythons living along the North African coast west of Egypt and along the coast of the Arabian Sea between the Indus River and the Strait of Hormuz--places where they no longer exist today. The maximum sizes of ancient pythons may have been greater than those of today's specimens. PMID:15490966

Stothers, Richard B

2004-06-01

29

The mechanics of sound production in the puff adder bitis arietans (Serpentes: viperidae) and the information content of the snake hiss  

PubMed

Puff adders (Bitis arietans), like many other snakes, hiss as part of their defensive repertoire. In B. arietans, the hisses have a clear quadraphasic pattern consisting of an initial exhalatory hiss, a brief transitional pause, an inhalatory hiss and a rest or breath-holding phase. Simultaneous recordings of body diameter, electrical activity in the intrinsic laryngeal musculature, airflow through the nasal passageway and sound production revealed that the anterior respiratory tract plays a passive role in hissing and that the costal pump is responsible for generating the quadraphasic pattern. During hissing, B. arietans uses the same mechanics previously described for normal respiratory ventilation in snakes. Analyses of artificial hisses reveal that the anterior respiratory tract of B. arietans has little ability to modify an exhalant airstream acoustically. The combination of the simple ventilatory mechanics used during hissing and the lack of acoustic modification of the exhalant airstream results in the production of an acoustically simple hiss. Cross-correlation matrix analyses of a variety of snake hisses showed a high degree of acoustic similarity between the sounds, almost approaching the levels determined for white noise. This high level of acoustic similarity reflects the low level of acoustic specialization within the sounds produced by snakes and the low potential for encoded information content. PMID:10441081

Young; Nejman; Meltzer; Marvin

1999-09-01

30

SERPent: Automated reduction and RFI-mitigation software for e-MERLIN  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Scripted E-merlin Rfi-mitigation PipelinE for iNTerferometry (SERPent) is an automated reduction and RFI-mitigation procedure utilising the SumThreshold methodology (Offringa et al., 2010a), originally developed for the LOFAR pipeline. SERPent is written in the Parseltongue language enabling interaction with the Astronomical Image Processing Software (AIPS) program. Moreover, SERPent is a simple 'out of the box' Python script, which is easy to set up and is free of compilers. In addition to the flagging of RFI affected visibilities, the script also flags antenna zero-amplitude dropouts and Lovell telescope phase calibrator stationary scans inherent to the e-MERLIN system.

Peck, Luke W.; Fenech, Danielle M.

2013-08-01

31

Inhibitory effect of the plant Clusia fluminensis against biological activities of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.  

PubMed

The ability of extracts of the plant Clusia fluminensis Planch & Triana (Clusiaceae Lindl.) to neutralize proteolysis, clotting, hemolysis, hemorrhagic and lethality activities of Bothrops jararaca snake venom was studied. Clusianone and lanosterol from the flower and fruit extracts, respectively, were also tested. The extracts of different organs of C. fluminensis inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca venom, but with different potencies. Only the stems prevented blood clotting. Only the acetone extract of the fruit protected mice from hemorrhage while the acetone or methanol extracts prevented mice from death. Clusianone and lanosterol did not inhibit clotting or hemorrhage, but the former inhibited proteolysis and the latter hemolysis. PMID:24660453

de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Anholeti, Maria Carolina; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle; Faioli, Camila Nunes; Sanchez, Eladio Flores; de Paiva, Selma Ribeiro; Fuly, André Lopes

2014-01-01

32

Habitat-mediated shifts and plasticity in the evaporative water loss rates of two congeneric pit vipers (Squamata, Viperidae, Agkistrodon)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Question: Are increased rates of total evaporative water loss (TEWL) associated with evolutionary transitions from terrestrial to aquatic habitats? Do individuals acclimated to wet conditions demonstrate higher TEWL rates than those acclimated to dry conditions? Organisms: Individuals of the snake species Agkistrodon piscivorus (Viperidae; semi-aquatic) and Agkistrodon contortrix (terrestrial) collected from the Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC, USA. Methods: We

Daniel S. Moen; Christopher T. Winne; Robert N. Reed

33

Elucidation of trends within venom components from the snake families Elapidae and Viperidae using gel filtration chromatography  

Microsoft Academic Search

Research into snake venom components has intensified over the last number of decades, particularly that work directed towards the discovery of novel agents with potential applications in clinical therapy. In the present study we report, for the first time, defined patterns observed in the G-50 chromatographic elution profiles from 30 snake venoms taken from Elapidae and Viperidae families, as well

Robert Leslie James Graham; Ciaren Graham; David Theakston; Geoff McMullan; Chris Shaw

2008-01-01

34

The Serpent Monte Carlo Code: Status, Development and Applications in 2013  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Serpent Monte Carlo reactor physics burnup calculation code has been developed at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland since 2004, and is currently used in 100 universities and research organizations around the world. This paper presents the brief history of the project, together with the currently available methods and capabilities and plans for future work. Typical user applications are introduced in the form of a summary review on Serpent-related publications over the past few years.

Leppänen, Jaakko; Pusa, Maria; Viitanen, Tuomas; Valtavirta, Ville; Kaltiaisenaho, Toni

2014-06-01

35

Interpolations of nuclide-specific scattering kernels generated with Serpent  

SciTech Connect

The neutron group-to-group scattering cross section is an essential input parameter for any multi-energy group physics model. However, if the analyst prefers to use Monte Carlo transport to generate group constants this data is difficult to obtain for a single species of a material. Here, the Monte Carlo code Serpent was modified to return the group transfer probabilities on a per-nuclide basis. This ability is demonstrated in conjunction with an essential physics reactor model where cross section perturbations are used to dynamically generate reactor state dependent group constants via interpolation from pre-computed libraries. The modified version of Serpent was therefore verified with three interpolation cases designed to test the resilience of the interpolation scheme to changes in intra-group fluxes. For most species, interpolation resulted in errors of less than 5% of transport-computed values. For important scatterers, such as {sup 1}H, errors less than 2% were observed. For nuclides with high errors ( > 10%), the scattering channel typically only had a small probability of occurring. (authors)

Scopatz, A.; Schneider, E. [Univ. of Texas at Austin, 1 Univ. Station, C2200, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)

2012-07-01

36

Comparative analysis of viperidae venoms antibacterial profile: a short communication for proteomics.  

PubMed

Bacterial infections involving multidrug-resistant strains are one of the ten leading causes of death and an important health problem in need for new antibacterial sources and agents. Herein, we tested and compared four snake venoms (Agkistrodon rhodostoma, Bothrops jararaca, B. atrox and Lachesis muta) against 10 Gram-positive and Gram-negative drug-resistant clinical bacteria strains to identify them as new sources of potential antibacterial molecules. Our data revealed that, as efficient as some antibiotics currently on the market (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 1-32 ?g mL(-1)), A. rhodostoma and B. atrox venoms were active against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Enterococcus faecalis (MIC = 4.5 ?g mL(-1)), while B. jararaca inhibited S. aureus growth (MIC = 13 ?g ml(-1)). As genomic and proteomic technologies are improving and developing rapidly, our results suggested that A. rhodostoma, B. atrox and B. jararaca venoms and glands are feasible sources for searching antimicrobial prototypes for future design new antibiotics against drug-resistant clinical bacteria. They also point to an additional perspective to fully identify the pharmacological potential of these venoms by using different techniques. PMID:18955360

Ferreira, Bruno L; Santos, Dilvani O; Dos Santos, André Luis; Rodrigues, Carlos R; de Freitas, Cícero C; Cabral, Lúcio M; Castro, Helena C

2011-01-01

37

Comparison of SERPENT and CASMO-5M for pressurized water reactors models  

SciTech Connect

The objective of this work is to perform a preliminary assessment of the capability of SERPENT to generate cross sections for a PWR Beginning-of-Life (BOL) isothermal mini-core by comparing a SERPENT/PARCS solution with the results obtained using a CASMO-5M/PARCS approach. The PARCS code is used instead of the usual SIMULATE-3 to analyze the Swiss Reactors, because interfaces with PARCS already exist to obtain neutronic data from SERPENT. For the PWR configurations, the differences between CASMO-5M and SERPENT solutions are within 200 pcm at the assembly level and thus rather small when considering the deterministic transport method (energy/angular/space discretization) in CASMO-5M versus the stochastic treatment of SERPENT, the statistical uncertainties in the Monte-Carlo approach as well as the eventual differences in nuclear data used by both codes. At the 2D mini-core level, no major difference is observed when comparing PARCS run with CASMO-5M versus SERPENT cross sections. For the generation of kinetic parameters, non trivial differences are observed due both to the methods and the data used. For the relatively limited number of configurations considered, it is hard to make any definitive statement on the benefits of using Monte Carlo codes in terms of nuclear data generation. (authors)

Hursin, M.; Vasiliev, A.; Ferroukhi, H.; Pautz, A. [Paul Scherrer Institut, Nukleare Energie und Sicherheit PSI, Villigen, 5232 (Switzerland)] [Paul Scherrer Institut, Nukleare Energie und Sicherheit PSI, Villigen, 5232 (Switzerland)

2013-07-01

38

Sex-based individual variation of snake venom proteome among eighteen Bothrops jararaca siblings  

Microsoft Academic Search

Variation of venom proteome is relevant to basic research, to management of envenoming, and to studies on the evolution of poisonous snakes. In this study, we explored the venom proteomes of eighteen Bothrops jararaca specimens of a single litter born and raised in laboratory. Using electrophoretic techniques and various protocols for measuring the proteolytic activities of these venoms we have

Milene C. Menezes; Maria F. Furtado; Silvia R. Travaglia-Cardoso; Antonio C. M. Camargo; Solange M. T. Serrano

2006-01-01

39

Behaviour of the ZW sex bivalent in the snake Bothrops jararaca  

Microsoft Academic Search

The behavior of the ZW sex bivalent was investigated in female meiosis of the poisonous snake Bothrops jararaca. The Z is euchromatic and synapses end to end with the W. The W chromosome shows a heterochromatic segment distally in the short arm. Pairing occurs between the long arm of the W and the slightly longer arm of the mediocentric Z.

Maria Luiza Beçak; Willy Beçak

1981-01-01

40

Appraisal of Antiophidic Potential of Marine Sponges against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta Venom  

PubMed Central

Snakebites are a health problem in many countries due to the high incidence of such accidents. Antivenom treatment has regularly been used for more than a century, however, this does not neutralize tissue damage and may even increase the severity and morbidity of accidents. Thus, it has been relevant to search for new strategies to improve antiserum therapy, and a variety of molecules from natural sources with antiophidian properties have been reported. In this paper, we analyzed the ability of ten extracts from marine sponges (Amphimedon viridis, Aplysina fulva, Chondrosia collectrix, Desmapsamma anchorata, Dysidea etheria, Hymeniacidon heliophila, Mycale angulosa, Petromica citrina, Polymastia janeirensis, and Tedania ignis) to inhibit the effects caused by Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta venom. All sponge extracts inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by both snake venoms, except H. heliophila, which failed to inhibit any biological activity. P. citrina inhibited lethality, hemorrhage, plasma clotting, and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca or L. muta. Moreover, other sponges inhibited hemorrhage induced only by B. jararaca. We conclude that Brazilian sponges may be a useful aid in the treatment of snakebites caused by L. muta and B. jararaca and therefore have potential for the discovery of molecules with antiophidian properties.

Faioli, Camila Nunes; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle Souza; de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Sanchez, Eladio Flores; Ribeiro, Suzi; Muricy, Guilherme; Fuly, Andre Lopes

2013-01-01

41

Appraisal of antiophidic potential of marine sponges against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta venom.  

PubMed

Snakebites are a health problem in many countries due to the high incidence of such accidents. Antivenom treatment has regularly been used for more than a century, however, this does not neutralize tissue damage and may even increase the severity and morbidity of accidents. Thus, it has been relevant to search for new strategies to improve antiserum therapy, and a variety of molecules from natural sources with antiophidian properties have been reported. In this paper, we analyzed the ability of ten extracts from marine sponges (Amphimedon viridis, Aplysina fulva, Chondrosia collectrix, Desmapsamma anchorata, Dysidea etheria, Hymeniacidon heliophila, Mycale angulosa, Petromica citrina, Polymastia janeirensis, and Tedania ignis) to inhibit the effects caused by Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta venom. All sponge extracts inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by both snake venoms, except H. heliophila, which failed to inhibit any biological activity. P. citrina inhibited lethality, hemorrhage, plasma clotting, and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca or L. muta. Moreover, other sponges inhibited hemorrhage induced only by B. jararaca. We conclude that Brazilian sponges may be a useful aid in the treatment of snakebites caused by L. muta and B. jararaca and therefore have potential for the discovery of molecules with antiophidian properties. PMID:24141284

Faioli, Camila Nunes; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle Souza; de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Sanchez, Eládio Flores; Ribeiro, Suzi; Muricy, Guilherme; Fuly, Andre Lopes

2013-10-01

42

N-glycome profiling of Bothrops jararaca newborn and adult venoms.  

PubMed

Glycosylation is an important post-translational modification of snake venom proteins and contributes to venom proteome complexity. Many snake venom components are known to be glycosylated, however, very little is known about the carbohydrate structures present in venom glycoproteins. Previous studies showed that the ontogenetic shift in diet, from ectothermic prey in early life to endothermic prey in adulthood, and shift in animal size are associated with changes in the venom proteome of the snake Bothrops jararaca. In this study we explored the composition of the N-glycome released from newborn and adult B. jararaca venom proteins. We used an ion trap mass spectrometer (IT-MS) to disassemble glycan structures based on the use of several pathways of MS (MSn) and demonstrate the presence of some structural isomers in both newborn and adult venom B. jararaca N-glycans. The main N-glycans identified in both venoms are of the hybrid/complex type however some mannose-rich type structures were also detected. The N-glycan composition of newborn and adult venoms did not vary indicating that differences in the utilization of the N-glycosylation motif could be the explanation for the differences in the glycosylation levels indicated by the differential electrophoretic profiles previously reported for B. jararaca newborn and adult venoms. PMID:21989267

Zelanis, André; Serrano, Solange M T; Reinhold, Vernon N

2012-01-01

43

Predictors of Bothrops jararaca venom allergy in snake handlers and snake venom handlers  

Microsoft Academic Search

Since allergic sensitization to snake venom has been reported, anaphylactic reactions to snake venom might be an underestimated factor contributing to fatal snakebites, independently from the toxicity of the venom itself. However, little information is available on the determinants of such reaction. Hence, we studied a group of workers exposed to Bothrops jararaca venom (BJV), in order to clarify the

Carlos R. de Medeiros; Kátia C. Barbaro; Marcela S. Lira; Francisco O. S. França; Vera L. Zaher; Cristina M. Kokron; Jorge Kalil; Fábio F. M. Castro

2008-01-01

44

Counteracting effect of glycyrrhizin on the hemostatic abnormalities induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom  

PubMed Central

Envenomation by the snake Bothrops jararaca is typically associated with hemostatic abnormalities including pro- and anticoagulant disturbances. Glycyrrhizin (GL) is a plant-derived thrombin inhibitor that also exhibits in vivo antithrombotic properties. Here, we evaluated the ability of GL to counteract the hemostatic abnormalities promoted by B. jararaca venom. GL inhibited the human fibrinogen clotting (IC50=?1.0?mg?ml?1; 1.2?mM), H-D-phenylalanyl-L-pipecolyl-L-arginine-p-nitroanilide dihydrochloride hydrolysis (IC50=?0.4?mg?ml?1; 0.47?mM) and platelet aggregation (IC50=?0.28?mg?ml?1; 0.33?mM) induced by B. jararaca venom, in vitro. The in vivo effect of GL was tested in rats using a model of venous thrombosis in which intravenous (i.v.) administration of B. jararaca venom (100??g?kg?1) produced in all animals a thrombus with a mean weight of 10.6±1.7?mg. Prior administration of GL (180?mg?kg?1) or antibothropic serum (27??l?kg?1) inhibited thrombus formation by 86 and 67%, respectively. Remarkably, co-administration of ineffective doses of GL and antibothropic serum markedly decreased thrombus weight, suggesting a synergistic effect. Co-administration of GL with antibothropic serum abolished venom-induced bleeding. Ex vivo clotting times showed that rat plasma was non-clotting after i.v. administration of B. jararaca venom. Treatment with GL, antibothropic serum or both before venom administration efficiently prevented this abnormality. Altogether, we demonstrate here that GL prevents both in vitro and in vivo venom-induced changes in hemostasis, suggesting a potential antiophidic activity.

Assafim, Mariane; Ferreira, Marcos S; Frattani, Flavia S; Guimaraes, Jorge A; Monteiro, Robson Q; Zingali, Russolina B

2006-01-01

45

Effects of three vasoactive peptides isolated from the plasma of the snake Bothrops jararaca.  

PubMed

Incubation of plasma from the snake Bothrops jararaca (BJP) with trypsin generated two hypotensive peptides. The primary structure of the peptides was established for three sequences as: Asn-Pro-Phe-Val-Asp-Ala (fraction 13), Ser-Lys-Pro-Asn-Met-Ser-Asp-Glu-Ser-Leu-Ala-Val-Ala-Ile (fraction 14), Asn-Pro-Phe- Val-Asp-Ala (fraction 15). These peptides display homology with fragments of albumin from Trimeresurus flavoviridis. A bolus intra-arterial injection of the purified or the synthetic peptide produced a strong and sustained vasopressor response in the anaesthetized snake B. jararaca and Wistar rats; this hypotensive effect was also potentiated by captopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (0.1 mg/kg). The natural concentrations of these peptides in plasma need to be determined and could play a physiological role in snake blood pressure regulation. PMID:19358335

Barreto, S A; Chaguri, L C A G; Prezoto, B C; Lebrun, I

2009-05-01

46

Pharmacologic and Molecular Characterization of the Vascular ETA Receptor in the Venomous Snake Bothrops jararaca  

Microsoft Academic Search

Endothelins (ETs) and sarafotoxins (SRTXs) are active isopep- tides that have very similar structures and functions. All isoforms interact with two specific G-protein-coupled receptors, ETA and ETB. To characterize functional vascular ET receptors in the poisonous snake, Bothrops jararaca, cumulative concen- tration-response curves to ETs and SRTXs were performed in isolated aortic rings, in the absence and presence of selective

ROSA A. M. B. BORGHERESI; JANINE M. G. LEROY; ALVARO YOGI; ROSANGELA A. DOSSANTOS; MARIA C. BRENO; RITA C. TOSTES

2006-01-01

47

Hypothalamic activity during altered salt and water balance in the snake Bothrops jararaca  

Microsoft Academic Search

The effects of water and salt overload on the activities of the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei and the adjacent periventricular\\u000a zone of the hypothalamus of the snake Bothrops jararaca were investigated by measurements of Fos-like immunoreactivity (Fos-ir). Both water and salt overload resulted in changes\\u000a in body mass, plasma osmolality, and plasma concentrations of sodium, potassium, and chloride. Hyper-osmolality increased

Leonardo Zambotti-Villela; Camila Eduardo Marinho; Rafaela Fadoni Alponti; Paulo Flavio Silveira

2008-01-01

48

A Transcriptomic View of the Proteome Variability of Newborn and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snake Venoms  

PubMed Central

Background Snake bite is a neglected public health problem in communities in rural areas of several countries. Bothrops jararaca causes many snake bites in Brazil and previous studies have demonstrated that the pharmacological activities displayed by its venom undergo a significant ontogenetic shift. Similarly, the venom proteome of B. jararaca exhibits a considerable variation upon neonate to adult transition, which is associated with changes in diet from ectothermic prey in early life to endothermic prey in adulthood. Moreover, it has been shown that the Brazilian commercial antibothropic antivenom, which is produced by immunization with adult venom, is less effective in neutralizing newborn venom effects. On the other hand, venom gland transcripts of newborn snakes are poorly known since all transcriptomic studies have been carried out using mRNA from adult specimens. Methods/Principal Findings Here we analyzed venom gland cDNA libraries of newborn and adult B. jararaca in order to evaluate whether the variability demonstrated for its venom proteome and pharmacological activities was correlated with differences in the structure of toxin transcripts. The analysis revealed that the variability in B. jararaca venom gland transcriptomes is quantitative, as illustrated by the very high content of metalloproteinases in the newborn venom glands. Moreover, the variability is also characterized by the structural diversity of SVMP precursors found in newborn and adult transcriptomes. In the adult transcriptome, however, the content of metalloproteinase precursors considerably diminishes and the number of transcripts of serine proteinases, C-type lectins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides increase. Moreover, the comparison of the content of ESTs encoding toxins in adult male and female venom glands showed some gender-related differences. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate a substantial shift in toxin transcripts upon snake development and a marked decrease in the metalloproteinase P-III/P-I class ratio which are correlated with changes in the venom proteome complexity and pharmacological activities.

Zelanis, Andre; Andrade-Silva, Debora; Rocha, Marisa M.; Furtado, Maria F.; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inacio L. M.; Ho, Paulo Lee

2012-01-01

49

Leukocyte response induced by Bothrops jararaca crude venom: In vivo and in vitro studies  

Microsoft Academic Search

The effect of Bothrops jararaca crude venom (BjV) on the cellular component of inflammatory responses was investigated in vivo and in vitro. In vivo leukocyte accumulation and release of eicosanoids (thromboxane A2, TXA2, and leukotriene B4, LTB4) at the site of injection of the venom were assessed using the air pouch method in rats. Administration of BjV caused a significant

Sandra H. P. Farsky; José Walber; M. Costa-Cruz; Yara Curry; Catarina F. P. Teixeira

1997-01-01

50

Proteomic Analysis of the Ontogenetic Variability in Plasma Composition of Juvenile and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snakes.  

PubMed

The ontogenetic variability in venom composition of some snake genera, including Bothrops, as well as the biological implications of such variability and the search of new molecules that can neutralize the toxic components of these venoms have been the subject of many studies. Thus, considering the resistance of Bothrops jararaca to the toxic action of its own venom and the ontogenetic variability in venom composition described in this species, a comparative study of the plasma composition of juvenile and adult B. jararaca snakes was performed through a proteomic approach based on 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, which allowed the identification of proteins that might be present at different levels during ontogenetic development. Among the proteins identified by mass spectrometry, antihemorrhagic factor Bj46a was found only in adult plasma. Moreover, two spots identified as phospholipase A2 inhibitors were significantly increased in juvenile plasma, which can be related to the higher catalytic PLA2 activity shown by juvenile venom in comparison to that of adult snakes. This work shows the ontogenetic variability of B. jararaca plasma, and that these changes can be related to the ontogenetic variability described in its venom. PMID:24062950

de Morais-Zani, Karen; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Tanaka, Aparecida Sadae; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

2013-01-01

51

Proteomic Analysis of the Ontogenetic Variability in Plasma Composition of Juvenile and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snakes  

PubMed Central

The ontogenetic variability in venom composition of some snake genera, including Bothrops, as well as the biological implications of such variability and the search of new molecules that can neutralize the toxic components of these venoms have been the subject of many studies. Thus, considering the resistance of Bothrops jararaca to the toxic action of its own venom and the ontogenetic variability in venom composition described in this species, a comparative study of the plasma composition of juvenile and adult B. jararaca snakes was performed through a proteomic approach based on 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, which allowed the identification of proteins that might be present at different levels during ontogenetic development. Among the proteins identified by mass spectrometry, antihemorrhagic factor Bj46a was found only in adult plasma. Moreover, two spots identified as phospholipase A2 inhibitors were significantly increased in juvenile plasma, which can be related to the higher catalytic PLA2 activity shown by juvenile venom in comparison to that of adult snakes. This work shows the ontogenetic variability of B. jararaca plasma, and that these changes can be related to the ontogenetic variability described in its venom.

de Morais-Zani, Karen; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Tanaka, Aparecida Sadae; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

2013-01-01

52

Depletion of plasma albumin for proteomic analysis of Bothrops jararaca snake plasma.  

PubMed

The proteomic analysis of plasma samples represents a challenge as a result of the presence of highly abundant proteins such as albumin. To enable the detection of biomarkers, which are commonly low-abundance proteins, in complex blood fluids, it is necessary to remove high-abundance proteins efficiently. Moreover, there is a range of about 10 orders of magnitude for the abundance of different protein species in serum. Here, we describe for the first time a study of reptilian albumin depletion using resins usually used in mammalian plasma depletion procedures. We performed the depletion of albumin from Bothrops jaraca plasma using the HiTrap Blue high-performance column (GE Healthcare Life Sciences, Piscataway, NJ, USA) and the kit Albumin & IgG Depletion SpinTrap column (GE Healthcare Life Sciences). In addition, proteomic approaches were used to analyze reptilian plasma. Our results showed that B. jararaca albumin bound to both columns, but those interactions were not enough to remove a large amount of albumin to reach an enrichment of low-abundance proteins. Although the depletion techniques used in this work were not the best to remove B. jararaca plasma albumin, our present work highlights the similarity between B. jararaca and mammalian albumin, contributing to the knowledge of comparative hemostatic proteins. PMID:21738439

de Morais-Zani, Karen; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Tanaka, Aparecida Sadae; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

2011-07-01

53

Morphological study of accessory gland of Bothrops jararaca and its secretory cycle.  

PubMed

The venom gland apparatus of Bothrops jararaca is composed of four distinct parts: main venom gland, primary duct, accessory gland and secondary duct. Despite the numerous studies concerning morphology and venom production and secretion in the main venom gland, there are few studies about the accessory gland and its secretion. We characterized the accessory gland of B. jararaca snake and determined the secretion cycle by morphological analysis using light and transmission electron microscopy. Our data showed that the accessory gland of B. jararaca has a simple secretory epithelium with at least six types of cells in the anterior region: two types of secretory cells, mitochondria-rich cells without secretory vesicles, horizontal cells, dark cells and basal cells, and in the posterior region a simple epithelium with two types of cells: seromucous cells and horizontal cells. Furthermore, the mucous secretory cells of the accessory gland show a delayed and massive exocytosis that occurs four days after the extraction of venom. Morphological analysis at different steps after venom extraction showed that the accessory gland has a long cycle of production and secretion, which is not synchronous with the main venom gland secretory cycle. PMID:22227156

Sakai, Fernanda; Carneiro, Sylvia M; Yamanouye, Norma

2012-03-01

54

Individual variability in the venom proteome of juvenile Bothrops jararaca specimens.  

PubMed

Snake venom proteomes/peptidomes are highly complex and subject to ontogenetic changes. Individual variation in the venom proteome of juvenile snakes is poorly known. We report the proteomic analysis of venoms from 21 juvenile specimens of Bothrops jararaca of different geographical origins and correlate it with the evaluation of important venom features. Individual venoms showed similar caseinolytic activities; however, their amidolytic activities were significantly different. Rather intriguingly, plasma coagulant activity showed remarkable variability among the venoms but not the prothrombin-activating activity. LC-MS analysis showed significant differences between venoms; however, an interesting finding was the ubiquitous presence of the tripeptide ZKW, an endogenous inhibitor of metalloproteinases. Electrophoretic profiles of proteins submitted to reduction showed significant variability in total proteins, glycoproteins, and in the subproteomes of proteinases. Moreover, identification of differential bands revealed variation in most B. jararaca toxin classes. Profiles of venoms analyzed under nonreducing conditions showed less individual variability and identification of proteins in a conserved band revealed the presence of metalloproteinases and l-amino acid oxidase as common components of these venoms. Taken together, our findings suggest that individual venom proteome variability in B. jararaca exists from a very early animal age and is not a result of ontogenetic and diet changes. PMID:23998483

Dias, Gabriela S; Kitano, Eduardo S; Pagotto, Ana H; Sant'anna, Sávio S; Rocha, Marisa M T; Zelanis, André; Serrano, Solange M T

2013-10-01

55

Development of a dynamic simulation mode in Serpent 2 Monte Carlo code  

SciTech Connect

This paper presents a dynamic neutron transport mode, currently being implemented in the Serpent 2 Monte Carlo code for the purpose of simulating short reactivity transients with temperature feedback. The transport routine is introduced and validated by comparison to MCNP5 calculations. The method is also tested in combination with an internal temperature feedback module, which forms the inner part of a multi-physics coupling scheme in Serpent 2. The demo case for the coupled calculation is a reactivity-initiated accident (RIA) in PWR fuel. (authors)

Leppaenen, J. [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland)] [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland)

2013-07-01

56

Pharmacologic and molecular characterization of the vascular ETA receptor in the venomous snake Bothrops jararaca.  

PubMed

Endothelins (ETs) and sarafotoxins (SRTXs) are active isopeptides that have very similar structures and functions. All isoforms interact with two specific G-protein-coupled receptors, ET(A) and ET(B). To characterize functional vascular ET receptors in the poisonous snake, Bothrops jararaca, cumulative concentration-response curves to ETs and SRTXs were performed in isolated aortic rings, in the absence and presence of selective ET receptor antagonists. Vascular expression of ET receptor messenger RNA (mRNA) was evaluated by reverse transcriptase (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, and a fragment of the ET(A) receptor was cloned and sequenced. In vivo, ET-1 induced a dose-dependent biphasic response on anesthetized B. jararaca snakes. In vitro, ET-1, SRTX-b, ET-3, SRTX-c, and IRL-1620 induced concentration-dependent vasoconstriction, with a potency order suggesting the presence of typical ET(A) receptors. BQ-123, a selective ET(A) antagonist, inhibited contractions induced by ET-1 and SRTX-b with expected negative log of the dissociation constant, K(B), (pK(B)) values for mixed ET(A)/ET(B) receptor populations. The nonselective ET(A)/ET(B) receptors antagonist, PD-142893, produced similar inhibition. The ET(B) antagonist, IRL-1038, potentiated contractile responses to SRTX-c. ET-1 and SRTX-c responses were also potentiated when aortic rings were pretreated with N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) plus indomethacin. Processing of the B. jararaca aortic first-strand complementary DNA, by RT-PCR with primers designed from the Gallus gallus ET(A) receptor sequence, enabled isolation, purification, cloning, and sequencing of a single band. The partial sequence of the B. jararaca ET(A) receptor showed a very high sequence similarity with ET(A) receptor sequences from chicken, rat, human, and Xenopus. In conclusion, vascular responses to SRTXs/ETs in the B. jararaca aorta are mediated predominantly, but not exclusively, by typical ET(A) receptors. PMID:16740989

Borgheresi, Rosa A M B; Leroy, Janine M G; Yogi, Alvaro; DosSantos, Rosangela A; Breno, Maria C; Tostes, Rita C

2006-06-01

57

Intraspecific variation of biological activities in venoms from wild and captive Bothrops jararaca.  

PubMed

The venom of Bothrops jararaca is composed of complex mixture of molecules, mainly lectins, metalloproteinases, serinoproteinases, desintegrins, phospholipases, and peptides. This composition may vary according to the snake's age, gender, and region of origin. The aim of the was to determine individual variation in Bothrops jararaca venom in the Botucatu region, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, by means of enzymatic, biochemical, and pharmacological characterization, utilizing in vitro tests and biological assays. The activities were compared with those of Brazilian Reference Venom (BRV). Protein concentration varied between adult and juvenile groups. The electrophoretic profiles were similar, with molecular masses ranging between 25 and 50 kD, but with intraspecific variations. Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) revealed protein concentration differences. Coagulant activity did not differ significantly among adult groups, but there was a large variation between juvenile venom and BRV, which coagulated more extensively. Venoms from adults displayed greater hemorrhagic activity, especially in males recently obtained from the wild. In contrast, juveniles kept in captivity and adult males showed higher values. Edematogenic activity displayed an increase in edema in all groups. At the mean lethal dose (LD??), toxicity varied significantly between groups, with venom from captive females being threefold more toxic than juvenile venom. Data illustrate the intra- and interspecific complexity that occurs in snake venoms, which may be attributed to ontogenetic, sexual, and environmental factors that affect variability in Bothrops jararaca venom. Further, it is proposed that Brazilian public health authorities document the constitution of pooled venom employed in the immunization of serum-producing animals due to this variability in venom properties. Given the large Brazilian territory, this variability requires regional monitoring and evaluation of the efficacy of bothropic antivenom in treatment of snakebite and consequent permanent sequelae observed. PMID:22852857

Saad, Eduardo; Curtolo Barros, Luciana; Biscola, Natalia; Pimenta, Daniel C; Barraviera, Silvia R C S; Barraviera, Benedito; Seabra Ferreira, Rui

2012-01-01

58

Lachesis muta (Viperidae) cDNAs Reveal Diverging Pit Viper Molecules and Scaffolds Typical of Cobra (Elapidae) Venoms: Implications for Snake Toxin Repertoire Evolution  

PubMed Central

Efforts to describe toxins from the two major families of venomous snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae) usually reveal proteins belonging to few structural types, particular of each family. Here we carried on an effort to determine uncommon cDNAs that represent possible new toxins from Lachesis muta (Viperidae). In addition to nine classes of typical toxins, atypical molecules never observed in the hundreds of Viperidae snakes studied so far are highly expressed: a diverging C-type lectin that is related to Viperidae toxins but appears to be independently originated; an ohanin-like toxin, which would be the third member of the most recently described class of Elapidae toxins, related to human butyrophilin and B30.2 proteins; and a 3FTx-like toxin, a new member of the widely studied three-finger family of proteins, which includes major Elapidae neurotoxins and CD59 antigen. The presence of these common and uncommon molecules suggests that the repertoire of toxins could be more conserved between families than has been considered, and their features indicate a dynamic process of venom evolution through molecular mechanisms, such as multiple recruitments of important scaffolds and domain exchange between paralogs, always keeping a minimalist nature in most toxin structures in opposition to their nontoxin counterparts.

Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inacio L. M.; Ching, Ana T. C.; Carvalho, Eneas; Faria, Fernanda; Nishiyama, Milton Y.; Ho, Paulo L.; Diniz, Marcelo R. V.

2006-01-01

59

Antigenic, microbicidal and antiparasitic properties of an l-amino acid oxidase isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom.  

PubMed

Venoms from the bee Apis mellifera, the caterpillar Lonomia achelous, the spiders Lycosa sp. and Phoneutria nigriventer, the scorpions Tityus bahiensis and Tityus serrulatus, and the snakes Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops neuwiedi, Crotalus durissus terrificus, and Lachesis muta were assayed (800mug/mL) for activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Venoms from B. jararaca and B. jararacussu showed the highest S. aureus growth inhibition and also against other Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. To characterize the microbicidal component(s) produced by B. jararaca, venom was fractionated through gel exclusion chromatography. The high molecular weight, anti-S. aureus P1 fraction was further resolved by anion exchange chromatography through Mono Q columns using a 0-0.5M NaCl gradient. Bactericidal Mono Q fractions P5 and P6 showed significant LAAO activity using l-leucine as substrate. These fractions were pooled and subjected to Heparin affinity chromatography, which rendered a single LAAO activity peak. The anti-S. aureus activity was abolished by catalase, suggesting that the effect is dependent on H(2)O(2) production. SDS-PAGE of isolated LAAO indicated the presence of three isoforms since deglycosylation with a recombinant N-glycanase rendered a single 38.2 kDa component. B. jararaca LAAO specific activity was 142.7 U/mg, based on the oxidation of l-leucine. The correlation between in vivo neutralization of lethal toxicity (ED(50)) and levels of horse therapeutic antibodies anti-LAAO measured by ELISA was investigated to predict the potency of Brazilian antibothropic antivenoms. Six horses were hyperimmunized with Bothrops venoms (50% from B. jararaca and 12.5% each from B. alternatus, B. jararacussu, B. neuwiedii and B. moojeni). To set up an indirect ELISA, B. jararaca LAAO and crude venom were used as antigens. Correlation coefficients (r) between ED(50) and ELISA antibody titers against B. jararaca venom and LAAO were 0.846 (p<0.001) and 0.747 (p<0.001), respectively. The hemolytic and leishmanicidal (anti-Leishmania amazonensis) activity of LAAO was also determined. PMID:19101583

Ciscotto, P; Machado de Avila, R A; Coelho, E A F; Oliveira, J; Diniz, C G; Farías, L M; de Carvalho, M A R; Maria, W S; Sanchez, E F; Borges, A; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

2009-03-01

60

A new blood coagulation inhibitor from the snake Bothrops jararaca plasma: isolation and characterization.  

PubMed

A novel thrombin inhibitor, Bothrops jararaca inhibitor (BjI), has been identified and purified from B. jararaca snake blood by two anionic chromatographic steps. Purified BjI showed two polypeptide chains with molecular masses of 109 and 138 kDa, by SDS-PAGE in reducing conditions. On the other hand, in nonreducing conditions the molecular masses were 150 and 219 kDa, suggesting that the polypeptide chain 109 kDa can be a dimer form linked by disulfide bond. However, the native BjI shows a molecular mass higher than 1000 kDa by gel filtration chromatography, indicating the need of a quaternary structure formation for the blood coagulation inhibition. BjI is a specific thrombin coagulant activity inhibitor that does not affect other thrombin functions, such as: amidolytic and platelet aggregation activities. BjI is not an antithrombin-like inhibitor. Fibrinogen and heparin competition ELISA assays with BjI and thrombin showed that fibrinogen does not interfere in the BjI and thrombin binding, however, heparin interferes in BjI and thrombin interaction, suggesting that BjI binds to heparin site or other sites close to it. Our findings indicate that BjI is an exosite binding thrombin inhibitor, specific upon coagulant activity thrombin inhibitor, without any anti-platelet aggregation activity. PMID:12927776

Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita M; Tanaka, Aparecida S; Sano-Martins, Ida S

2003-09-01

61

Local haemorrhage induced by Bothrops jararaca venom: relationship to neurogenic inflammation.  

PubMed Central

We investigated morphological alterations induced by s.c. injection of 2.5 microg of Bothrops jararaca venom in rats. Intense disorganisation of collagen fibres was observed 1 min after the venom injection, particularly at regions near vessels and nerves. Mast cells were degranulated, and erythrocytes were seen leaving venules throughout the endothelial junctions. At this time, damaged endothelial cells were not observed. In rats envenomed as above, but immediately after cardiorespiratory failure induced by deep ether anaesthesia, alterations in the connective tissue structures, as previously described, were not observed. The mediation of this haemorrhage was investigated by injecting the venom into the foot pad of mice and compared to the mediation of oedema. Local haemorrhage was significantly reduced in mice pre-treated with capsaicin or guanethidine or submitted to a surgical section of sciatic and saphenous nerves. In these animals, oedema was not affected. Groups treated with methysergide or morphine showed both haemorrhage and oedema significantly reduced. Indomethacin or dexamethasone pre-treatments significantly reduced the oedema, but not the haemorrhage. Moreover, in animals treated with promethazine or mepyramine, oedema and haemorrhage were not affected. These data suggest that local haemorrhage induced by Bothrops jararaca venom is partially controlled by serotonin and neurohumoral mediators. Furthermore, results indicate that haemorrhage and oedema are mediated by different pharmacological systems.

Goncalves, L R; Mariano, M

2000-01-01

62

Antivenom Effects of 1,2,3-Triazoles against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta Snakes  

PubMed Central

Snake venoms are complex mixtures of proteins of both enzymes and nonenzymes, which are responsible for producing several biological effects. Human envenomation by snake bites particularly those of the viperid family induces a complex pathophysiological picture characterized by spectacular changes in hemostasis and frequently hemorrhage is also seen. The present work reports the ability of six of a series of 1,2,3-triazole derivatives to inhibit some pharmacological effects caused by the venoms of Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta. In vitro assays showed that these compounds were impaired in a concentration-dependent manner, the fibrinogen or plasma clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis produced by both venoms. Moreover, these compounds inhibited biological effects in vivo as well. Mice treated with these compounds were fully protected from hemorrhagic lesions caused by such venoms. But, only the B. jararaca edema-inducing activity was neutralized by the triazoles. So the inhibitory effect of triazoles derivatives against some in vitro and in vivo biological assays of snake venoms points to promising aspects that may indicate them as molecular models to improve the production of effective antivenom or to complement antivenom neutralization, especially the local pathological effects, which are partially neutralized by antivenoms.

Domingos, Thaisa F. S.; Moura, Laura de A.; Carvalho, Carla; Campos, Vinicius R.; Jordao, Alessandro K.; Cunha, Anna C.; Ferreira, Vitor F.; de Souza, Maria Cecilia B. V.; Sanchez, Eladio F.; Fuly, Andre L.

2013-01-01

63

Antivenom effects of 1,2,3-triazoles against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta snakes.  

PubMed

Snake venoms are complex mixtures of proteins of both enzymes and nonenzymes, which are responsible for producing several biological effects. Human envenomation by snake bites particularly those of the viperid family induces a complex pathophysiological picture characterized by spectacular changes in hemostasis and frequently hemorrhage is also seen. The present work reports the ability of six of a series of 1,2,3-triazole derivatives to inhibit some pharmacological effects caused by the venoms of Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta. In vitro assays showed that these compounds were impaired in a concentration-dependent manner, the fibrinogen or plasma clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis produced by both venoms. Moreover, these compounds inhibited biological effects in vivo as well. Mice treated with these compounds were fully protected from hemorrhagic lesions caused by such venoms. But, only the B. jararaca edema-inducing activity was neutralized by the triazoles. So the inhibitory effect of triazoles derivatives against some in vitro and in vivo biological assays of snake venoms points to promising aspects that may indicate them as molecular models to improve the production of effective antivenom or to complement antivenom neutralization, especially the local pathological effects, which are partially neutralized by antivenoms. PMID:23710441

Domingos, Thaisa F S; Moura, Laura de A; Carvalho, Carla; Campos, Vinícius R; Jordão, Alessandro K; Cunha, Anna C; Ferreira, Vitor F; de Souza, Maria Cecília B V; Sanchez, Eladio F; Fuly, André L

2013-01-01

64

Anti-hemorrhagic activity of four Brazilian vegetable species against Bothrops jararaca venom.  

PubMed

Around 20,000 snakebites are reported annually in Brazil and 90% of them are inflicted by species of the genus Bothrops. Intravenous administration of antibothropic antivenom neutralizes the systemic actions, but it is of little effect on the reversal of local symptoms and often induces adverse reactions, a context that drives the search for complementary treatments for snakebite accidents. Vegetable extracts with a range of antiophidian activities constitute an excellent alternative. In this study, we investigated the anti-hemorrhagic effects of Mouriri pusa Gardn. (Melastomataceae), Byrsonima crassa Niedenzu (Malpighiaceae), Davilla elliptica St. Hill. (Dilleniaceae) and Strychnos pseudoquina St. Hil. (Loganiaceae) against Bothrops jararaca venom. The methanolic extracts from M. pusa (leaves), B. crassa (leaves) and D. elliptica (leaves) showed total neutralization capacity against local hemorrhages. The amenthoflavone and quercetin fractions from B. crassa and the flavonoids fractions (quercetin and myricetin) from M. pusa and D. elliptica also showed total neutralization capacity. We conclude that flavonoids derived from myricetin, quercetin and amenthoflavone play an important role in the anti-hemorrhagic potential of these Brazilian vegetables species against B. jararaca venom. PMID:19305361

Nishijima, Catarine Massucato Nishijima; Rodrigues, Clenilson Martins; Silva, Marcelo Aparecido; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Vilegas, Wagner; Hiruma-Lima, Clélia Akiko

2009-01-01

65

NPP-BJ, a nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, inhibits platelet aggregation.  

PubMed

Enzymes of the pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase family have multiple roles in extracellular nucleotide metabolism and in the regulation of nucleotide-based intercellular signaling. Snake venoms contain enzymes that hydrolyze nucleic acids and nucleotides, but their function is poorly understood. Here we describe for the first time the isolation and functional characterization of a soluble phosphodiesterase from Bothrops jararaca venom, which shows amino acid sequence similarity to mammalian nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 3 (NPP3), and inhibits ADP-induced platelet aggregation. The enzyme, named NPP-BJ, showed an apparent molecular mass of 228 kDa by size exclusion chromatography. NPP-BJ exhibited nuclease activity as well as pyrophosphatase and phosphatase activities, preferentially hydrolyzing nucleoside 5'-triphosphates over nucleoside 5'-diphosphates, but was not active upon nucleoside 5'-monophosphates. Depending on the substrate used, dithiothreitol and EDTA differently inhibited the catalytic activity of NPP-BJ. Platelet aggregation induced by ADP was also abrogated by NPP-BJ, whereas thrombin-induced platelet aggregation was only slightly attenuated. However, polyclonal antibodies raised against NPP-BJ could not abolish the lethal activity of B. jararaca venom. Altogether, these results show that NPP-BJ has a minor contribution to the lethal activity of this venom, but interferes with mechanisms of ADP-induced platelet aggregation. PMID:19481561

Santoro, Marcelo L; Vaquero, Tais S; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Serrano, Solange M T

2009-09-15

66

EXPLANATION OF THE SEA-SERPENT MAGNETIC STRUCTURE OF SUNSPOT PENUMBRAE  

SciTech Connect

Recent spectro-polarimetric observations of a sunspot showed the formation of bipolar magnetic patches in the mid-penumbra and their propagation toward the outer penumbral boundary. The observations were interpreted as being caused by sea-serpent magnetic fields near the solar surface. In this Letter, we develop a three-dimensional radiative MHD numerical model to explain the sea-serpent structure and the wave-like behavior of the penumbral magnetic field lines. The simulations reproduce the observed behavior, suggesting that the sea-serpent phenomenon is a consequence of magnetoconvection in a strongly inclined magnetic field. It involves several physical processes: filamentary structurization, high-speed overturning convective motions in strong, almost horizontal magnetic fields with partially frozen field lines, and traveling convective waves. The results demonstrate a correlation of the bipolar magnetic patches with high-speed Evershed downflows in the penumbra. This is the first time that a three-dimensional numerical model of the penumbra results in downward-directed magnetic fields, an essential ingredient of sunspot penumbrae that has eluded explanation until now.

Kitiashvili, I. N. [Center for Turbulence Research, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Bellot Rubio, L. R. [Instituto de Astrofisica de AndalucIa (CSIC), Apdo. de Correos 3004, E-18080 Granada (Spain); Kosovichev, A. G. [NORDITA, Department of Astronomy, AlbaNova University Center, SE 10691 Stockholm (Sweden); Mansour, N. N.; Wray, A. A. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA 94040 (United States); Sainz Dalda, A., E-mail: irinasun@stanford.ed [Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)

2010-06-20

67

Increments in serum cytokine and nitric oxide levels in mice injected with Bothrops asper and Bothrops jararaca snake venoms  

Microsoft Academic Search

Changes in serum levels of several cytokines and nitric oxide were studied in BALB\\/c mice injected intraperitoneally with one median lethal dose (ld50) of the venoms of Bothrops asper and Bothrops jararaca, two of the medically most important poisonous snakes of Latin America. Despite differences observed in the time-course of cytokine increments and in serum cytokine levels, both venoms induced

Vera L. Petricevich; Catarina F. P. Teixeira; Denise V. Tambourgi; José Mar??a Gutiérrez

2000-01-01

68

Increments in serum cytokine and nitric oxide levels in mice injected with Bothrops asper and Bothrops jararaca snake venoms.  

PubMed

Changes in serum levels of several cytokines and nitric oxide were studied in BALB/c mice injected intraperitoneally with one median lethal dose (LD(50)) of the venoms of Bothrops asper and Bothrops jararaca, two of the medically most important poisonous snakes of Latin America. Despite differences observed in the time-course of cytokine increments and in serum cytokine levels, both venoms induced prominent elevations of TNF-alpha, IL-1, IL-6, IL-10 and IFN-gamma. There was an early increase in TNF-alpha and IL-1, followed by a more pronounced increment by 18 h. IL-6 levels peaked between 4 and 6 h, and this cytokine probably modulates the secretion of TNF-alpha and IL-1 and the synthesis of acute-phase proteins. Both venoms induced an early increment in serum IL-10, whereas IFN-gamma levels reached higher values in mice injected with B. jararaca venom than in those receiving B. asper venom. Serum nitric oxide concentration increased in mice injected with both venoms rapidly after envenomation, remaining elevated for 24 h. It is concluded that a complex pattern of cytokine and nitric oxide synthesis and secretion occurs in severe experimental envenomation by B. asper and B. jararaca venoms. Furthermore, it is suggested that some of these mediators, particularly TNF-alpha, IL-1 and nitric oxide, might play a relevant role in the pathophysiology of systemic alterations induced by these venoms. PMID:10736479

Petricevich, V L; Teixeira, C F; Tambourgi, D V; Gutiérrez, J M

2000-09-01

69

Type specimens of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) re-examined, with new evidence after more than a century of confusion  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The original description of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) was published in 1861 by Robert Kennicott, who did not identify a type specimen or a type locality. We review the history of specimens purported to be the type(s) and various designations of type locality. We provide evidence that ANSP 7069 (formerly one of two specimens of USNM 5027) is the holotype and that the appropriate type locality is Fort Buchanan, near present-day Sonoita, in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.

Cardwell, Michael D.; Gotte, Steve W.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Gilmore, Ned; Poindexter, James A., II

2013-01-01

70

Developing serpent-type wave generators to create solitary wave simulations with BEM  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Developing serpent-type wave generators to generate solitary waves in a 3D-basin was investigated in this study. Based on the Lagrangian description with time-marching procedures and finite differences of the time derivative, a 3D multiple directional wave basin with multidirectional piston wave generators was developed to simulate ocean waves by using BEM with quadrilateral elements, and to simulate wave-caused problems with fully nonlinear water surface conditions. The simulations of perpendicular solitary waves were conducted in the first instance to verify this scheme. Furthermore, the comparison of the waveform variations confirms that the estimation of 3D solitary waves is a feasible scheme.

Weng, Wen-Kai; Shih, Ruey-Syan; Chou, Chung-Ren

2013-10-01

71

Sex-based individual variation of snake venom proteome among eighteen Bothrops jararaca siblings.  

PubMed

Variation of venom proteome is relevant to basic research, to management of envenoming, and to studies on the evolution of poisonous snakes. In this study, we explored the venom proteomes of eighteen Bothrops jararaca specimens of a single litter born and raised in laboratory. Using electrophoretic techniques and various protocols for measuring the proteolytic activities of these venoms we have detected individual variability and highlighted sex-specific proteomic similarities and differences among sibling snakes. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under non-reducing conditions showed protein bands of approximately 100 kDa specific of male venoms. 2D-electrophoresis showed regions with varying spot complexity between pooled female and male venoms as well as spots that were gender specific. Gelatin zymography showed that female venoms contained proteinases of approximately 25 kDa absent from male venoms. Female venoms were more active than male venoms in degrading fibrinogen whereas on fibrin no significant differences were detected. Among various chromogenic peptide substrates tested, male venoms showed higher amidolytic activity than female venoms on D-Val-Leu-Lys-pNA and D-Phe-Pip-Arg-pNA. Taken together, these results show sex-based differences in the venom proteome of sibling snakes of a single litter raised under controlled conditions which seem to be genetically inherited and imposed by evolutionary forces. PMID:16373076

Menezes, Milene C; Furtado, Maria F; Travaglia-Cardoso, Silvia R; Camargo, Antonio C M; Serrano, Solange M T

2006-03-01

72

A prothrombin activator from Bothrops erythromelas (jararaca-da-seca) snake venom: characterization and molecular cloning.  

PubMed Central

A novel prothrombin activator enzyme, which we have named 'berythractivase', was isolated from Bothrops erythromelas (jararaca-da-seca) snake venom. Berythractivase was purified by a single cation-exchange-chromatography step on a Resource S (Amersham Biosciences) column. The overall purification (31-fold) indicates that berythractivase comprises about 5% of the crude venom. It is a single-chain protein with a molecular mass of 78 kDa. SDS/PAGE of prothrombin after activation by berythractivase showed fragment patterns similar to those generated by group A prothrombin activators, which convert prothrombin into meizothrombin, independent of the prothrombinase complex. Chelating agents, such as EDTA and o -phenanthroline, rapidly inhibited the enzymic activity of berythractivase, like a typical metalloproteinase. Human fibrinogen A alpha-chain was slowly digested only after longer incubation with berythractivase, and no effect on the beta- or gamma-chains was observed. Berythractivase was also capable of triggering endothelial proinflammatory and procoagulant cell responses. von Willebrand factor was released, and the surface expression of both intracellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin was up-regulated by berythractivase in cultured human umbilical-vein endothelial cells. The complete berythractivase cDNA was cloned from a B. erythromelas venom-gland cDNA library. The cDNA sequence possesses 2330 bp and encodes a preproprotein with significant sequence similarity to many other mature metalloproteinases reported from snake venoms. Berythractivase contains metalloproteinase, desintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains. However, berythractivase did not elicit any haemorrhagic response. These results show that, although the primary structure of berythractivase is related to that of snake-venom haemorrhagic metalloproteinases and functionally similar to group A prothrombin activators, it is a prothrombin activator devoid of haemorrhagic activity. This is a feature not observed for most of the snake venom metalloproteinases, including the group A prothrombin activators.

Silva, Marcia B; Schattner, Mirta; Ramos, Celso R R; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inacio L M; Guarnieri, Miriam C; Lazzari, Maria A; Sampaio, Claudio A M; Pozner, Roberto G; Ventura, Janaina S; Ho, Paulo L; Chudzinski-Tavassi, Ana M

2003-01-01

73

Bothrops jararaca Venom Metalloproteinases Are Essential for Coagulopathy and Increase Plasma Tissue Factor Levels during Envenomation  

PubMed Central

Background/Aims Bleeding tendency, coagulopathy and platelet disorders are recurrent manifestations in snakebites occurring worldwide. We reasoned that by damaging tissues and/or activating cells at the site of the bite and systemically, snake venom toxins might release or decrypt tissue factor (TF), resulting in activation of blood coagulation and aggravation of the bleeding tendency. Thus, we addressed (a) whether TF and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), an oxireductase involved in TF encryption/decryption, were altered in experimental snake envenomation; (b) the involvement and significance of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) and serine proteinases (SVSP) to hemostatic disturbances. Methods/Principal Findings Crude Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) was preincubated with Na2-EDTA or AEBSF, which are inhibitors of SVMP and SVSP, respectively, and injected subcutaneously or intravenously into rats to analyze the contribution of local lesion to the development of hemostatic disturbances. Samples of blood, lung and skin were collected and analyzed at 3 and 6 h. Platelet counts were markedly diminished in rats, and neither Na2-EDTA nor AEBSF could effectively abrogate this fall. However, Na2-EDTA markedly reduced plasma fibrinogen consumption and hemorrhage at the site of BjV inoculation. Na2-EDTA also abolished the marked elevation in TF levels in plasma at 3 and 6 h, by both administration routes. Moreover, increased TF activity was also noticed in lung and skin tissue samples at 6 h. However, factor VII levels did not decrease over time. PDI expression in skin was normal at 3 h, and downregulated at 6 h in all groups treated with BjV. Conclusions SVMP induce coagulopathy, hemorrhage and increased TF levels in plasma, but neither SVMP nor SVSP are directly involved in thrombocytopenia. High levels of TF in plasma and TF decryption occur during snake envenomation, like true disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome, and might be implicated in engendering bleeding manifestations in severely-envenomed patients.

Yamashita, Karine M.; Alves, Andre F.; Barbaro, Katia C.; Santoro, Marcelo L.

2014-01-01

74

Bothrops jararaca peptide with anti-hypertensive action normalizes endothelium dysfunction involved in physiopathology of preeclampsia.  

PubMed

Preeclampsia, a pregnancy-specific syndrome characterized by hypertension, proteinuria and edema, is a major cause of fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. Bj-PRO-10c, a proline-rich peptide isolated from Bothrops jararaca venom, has been attributed with potent anti-hypertensive effects. Recently, we have shown that Bj-PRO-10c-induced anti-hypertensive actions involved NO production in spontaneous hypertensive rats. Using in vitro studies we now show that Bj-PRO-10c was able to increase NO production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells from hypertensive pregnant women (HUVEC-PE) to levels observed in HUVEC of normotensive women. Moreover, in the presence of the peptide, eNOS expression as well as argininosuccinate synthase activity, the key rate-limiting enzyme of the citrulline-NO cycle, were enhanced. In addition, excessive superoxide production due to NO deficiency, one of the major deleterious effects of the disease, was inhibited by Bj-PRO-10c. Bj-PRO-10c induced intracellular calcium fluxes in both, HUVEC-PE and HUVEC, which, however, led to activation of eNOS expression only in HUVEC-PE. Since Bj-PRO-10c promoted biological effects in HUVEC from patients suffering from the disorder and not in normotensive pregnant women, we hypothesize that Bj-PRO-10c induces its anti-hypertensive effect in mothers with preeclampsia. Such properties may initiate the development of novel therapeutics for treating preeclampsia. PMID:21858206

Benedetti, Gabriel; Morais, Katia L P; Guerreiro, Juliano R; de Oliveira, Eduardo Fontana; Hoshida, Mara Sandra; Oliveira, Leandro; Sass, Nelson; Lebrun, Ivo; Ulrich, Henning; Lameu, Claudiana; de Camargo, Antonio Carlos Martins

2011-01-01

75

Hematocrit and plasma chemistry values in adult collared scops owls (Otus lettia) and crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela hoya).  

PubMed

In this study, we report hematocrit and plasma chemistry values for adult captive collared scops owls (Otus lettia) and crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela hoya). In particular, we address the gender-specific differences within these values. We measured hematocrit (HCT) and plasma chemistry values for uric acid (UA), plasma urea nitrogen (BUN), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), glucose (GLU), cholesterol (CHO), triglyceride (TG), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin (TBIL), creatine (CRE), creatine phosphokinase (CPK), amylase (AMY), calcium (CA), ionic phosphorous (IP) and sodium (NA), potassium (K) and chloride ions (CL) in 37 adult captive collared scops owls and 39 adult captive crested serpent eagles. Significant differences between the sexes were found for UA, GLU and CPK in the collared scope owls. UA and GLU concentrations were significantly higher (P<0.01 and P<0.05) among males than females, while the CPK concentration was significantly lower (P<0.05) in males. There were no significant differences in of all of the measured parameters between male and female eagles. These finding suggested that HCT and plasma chemistry values of raptors vary individually according to species and sex. Our results provide the 1st available reference data for ranges of plasma values in adult captive collared scops owls and crested serpent eagles, making them a potentially useful complementary diagnostic tool for veterinary care of individuals for both species in captivity. PMID:22446394

Chan, Fang-Tse; Lin, Pei-I; Chang, Geng-Ruei; Wang, Hsien-Chi; Hsu, Tien-Huan

2012-07-01

76

Cytokine profile of Ehrlich ascites tumor treated with Bothrops jararaca venom.  

PubMed Central

We previously demonstrated that Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) has an antitumor effect on Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT) cells and induces an increase of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in early stages of tumor growth. It has been reported that this venom presents an important inflammatory effect when inoculated in animal models and in human snakebites, and that cytokine levels have been detected in these cases. To evaluate whether the cytokines can be involved with the suppression of the tumoral growth, we evaluate the cytokine profile in the peritoneal cavity of mice inoculated with EAT cells and treated with BjV. Swiss mice were inoculated with EAT cells by the intraperitoneal route and treated with BjV venom (0.4 mg/kg, intraperitoneally), on the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, and 13th day. Mice were evaluated for cytokine levels on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 14th day. Analysis was performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-2, IL4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels in the peritoneal washing supernatant. Results were analyzed statistically by the Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn's tests at the 5% level of significance. We observed that EAT implantation induces IL-6 production on the 11th and 14th days of tumor growth, IL-10 on the 11th day and TNF-alpha on the 14th day. The treatment with BjV suppresses production of these cytokines. In addition, IL-13 was produced by animals that were inoculated only with venom on the 11th and 14th days, and by the group inoculated with EAT cells and treated with venom on the 2nd and 14th days. Furthermore, we suggest that the IL-6 detected in the present study is produced by the EAT cells and the suppression of its production could be associated with the antitumor effect of BjV.

da Silva, Reinaldo J; da Silva, Marcia G; Vilela, Lizia C; Fecchio, Denise

2002-01-01

77

Neutralization of the oedematogenic activity of Bothrops Jararaca venom on the mouse paw by an antibothropic fraction isolated from Opossum (Didelphis Marsupialis) serum  

Microsoft Academic Search

The pharmacological modulation of mice paw oedema produced byBothrops jararaca venom (BJV) has been studied. Intraplantar injection of BJV (1–30 ?g\\/paw) produced a dose-and time-related oedema, which was maximal 30 min after injection, reduced gradually thereafter and disappeared over 48h. BJV heated at 100°C for 5 or 15 min blocked local hemorrhage and caused partial inhibition of its oedematogenic activity.

Jonas Perales; Claudia Z. Amorim; Surza L. G. Rocha; Gilberto B. Domont; Haity Moussatché

1992-01-01

78

Internal neutronics-temperature coupling in Serpent 2 - Reactivity differences resulting from choice of material property correlations  

SciTech Connect

This paper describes the unique way of simultaneously solving the power and temperature distributions of a nuclear system with the Monte Carlo neutron transport code Serpent 2. The coupled solution is achieved through the implementation of an internal temperature solver and material property correlations in the code. The program structure is reviewed concerning the temperature solver and the internal correlations as well as the internal coupling between these two and the neutron transport part. To estimate the reactivity differences resulting from correlation choices a simple pin-cell case has been calculated. It is established, that some correlation choices may result in difference in reactivity of approximately 100 pcm. (authors)

Valtavirta, V. [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland)] [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland)

2013-07-01

79

[Cammalanus Railliet and Henry, 1915 (Nematoda, Camallanidae). Parasite from Hydrodynastes gigas (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae) from Argentine Chaco].  

PubMed

Adult specimens of Camallanus genus (Nematoda, Camallanidae), parasitizing a Hydrodynastes gigas (Serpentes, Colubridae) from Chaco in the North East of Argentina, are described for the first time. The morphologic and morphometric parasitological studies were carried out using diaphanization by lactophenol technique. The specimens described were drawn and photographed. With this investigation the analysis of the reptilian pathologies, the knowledge of which is necessary to make projects, to manage and control the biomedic aspects in breeders, zoos and/or reserves has started. Thus, it enables us to know associated nematofauna providing facts about the biodiversity of nematode parasites of reptiles. PMID:9302777

Ramallo, G

1996-01-01

80

Venom peptide analysis of Vipera ammodytes meridionalis (Viperinae) and Bothrops jararacussu (Crotalinae) demonstrates subfamily-specificity of the peptidome in the family Viperidae.  

PubMed

Snake venom peptidomes are valuable sources of pharmacologically active compounds. We analyzed the peptidic fractions (peptides with molecular masses < 10,000 Da) of venoms of Vipera ammodytes meridionalis (Viperinae), the most toxic snake in Europe, and Bothrops jararacussu (Crotalinae), an extremely poisonous snake of South America. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS), direct infusion electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and matrix-assisted desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) were applied to characterize the peptides of both snake venoms. 32 bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) were identified in the Crotalinae venom and their sequences determined. 3 metalloproteinase inhibitors, 10 BPPs and a Kunitz-type inhibitor were observed in the Viperinae venom peptidome. Variability in the C-terminus of homologous BPPs was observed, which can influence the pharmacological effects. The data obtained so far show a subfamily specificity of the venom peptidome in the Viperidae family: BPPs are the major peptide component of the Crotalinae venom peptidome lacking Kunitz-type inhibitors (with one exception) while the Viperinae venom, in addition to BPPs, can contain peptides of the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor family. We found indications for a post-translational phosphorylation of serine residues in Bothrops jararacussu venom BPP (S[combining low line]QGLPPGPPIP), which could be a regulatory mechanism in their interactions with ACE, and might influence the hypotensive effect. Homology between venom BPPs from Viperidae snakes and venom natriuretic peptide precursors from Elapidae snakes suggests a structural similarity between the respective peptides from the peptidomes of both snake families. The results demonstrate that the venoms of both snakes are rich sources of peptides influencing important physiological systems such as blood pressure regulation and hemostasis. The data can be used for pharmacological and medical applications. PMID:21959992

Munawar, Aisha; Trusch, Maria; Georgieva, Dessislava; Spencer, Patrick; Frochaux, Violette; Harder, Sönke; Arni, Raghuvir K; Duhalov, Deyan; Genov, Nicolay; Schlüter, Hartmut; Betzel, Christian

2011-12-01

81

Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya Csiki 1903  

Microsoft Academic Search

The snake family Lamprophiidae Fitzinger (Serpentes: Elapoidea) is a putatively Late Eocene radiation of nocturnal snakes endemic to the African continent. It incorporates many of the most characteristic and prolific of Africa’s non-venomous snake species, including the widespread type genus Lamprophis Fitzinger, 1843 (house snakes). We used approximately 2500 bases of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data from 28 (41%)

Christopher M. R. Kelly; William R. Branch; Donald G. Broadley; Nigel P. Barker; Martin H. Villet

2011-01-01

82

A Place of Transformation: Lessons from the Cosmic Serpent Informal Science Education Professional Development Project  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A cultural disconnect exists between Western scientists and educators and Native communities in terms of scientific worldviews and Indigenous ways of knowing. This cultural disconnect manifests itself in the lack of participation of Native Americans in Western science and a lack of appreciation by Western scientists of Native science. Our NSF-Funded project "Cosmic Serpent: Bridging Native and Western Learning in Museum Settings" set out to provide a way for informal science education practitioners and tribal museum practitioners to learn about these two worldviews in such a way as to inform their educational practice around these concepts. We began with a pilot workshop in year one of this four-year project. We then provided two week-long professional development workshops in three regions within the Western U.S., and culminated with a final conference for all participants. In total, the workshops served 162 participants, including 115 practitioners from 19 tribal museums and 41 science, natural history, and cultural museums; 23 tribal community members; and 24 "bridge people" with knowledge of both Indigenous and Western science. For this article, we focus on the professional and personal transformations around culture, knowledge, science, and worldviews that occurred as a part of this project. We evaluated the collaborative aspects of this grant between the Indigenous Education Institute; the Center for Science Education at the University of California, Berkeley; the Institute for Learning Innovation; Native Pathways; Association for Science and Technology Centers; and the National Museum of the American Indian. Using evaluation results, as well as our personal reflections, we share our learnings from a place of transformation. We provide lessons we learned with this project, which we hope others will find relevant to their own science education work.

Peticolas, L.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Stein, J.; Valdez, S.; Paglierani, R.

2012-08-01

83

In vivo effects of Bothrops jararaca venom on metabolic profile and on muscle protein metabolism in rats.  

PubMed

This study investigated the in vivo effects of the Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) on general metabolic profile and, specifically, on muscle protein metabolism in rats. The crude venom (0.4 mg/kg body weight, IV) was infused in awake rats, and plasma activity of enzymes and metabolites levels were determined after 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours. BjV increased urea, lactate, and activities of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and aspartate aminotransferase after 4 hours. The content of liver glycogen was reduced by BjV. Protein metabolism was evaluated by means of microdialysis technique and in isolated muscles. BjV induced increase in the muscle interstitial-arterial tyrosine concentration difference, indicating a high protein catabolism. The myotoxicity induced by this venom is associated with reduction of protein synthesis and increase in rates of overall proteolysis, which was accompanied by activation of lysosomal and ubiquitin-proteasome systems without changes in protein levels of cathepsins and ubiquitin-protein conjugates. PMID:18981521

Gonçalves, Dawit A P; Silva, Erico V C M; Graça, Flávia A; Lira, Eduardo C; Zanon, Neusa M; Mendes, Glória E; Burdmann, Emmanuel A; Migliorini, Renato H; Kettelhut, Isis C; Navegantes, Luiz C C

2008-11-01

84

Differential efficiency of simvastatin and lipoic acid treatments on Bothrops jararaca envenomation-induced acute kidney injury in mice.  

PubMed

Snake bite accidents by Bothrops genus is an important public health issue in Brazil and one of its most serious complications is the acute kidney injury (AKI). Here we evaluated the effects of Bothrops jararaca venom (vBj) and the treatments with lipoic acid (LA) and simvastatin (SA) on renal function, aminopeptidase (AP) activities and renal redox status. Primordial events for establishment of AKI by vBj were hyperuricemia, hypercreatinemia, urinary hyperosmolality, renal oxidative stress and reduction of hematocrit and protein content in the membrane of renal cortex and medulla and in the plasma. In the renal cortex and medulla the changes caused by vBj in soluble and membrane-bound AP activities had a similar pattern. The beneficial effects of LA and SA on envenomed mice were similar on the hyperuricemia, renal oxidative stress and reduction of hematocrit. LA mitigated the hypercreatinemia, but exacerbated the urinary urea and creatinine, whereas SA mitigated the decrease of plasma urea, urinary hyperosmolality and hypercreatinuria induced by vBj. The beneficial effects of LA and especially of SA on renal effects of vBj open a new perspective for clinical investigations of these drugs as coadjuvant agents in the serotherapy of Bothrops envenomation. PMID:21087618

Barone, Juliana Marton; Alponti, Rafaela Fadoni; Frezzatti, Rodrigo; Zambotti-Villela, Leonardo; Silveira, Paulo Flávio

2011-01-01

85

Analysis of the ontogenetic variation in the venom proteome/peptidome of Bothrops jararaca reveals different strategies to deal with prey.  

PubMed

Previous studies have demonstrated that the pharmacological activities displayed by Bothrops jararaca venom undergo a significant ontogenetic shift. Variation in the venom proteome is a well-documented phenomenon; however, variation in the venom peptidome is poorly understood. We report a comparative proteomic and peptidomic analysis of venoms from newborn and adult specimens of B. jararaca and correlate it with the evaluation of important venom features. We demonstrate that newborn and adult venoms have similar hemorrhagic activities, while the adult venom has a slightly higher lethal activity in mice; however, the newborn venom is extremely more potent to kill chicks. The coagulant activity of newborn venom upon human plasma is 10 times higher than that of adult venom. These differences were clearly reflected in their different profiles of SDS-PAGE, gelatin zimography, immunostaining using specific antibodies, glycosylation pattern, and concanavalin A-binding proteins. Furthermore, we report for the first time the analysis of the peptide fraction of newborn and adult venoms by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and LC-MS/MS, which revealed different contents of peptides, while the bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs) showed rather similar profiles and were detected in the venoms showing their canonical sequences and also novel sequences corresponding to BPPs processed from their precursor protein at sites so far not described. As a result of these studies, we demonstrated that the ontogenetic shift in diet, from ectothermic prey in early life to endothermic prey in adulthood, and in animal size are associated with changes in the venom proteome in B. jararaca species. PMID:20146532

Zelanis, André; Tashima, Alexandre K; Rocha, Marisa M T; Furtado, Maria F; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ho, Paulo L; Serrano, Solange M T

2010-05-01

86

Simplified procedures for the isolation of HF3, bothropasin, disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich protein and a novel P-I metalloproteinase from Bothrops jararaca venom.  

PubMed

HF3 and bothropasin are P-III hemorrhagic snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) of Bothrops jararaca. The DC protein is composed of the disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich domains derived from the autolysis of P-III SVMPs. Here we describe simplified procedures for the isolation of HF3, bothropasin, the DC protein, and BJ-PI, a novel P-I SVMP. The isolated proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. BJ-PI is a potent caseinolytic enzyme devoid of hemorrhagic activity. HF3, bothropasin and BJ-PI show distinct fibrinogenolytic activities. PMID:19254739

Oliveira, Ana K; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Assakura, Marina T; Menezes, Milene C; Zelanis, André; Tashima, Alexandre K; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Lima, Carla; Camargo, Antonio C M; Fox, Jay W; Serrano, Solange M T

2009-06-01

87

Discovery of microscopic evidence for shock metamorphism at the Serpent Mound structure, south-central Ohio: Confirmation of an origin by impact  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The origin of the Serpent Mound structure in south-central Ohio has been disputed for many years. Clearly, more evidence was needed to resolve the confusion concerning the origin of the Serpent Mound feature either by endogenic processes or by hypervelocity impact. A petrographic study of 21 samples taken from a core 903 m long drilled in the central uplift of the structure provides evidence of shock metamorphism in the form of multiple sets of planar deformation features in quartz grains, as well as the presence of clasts of altered impact-melt rock. Crystallographic orientations of the planar deformation features show maxima at the shock-characteristic planes of {101??3} and {101??2} and additional maxima at {101??1}, {213??1}, and {516??1}. Geochemical analyses of impact breccias show minor enrichments in the abundances of the siderophile elements Cr, Co, Ni, and Ir, indicating the presence of a minor meteoritic component.

Carlton, R. W.; Koeberl, C.; Baranoski, M. T.; SchuMacHer, G. A.

1998-01-01

88

The central nervous system as target for antihypertensive actions of a proline-rich peptide from Bothrops jararaca venom.  

PubMed

Pyroglutamyl proline-rich oligopeptides, present in the venom of the pit viper Bothrops jararaca (Bj-PROs), are the first described naturally occurring inhibitors of the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE). The inhibition of ACE by the decapeptide Bj-PRO-10c (

Lameu, Claudiana; Hayashi, Mirian A F; Guerreiro, Juliano R; Oliveira, Eduardo F; Lebrun, Ivo; Pontieri, Vera; Morais, Kátia L P; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ulrich, Henning

2010-03-01

89

L-amino acid oxidase activity present in fractions of Bothrops jararaca venom is responsible for the induction of programmed cell death in Trypanosoma cruzi.  

PubMed

Bothrops jararaca venom induces programmed cell death in epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi. Here we fractionated the venom and observed that the anti-T. cruzi activity was associated with fractions that present L-amino acid oxidase (L-AAO) activity. L-AAO produces H(2)O(2), which is highly toxic. The addition of catalase to the medium, a H(2)O(2) scavenger, reverted the killing capacity of venom fractions. The anti-T. cruzi activity was also abolished when parasites were cultured in a medium without hydrophobic amino acids that are essential for L-AAO activity. These results were confirmed with a commercial purified L-AAO. Treatment for 24 h with fractions that present L-AAO activity induced parasites cytoplasmic retraction, mitochondrial swelling and DNA fragmentation, all morphological characteristics of programmed cell death. Similar changes were also observed when parasites were treated with H(2)O(2). These results indicate that H(2)O(2), the product of L-AAO reaction, induces programmed cell death explaining the anti-T. cruzi activity of B. jararaca venom. PMID:20615423

Deolindo, Poliana; Teixeira-Ferreira, André S; DaMatta, Renato A; Alves, Elias W

2010-11-01

90

Contribution of metalloproteases, serine proteases and phospholipases A2 to the inflammatory reaction induced by Bothrops jararaca crude venom in mice.  

PubMed

Various toxins isolated from Bothrops snake venoms induce inflammatory reactions and have been claimed to contribute to the severity of local symptoms present in this envenomation. Notwithstanding, the relative participation of serine proteases, metalloproteases and phospholipases A(2) in the inflammatory reaction produced by crude Bothrops venoms is poorly understood. Herein, crude Bothrops jararaca venom was treated with phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride (PMSF), 1,10-phenanthroline (oPhe), or p-bromophenacyl-bromide (p-BPB) to inhibit those classes of enzymes, respectively, and inflammatory parameters were evaluated and compared to those induced by the control crude venom. The intensity of edema and hyperalgesia/allodynia was remarkably reduced in animals administered with oPhe-treated venom. Leukocyte-endothelium interactions (LEI), such as adhesion and migration of leukocytes, were also modified at 2h and 24h. Edema and LEI parameters induced by p-BPB-treated venom were similar to those observed with the control venom, but hyperalgesia/allodynia was significantly lower. Inflammatory parameters induced by PMSF-treated venom were similar to those induced by the crude venom, except for a mild reduction in edema intensity. Our results indicate that metalloproteases have a pivotal role in the inflammatory reactions induced by B. jararaca venom, and phospholipases A(2) and serine proteases have a minor role. PMID:19646466

Zychar, Bianca Cestari; Dale, Camila Squazoni; Demarchi, Denise Soares; Gonçalves, Luis Roberto C

2010-01-01

91

Anesthesia with Isoflurane and Sevoflurane in the Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela hoya): Minimum Anesthetic Concentration, Physiological Effects, Hematocrit, Plasma Chemistry and Behavioral Effects  

PubMed Central

ABSTRACT The initial goal of this study was to determine the minimum anesthetic concentration (MAC) for isoflurane (ISO) and sevoflurane (SEVO) for the crested serpent eagle. Next, we compared the anesthetic effects of each on the physiological effects, hematocrit, plasma chemistry values and behavior in spontaneously breathing captive adult crested serpent eagles. Sixteen eagles were randomly allocated to two groups for anesthesia with ISO (n=8) or SEVO (n=8). First, we measured the MAC values of ISO and SEVO, and four weeks later, we investigated the effect of each on the physiological effects, hematocrit (HCT) and plasma chemistry values. The MAC values of ISO and SEVO for crested serpent eagles were 1.46 ± 0.30 and 2.03 ± 0.32%, respectively. The results revealed no significant differences between the two anesthetics in induction time, while time of extubation to recovery was significantly shorter with SEVO. A time-related increase in end-tidal CO2 and decreases in body temperature and respiratory rates were observed during anesthesia with each anesthetic. There were no significant differences between the effect of the two anesthetics on heart rate, hematocrit, plasma chemistry values or respiration, although each caused minor respiration depression. We concluded that SEVO is a more effective inhalant agent than ISO for use in eagles, showing the most rapidest induction and recovery from anesthesia.

CHAN, Fang-Tse; CHANG, Geng-Ruei; WANG, Hsien-Chi; HSU, Tien-Huan

2013-01-01

92

Epidemiology of venomous and semi-venomous snakebites (Ophidia: Viperidae, Colubridae) in the Kashan city of the Isfahan province in Central Iran  

PubMed Central

Background: Information on the epidemiology of venomous snake species responsible for envenomation to humans in Iran has not been well documented. In the Kashan city, venomous snakebite remains a recurring medical problem. Information providing the correct identification of snake species responsible for envenomation in this geographic region would be useful to regional medical clinics and personnel for the effective and optimal management of the patients. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, all patient data was collected from Kashan city and its suburbs. The specific data relating to the taxonomic identification of snakes responsible for envenomation were evaluated. A general approach to the diagnosis and management of patients was also provided. Snakes responsible for bites were transported to a laboratory, where their taxonomic classification was confirmed based on key anatomical features and morphological characteristics. Results: A total of 46 snakes were examined. Of these, 37 (80%) were non-venomous species, and 9 (20%) were identified as venomous. Seven of the nine venomous snake species (78%) were of the family Viperidae, and two specimens (22%) were in the family Colubridae. Specifically, the viperid species were Macrovipera lebetina obtusa, Pseudocerastes persicus, Pseudocerastes fieldi, and Echis carinatus. The two colubrid species were Malpolon monspessulanus insignitus and Psammophis schkari. Conclusion: Five different species of venomous snakes responsible for envenomation in the Kashan city region were confirmed. The viper, P. fieldi, was reported for the first time in the central part of Iran.

Dehghani, Rouhullah; Mehrpour, Omid; Shahi, Morteza Panjeh; Jazayeri, Mehrdad; Karrari, Parissa; Keyler, Dan; Zamani, Nasim

2014-01-01

93

Angiotensin-degrading serine peptidase: a new chymotrypsin-like activity in the venom of Bothrops jararaca partially blocked by the commercial antivenom.  

PubMed

Snakebite envenomation is considered a highly relevant public health hazard in South America, having an impact in terms of mortality and morbidity. In Brazil, Bothrops (sensu latu) poisoning is responsible for 90% of the snakebites and in patients treated at the Vital Brazil Hospital (Butantan Institute) this index reaches 97.5%. The objective of the present study was to analyze more specifically the ability of the antibothropic antivenom, produced by the Butantan Institute, São Paulo, Brazil, to neutralize metallo-and serine peptidases, known as the major toxins present in Bothrops jararaca venom. A set of Fret peptides (Free Ressonance Energy Transfer) was studied using the BjV (B. jararaca venom) and site-directed inhibitors PMSF, EDTA and 1,10-phenanthroline. Two substrates were reached to be used as specific tools for studies with metallo peptidases, Abz-FASSAQ-EDDnp, and the serine peptidases, Abz-RPPGFSPFRQ-EDDnp. In disagreement with the literature, the use of both substrates and the antibothropic serum showed a weak neutralization of the serine peptidases present in this venom and a strong neutralization of the metallo peptidases. In order to investigate possible mechanisms of action that have not yet been described for the serine peptidases from the BjV, the present study shows for the first time a new tyrosine-specific chymotrypsin-like and angiotensin-degrading serine peptidase activity, that was partially blocked by the antibothropic serum. In conclusion, the antivenom presented a good neutralization of metallo peptidases but not of serine peptidases, indicating that further studies about serine peptidases immunogenicity are necessary to improve the antibothropic serum. PMID:22093545

Kuniyoshi, Alexandre Kazuo; Rocha, Marisa; Cajado Carvalho, Daniela; Juliano, Maria Aparecida; Juliano Neto, Luiz; Tambourgi, Denise Vilarinho; Portaro, Fernanda Calheta Vieira

2012-01-01

94

A Novel Phospholipase A2, BJ-PLA2, from the Venom of the Snake Bothrops jararaca: Purification, Primary Structure Analysis, and Its Characterization as a Platelet-Aggregation-Inhibiting Factor  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper describes the isolation and primary structure analysis of a new phospholipase A2 with platelet-aggregation-inhibiting activity from the venom of Bothrops jararaca. The protein, named BJ-PLA2, was isolated by means of ammonium sulfate precipitation and anion-exchange and reversed-phase chromatographies and behaved as a homogeneous single-chain protein on SDS–PAGE. Its amino acid sequence was determined by N-terminal sequencing and analysis

Solange M. T. Serrano; Antonia P. Reichl; Reinhard Mentele; Ennes A. Auerswald; Marcelo L. Santoro; Claudio A. M. Sampaio; Antonio C. M. Camargo; Marina T. Assakura

1999-01-01

95

Antiviral and antiparasite properties of an L-amino acid oxidase from the snake Bothrops jararaca: cloning and identification of a complete cDNA sequence.  

PubMed

L-Amino acid oxidases (LAAOs, EC 1.4.3.2) are flavoenzymes that catalyze the stereospecific oxidative deamination of an L-amino acid substrate to the corresponding alpha-ketoacid with hydrogen peroxide and ammonia production. The present work describes the first report on the antiviral (Dengue virus) and antiprotozoal (trypanocidal and leishmanicide) activities of a Bothrops jararaca L-amino acid oxidase (BjarLAAO-I) and identify its cDNA sequence. Antiparasite effects were inhibited by catalase, suggesting that they are mediated by H2O2 production. Cells infected with DENV-3 virus previously treated with BjarLAAO-I, showed a decrease in viral titer (13-83-fold) when compared with cells infected with untreated viruses. Untreated and treated promastigotes (T. cruzi and L. amazonensis) were observed by transmission electron microscopy with different degrees of damage. Its complete cDNA sequence, with 1452 bp, encoded an open reading frame of 484 amino acid residues with a theoretical molecular weight and pI of 54,771.8 and 5.7, respectively. The cDNA-deduced amino acid sequence of BjarLAAO shows high identity to LAAOs from other snake venoms. Further investigations will be focused on the related molecular and functional correlation of these enzymes. Such a study should provide valuable information for the therapeutic development of new generations of microbicidal drugs. PMID:18555977

Sant'Ana, Carolina D; Menaldo, Danilo L; Costa, Tássia R; Godoy, Harryson; Muller, Vanessa D M; Aquino, Victor H; Albuquerque, Sérgio; Sampaio, Suely V; Monteiro, Marta C; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

2008-07-15

96

Leucurogin, a new recombinant disintegrin cloned from Bothrops leucurus (white-tailed-jararaca) with potent activity upon platelet aggregation and tumor growth.  

PubMed

Disintegrins and disintegrins-like proteins are able to inhibit platelet aggregation and integrin-mediated cell adhesion. The aim of this study was to produce one disintegrin-like cloned from Bothrops leucurus venom gland and to characterize it regarding biological activity. The recombinant protein was purified by one step procedure involving anion-exchange chromatography (DEAE-cellulose) and presented a molecular mass of 10.4 kDa. The purified protein was able to inhibit platelet aggregation induced by collagen (IC?? = 0.65 ?M) and to inhibit growth of Ehrlich tumor implanted in mice by more than 50% after 7 days administration of 10 ?g/day. No effects were observed upon adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP)-and arachidonic acid (AA)-induced platelet aggregation. The recombinant protein was recognized by an antibody specific for jararhagin one metalloproteinase isolated from Bothrops jararaca venom, and therefore it was named leucurogin. Anti-angiogenesis effect of leucurogin was evaluated by the sponge implant model. After 7 days administration leucurogin inhibited, in a dose dependent way, the vascularization process in the sponge. Leucurogin represents a new biotechnological tool to understand biological processes where disintegrins-like are involved and may help to characterize integrins that can be involved in development and progression of malignant cells. PMID:21641921

Higuchi, D A; Almeida, M C; Barros, C C; Sanchez, E F; Pesquero, P R; Lang, E A S; Samaan, M; Araujo, R C; Pesquero, J B; Pesquero, J L

2011-07-01

97

The Descent of the Serpent: Using a Successful Ancient Solar Observatories Webcast from Chichen Itza to Highlight Space Weather Research  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Over the past seven years, NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum has sponsored and coordinated education and public outreach events to highlight NASA's heliophysics research and discoveries. Our strategy involves using celestial events, such as total solar eclipses and the Transit of Venus, as well as Sun-Earth Day during the March Equinox, to engage K-12 schools and the general public in space science activities, demonstrations, and interactions with space scientists. In collaboration with partners that include the Exploratorium and other museums, Ideum, NASA TV, NASA heliophysics missions, and others, we produce webcasts, other multi-media, and print resources for use by school and informal educators nation-wide and internationally. We provide training and professional development to K-12 educators, museum personnel, amateur astronomers, Girl Scout leaders, etc., so they can implement their own outreach programs taking advantage of our resources. A coordinated approach promotes multiple programs occurring each year under a common theme. As part of an Ancient Observatories theme in 2005, we have successfully featured solar alignments with ancient structures made by indigenous cultures that mark the equinoxes and/or solstices in cultural and historical parks in the Americas. In partnership with the Exploratorium, we produced broadcast-quality and webcast programming during the March equinox that shared heliophysics within a broad cultural context with formal and informal education audiences internationally. The program: "Descent of the Serpent" featured the light and shadow effect at sunset that takes place during the spring equinox at the Pyramid of El Castillo, in Chichén Itzá (México). This program made unique and authentic cultural connections to the knowledge of solar astronomy of the Maya, the living Mayan culture of today, and the importance of the Sun across the ages. We involved Sun-Earth Connection scientists, their missions, and research programs from México and the US to share NASA solar research with diverse audiences in the US and across the world, and to share how our dynamic Sun impacts the Earth and other planets in the solar system. During our presentation, we will highlight the strategies we used to successfully engage Hispanics of native heritage in heliophysics from all over the world.

Hawkins, I.; Higdon, R.; Cline, T.

2006-12-01

98

Brain nitric oxide production by a proline-rich decapeptide from Bothrops jararaca venom improves baroreflex sensitivity of spontaneously hypertensive rats.  

PubMed

Baroreflex sensitivity is disturbed in many people with cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. Brain deficiency of nitric oxide (NO), which is synthesized by NO synthase (NOS) in the citrulline-NO cycle (with argininosuccinate synthase (ASS) activity being the rate-limiting step), contributes to impaired baroreflex. We recently showed that a decapeptide isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, denoted Bj-PRO-10c, exerts powerful and sustained antihypertensive activity. Bj-PRO-10c promoted vasodilatation dependent on the positive modulation of ASS activity and NO production in the endothelium, and also acted on the central nervous system, inducing the release of GABA and glutamate, two important neurotransmitters in the regulation of autonomic systems. We evaluated baroreflex function using the regression line obtained by the best-fit points of measured heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) data from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) treated with Bj-PRO-10c. We also investigated molecular mechanisms involved in this effect, both in vitro and in vivo. Bj-PRO-10c mediated an increase in baroreflex sensitivity and a decrease in MAP and HR. The effects exerted by the peptide include an increase in the gene expression of endothelial NOS and ASS. Bj-PRO-10c-induced NO production depended on intracellular calcium fluxes and the activation of a G(i/o)-protein-coupled metabotropic receptor. Bj-PRO-10c induced NO production and the gene expression of ASS and endothelial NOS in the brains of SHRs, thereby improving baroreflex sensitivity. Bj-PRO-10c may reveal novel approaches for treating diseases with impaired baroreflex function. PMID:21132021

Lameu, Claudiana; Pontieri, Vera; Guerreiro, Juliano R; Oliveira, Eduardo F; da Silva, Carlos Alberto; Giglio, Joyce M; Melo, Robson L; Campos, Ruy R; de Camargo, Antonio Carlos Martins; Ulrich, Henning

2010-12-01

99

Enhancement of the citrulline-nitric oxide cycle in astroglioma cells by the proline-rich peptide-10c from Bothrops jararaca venom.  

PubMed

The biological activity of the proline-rich decapeptide Bj-PRO-10c, a processing product of the C-type natriuretic peptide precursor protein, expressed in the brain and the venom gland of the pit viper Bothrops jararaca, was originally attributed to the inhibition of the somatic angiotensin-converting enzyme activity with subsequent anti-hypertensive effect. However, recent results suggest broader biological activity may also be involved in the cardiovascular effects of this peptide. Here we show that Bj-PRO-10c enhances and sustains the generation of nitric oxide (NO) by regulating argininosuccinate synthase activity and thereby velocity of the citrulline-NO cycle. Bj-PRO-10c-mediated effects not restricted to the cardiovascular system, since NO production was also induced in cells of astroglial origin. Bj-PRO-10c was internalized by C6 astroglioma cells where it induces NO production and upregulation of the citrulline-NO cycle cells in a dose-dependent fashion. In view of that, astroglial cells function as L-arginine pool for NO production in neighboring neurons, we suggest a regulatory function for Bj-PRO-10c on the metabolism of this gaseous neurotransmitter in the CNS. Moreover, proliferation of astroglial cells was reduced in the presence of Bj-PRO-10c; however, cell death was not induced. Since NO donors have been studied for the treatment of solid cancers, Bj-PRO-10c may serve as structural model for developing drugs to improve the effects of cancer therapy based on the peptide's ability to augment NO production. PMID:20875803

de Oliveira, Eduardo Fontana; Guerreiro, Juliano R; Silva, Carlos A; Benedetti, Gabriel Fernando de Souza; Lebrun, Ivo; Ulrich, Henning; Lameu, Claudiana; Camargo, Antonio C M

2010-12-01

100

The three-dimensional structure of bothropasin, the main hemorrhagic factor from Bothrops jararaca venom: insights for a new classification of snake venom metalloprotease subgroups.  

PubMed

Bothropasin is a 48kDa hemorrhagic PIII snake venom metalloprotease (SVMP) isolated from Bothrops jararaca, containing disintegrin/cysteine-rich adhesive domains. Here we present the crystal structure of bothropasin complexed with the inhibitor POL647. The catalytic domain consists of a scaffold of two subdomains organized similarly to those described for other SVMPs, including the zinc and calcium-binding sites. The free cysteine residue Cys189 is located within a hydrophobic core and it is not available for disulfide bonding or other interactions. There is no identifiable secondary structure for the disintegrin domain, but instead it is composed mostly of loops stabilized by seven disulfide bonds and by two calcium ions. The ECD region is in a loop and is structurally related to the RGD region of RGD disintegrins, which are derived from PII SVMPs. The ECD motif is stabilized by the Cys277-Cys310 disulfide bond (between the disintegrin and cysteine-rich domains) and by one calcium ion. The side chain of Glu276 of the ECD motif is exposed to solvent and free to make interactions. In bothropasin, the HVR (hyper-variable region) described for other PIII SVMPs in the cysteine-rich domain, presents a well-conserved sequence with respect to several other PIII members from different species. We propose that this subset be referred to as PIII-HCR (highly conserved region) SVMPs. The differences in the disintegrin-like, cysteine-rich or disintegrin-like cysteine-rich domains may be involved in selecting target binding, which in turn could generate substrate diversity or specificity for the catalytic domain. PMID:18831982

Muniz, João R C; Ambrosio, Andre L B; Selistre-de-Araujo, Heloisa S; Cominetti, Márcia R; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M; Oliva, Glaucius; Garratt, Richard C; Souza, Dulce H F

2008-12-01

101

Evaluation of the effect of aqueous extract of Croton urucurana Baillon (Euphorbiaceae) on the hemorrhagic activity induced by the venom of Bothrops jararaca, using new techniques to quantify hemorrhagic activity in rat skin.  

PubMed

Aqueous extracts of Croton urucurana (Sangra D'agua), a plant popularly considered a cicatrizant, were analyzed for anti-Bothrops jararaca venom activity. The plant extracts antagonized the hemorrhagic activity of the venom and proanthocyanidins were involved in this activity. Two new methods for the quantification of hemorrhagic activity evoked by bothropic venoms were employed. The first consists of graphic computer analysis of the hemorrhagic halo evoked in rats by dorsal intradermic administration of venom. The second method involves quantification of the hemoglobin present in the hemorrhagic halo. Based on the results, we suggest that these methods, easily implemented in the laboratory routine, allow for quantification of venom-induced hemorrhagic activity. In addition, this study demonstrates that the rich extracts of proanthocyanidins are powerful inhibitors of bothropic venom metalloproteinases. PMID:16121517

Esmeraldino, L E; Souza, A M; Sampaio, S V

2005-08-01

102

Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) induces differential leukocyte accumulation in mice genetically selected for acute inflammatory reaction: the role of host genetic background on expression of adhesion molecules and release of endogenous mediators.  

PubMed

The dynamics of the local inflammatory events induced by Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) inoculation in footpad of mice genetically selected for maximal (AIRmax) and minimal (AIRmin) acute inflammatory reactivity (AIR) was investigated. The BjV injection induced a marked inflammatory cell infiltrate with predominance of neutrophils, with increased blood cell numbers before its accumulation, suggesting a stimulatory action of BjV on mechanisms of cell mobilization from bone marrow. The process of cell migration is regulated by different cell-adhesion molecules (CAM). Our results showed that neutrophil cells from both lines had the same pattern of response concerning CAMs expression, presenting the involvement of l-selectin, Mac-1 and PECAM-1 adhesion molecules in BjV-induced neutrophil accumulation. The effect of BjV on the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines related with cellular migration was also studied and IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha and MIP-2 levels could be detected after venom injection. The AIRmax mice were shown to be more responsive than AIRmin with respect to leukocyte influx, expression of MIP-2 and release of IL-1beta and IL-6. These results demonstrate the importance of host genetic background in the local response and the involvement of alleles accumulated in AIRmax mice in the inflammatory events induced by BjV. PMID:18723041

Carneiro, Adriana S; Ribeiro, Orlando G; Cabrera, Wafa H K; Vorraro, Francisca; De Franco, Marcelo; Ibañez, Olga M; Starobinas, Nancy

2008-10-01

103

Note on Leptomicrurus collaris (Schlegel) (Reptilia, Serpentes)  

Microsoft Academic Search

An attempt to prepare a survey of the poisonous snakes of Surinam led to the discovery of a specimen of the very rare coral snake Leptomicrurus collaris (Schlegel) in the Zoological Museum, Amsterdam, and to tracing another specimen in the Staatliche Museum für Naturkunde, Ludwigsburg (Stuttgart Museum). For long years the species was known under the name of Hemibungarus collaris

L. D. Brongersma

1966-01-01

104

First Results from SERPENT Marine MT Study  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In April 2010 we conducted a controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) and magnetotelluric (MT) survey over the Middle Americas subduction zone offshore Nicaragua. Seismic and heat flow studies have been conducted in the region to explore the role water plays at convergent margins, yet the quantity of water entering the downgoing slab remains poorly constrained. Electrical conductivity, however, is highly sensitive to the amount and distribution of water in the crust, and possibly mantle. Our broadband marine MT receivers recorded electric and magnetic field variations at the seafloor in water depths ranging from 60-5100 m. A total of 54 receiver deployments along a 300 km profile resulted in the largest MT dataset ever collected over an active subduction zone, all recorded in a single 28 day cruise aboard the R/V Melville. Spectrograms of the raw data show strong signal, including a significant magnetic storm from 5/2 to 5/3. Robust multiple station processing of the MT data produced high quality apparent resistivity and phase estimates for periods of roughly 10-20,000 s. Impedance polar diagrams and skew estimates display an evolution of 1D structure on the abyssal plain, 2D structure at the outer rise, 3D structure on/near the trench, and 1D-2D structure along the continental shelf. The MT responses generally lack the severe anisotropy usually associated with the ocean-side coast effect in near-shore MT studies. However, large distortions are evident at a few sites on the prism side of the trench, where extremely high skews are strongly localized in both space and frequency; these are spatially correlated with cusps in apparent resistivity and negative phase wrapping of the TE mode. We suspect this is caused by a combination of severe bathymetric effects and local variations in conductivity structure. Initial modeling results will be presented.

Naif, S.; Key, K. W.; Constable, S.; Evans, R. L.

2010-12-01

105

The Plumed Serpent and the Red Atlantis.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Examines work of author D.H. Lawrence and John Collier, later Bureau of Indian Affairs Commissioner, during 1920s when they stayed as Mabel Dodge Luhan's guests in Taos, New Mexico. Examines their perceptions of Pueblo Indian culture, federal-Indian relationship, and Indian influences on Lawrence's and Collier's work. (TES)

Willard, William

1988-01-01

106

Mitochondrial genome of Protobothrops jerdonii (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).  

PubMed

Protobothrops jerdonii is a common venomous snake that is widely distributed in southwestern China and other adjacent countries of Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of P. jerdonii was determined. The circle genome with the 17,239 bp total length contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 2 control regions. Overall base composition of the complete mtDNA was 33.13% A, 25.07% T, 29.31% C, and 12.50% G. All the genes in P. jerdonii were distributed on the H-strand, except for the ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes which were encoded on the L-strand. PMID:23316752

Huang, Xin; Zhang, Liang; Zhu, Xiaoxue; Pan, Tao; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Baowei

2013-06-01

107

Uni-directional transport properties of a serpent billiard  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We present a dynamical analysis of a classical billiard chain—a channel with parallel semi-circular walls, which can serve as a model for a bent optical fibre. An interesting feature of this model is the fact that the phase space separates into two disjoint invariant components corresponding to the left and right uni-directional motions. Dynamics is decomposed into the jump map, a Poincaré map between the two ends of a basic cell, and the time function, travelling time across a basic cell of a point on a surface of section. The jump map has a mixed phase space where the relative sizes of the regular and chaotic components depend on the width of the channel. For a suitable value of this parameter, we can have almost fully chaotic phase space. We have studied numerically the Lyapunov exponents, time auto-correlation functions and diffusion of particles along the chain. As a result of the singularity of the time function, we obtain marginally normal diffusion after we subtract the average drift. The last result is also supported by some analytical arguments.

Horvat, Martin; Prosen, Tomaz

2004-03-01

108

On the identity of Chironius flavolineatus (Serpentes: Colubridae).  

PubMed

The snake genus Chironius Fitzinger, 1826 is endemic to the Neotropical region, occurring from Honduras to Uruguay and northeastern Argentina. Some species of the genus have taxonomic and/or nomenclatural problems, such as C. flavolineatus which lacks agreement in the literature about its authorship and type locality. Some researchers have been suggesting Jan (1863) as the author of the species since he first described C. flavolineatus based on two specimens. However, other researchers report that Jan's description is so incomplete that it is not possible to ascertain what snake he had in mind and therefore suggest Boettger (1885) as the author, since he was the first to provide a detailed description of the species. In the present study one of the syntypes of C. flavolineatus, supposedly destroyed in Second World War, was found. Thus, the taxonomic identity of C. flavolineatus was redefined, its lectotype was designated and the authorship of the taxa is attributed to Jan (1863). PMID:24870316

Hamdan, Breno; Scali, Stefano; Fernandes, Daniel Silva

2014-01-01

109

Serpentized mantle at rifted margins: The Goban Spur example  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The crustal structure of rifted continental margins can tell us about the processes that operated from continental extension to eventual break-up and sea floor spreading. Variations between margins may record different processes operating during extension or indicate changes in the external geological controls such as mantle plume influence. Extension between Europe and North America began in the mid Cretaceous, dated at the Goban Spur-Flemish Cap rift as late Hauterivian-early Barremian (126-128 Ma) from deep sea drilling (DSDP leg 80) results on the Goban Spur margin. Marine magnetic anomaly 34 can be identified clearly on both margins and indicates that sea floor spreading began no later than 83 Ma. Syn-rift volcanism is limited to a 20 km basaltic body, with considerable lateral extent, at the foot of the continental slope, emplaced at the end of continental rifting. \

Bullock, A. D.; Minshull, T. A.

2002-12-01

110

Wound Myiasis due to Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) in Persian Horned Viper, Pseudocerastes persicus (Squamata: Viperidae)  

PubMed Central

A case of myiasis due to Musca domestica describes in Pseudocerastes persicus for the first time. The snake was found in Bari Karafs, Kashan, Iran, with a lesion on its body. Fourteen live larvae of M. domestica removed from its wound. This is the first report of a new larval habitat of M. domestica.

Dehghani, R; Sedaghat, MM; Bidgoli, M Sabahi

2012-01-01

111

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

PubMed

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 IC(50) 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. PMID:21677795

Maduwage, Kalana; Hodgson, Wayne C; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; O'Leary, Margaret A; Gawarammana, Indika; Isbister, Geoffrey K

2011-01-01

112

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

PubMed Central

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 MCC5 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.

Maduwage, Kalana; Hodgson, Wayne C; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; O'Leary, Margaret A; Gawarammana, Indika; Isbister, Geoffrey K

2011-01-01

113

Evolutionary Relationships among the True Vipers (Reptilia: Viperidae) Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences  

Microsoft Academic Search

Nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome b and 16S rRNA genes, totaling 946 bp, were used to reconstruct a molecular phylogeny of 42 species of the subfamily Viperinae representing 12 of the 13 recognized genera. Maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood were used as methods for phylogeny reconstruction with and without a posteriori weighting. When representatives of the Causinae were taken as outgroup, five

Peter Lenk; Svetlana Kalyabina; Michael Wink; Ulrich Joger

2001-01-01

114

Interspecific variation in venom composition and toxicity of Brazilian snakes from Bothrops genus.  

PubMed

The genus Bothrops spp. is responsible for 90% of envenomation by snakes in Brazil, and the standard treatment for snakebites is the antivenom therapy. The anti-bothropic serum produced by Butantan Institute is prepared by the hyperimmunization of horses with a pool of venoms from Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu, Bothrops moojeni and Bothrops neuwiedi. In this study, the biochemical and biological characteristics of the venoms from nineteen snakes of the genus Bothrops, responsible for human accidents in Brazil, were analysed. Venoms, particularly from Crotalidae and Viperidae snakes, are rich sources of serine proteases and metalloproteases and the ability of the Brazilian anti-bothropic serum to neutralize the proteolytic activity of these venoms were also tested. The results obtained here show the existence of a large range of variation in the composition and activities in Bothrops spp. toxins and demonstrate that the anti-bothropic serum is not able to fully neutralize the toxic activities of all analysed venoms. These suggest that for the preparation of a fully effective therapeutic anti-bothropic serum, other venoms should be included in the immunization mixture. PMID:18983867

Queiroz, Giselle Pidde; Pessoa, Lucas Alves; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Furtado, Maria de Fátima D; Tambourgi, Denise V

2008-12-15

115

A relict lineage and new species of green palm-pitviper (Squamata, Viperidae, Bothriechis) from the Chortís Highlands of Mesoamerica.  

PubMed

A new species of palm-pitviper of the genus Bothriechis is described from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras. The new species differs from congeners by having 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a bright green dorsal coloration in adults, the prelacunal scale fused to the second supralabial, and in representing a northern lineage that is sister to Bothriechis lateralis, which is distributed in Costa Rica and western Panama and is isolated from the new taxon by the Nicaraguan Depression. This represents the 15th endemic species occurring in Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, one of the richest herpetofaunal sites in Honduras, itself being the country with the highest degree of herpetofaunal endemism in Central America. We name this new species in honor of a Honduran conservationist slain in fighting against illegal logging, highlighting the sacrifices of rural activists in battling these issues and the critical importance of conservation in these areas. PMID:23794885

Townsend, Josiah H; Medina-Flores, Melissa; Wilson, Larry David; Jadin, Robert C; Austin, James D

2013-01-01

116

Edema induced by Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) snake venom and its inhibition by Costa Rican plant extracts.  

PubMed

We tested the capacity of leaf (Urera baccifera, Loasa speciosa, Urtica leptuphylla, Chaptalia nutans, and Satureja viminea) and root (Uncaria tomentosa) extracts to inhibit edema induced by Bothrops asper snake venom. Edema-forming activity was studied plethysmographically in the rat hind paw model. Groups of rats were injected intraperitoneally with various doses of each extract and, one hour later, venom was injected subcutaneously in the right hind paw. Edema was assessed at various time intervals. The edematogenic activity was inhibited in those animals that received an injection U. tomentosa, C. nutans or L. speciosa extract. The extract of U. baccifera showed a slight inhibition of the venom effect. Extract from S. viminea and, to a lesser extent that of U. leptuphylla, induced a pro-inflammatory effect, increasing the edema at doses of 250 mg/kg at one and two hours. PMID:18494294

Badilla, Beatriz; Chaves, Fernando; Mora, Gerardo; Poveda, Luis J

2006-06-01

117

Comparative in-vivo toxicity of venoms from South Asian hump-nosed pit vipers (Viperidae: Crotalinae: Hypnale)  

PubMed Central

Background Envenoming by south Asian hump-nosed pit vipers (Genus: Hypnale) is a significant health issue in Sri Lanka and in peninsular India. Bites by these snakes frequently lead to local envenoming, coagulopathy and acute renal failure even resulting in death. Recently the genus was revised and the existence of three species viz H. hypnale, H. nepa and H. zara were recognized. There is, however, a paucity of information on the toxicity of the venoms of these species. Hence, we compared the toxic effects of the three Hypnale venoms using BALB/c mice. Findings Intraperitoneal median lethal doses (LD50) for H. hypnale, H. zara and H. nepa venoms were 1.6, 6.0 and 9.5??g protein/g respectively. Minimum haemorrhagic doses for venoms of H. hypnale, H. zara and H. nepa were 3.4, 11.0 and 16.6??g protein/mouse respectively. The minimum necrotic doses for the same venoms were 15.0, 55.1 and 68.2??g protein/mouse respectively. Severe congestion and petecheal haemorrhages were observed in lungs, kidneys, liver and the alimentary tract. Histopathogical examination of kidneys revealed proximal tubular cell injury and acute tubular necrosis with intact basement membrane indicating possible direct nephrotoxicity. Hypnale venoms caused pulmonary oedema, hepatocellular degeneration and necrosis, focal neuronal degeneration in brain and extramedullary haemopoiesis in spleen. H. hypnale venom caused all above histopathological alterations at lower doses compared to the other two. Conclusion Hypnale venoms cause similar pathological changes with marked differences in the severity of the toxic effects in vivo. Therefore, differences in the severity of the clinical manifestations could possibly be seen among bite victims of the three Hypnale species.

2012-01-01

118

Modeling nucleotide evolution at the mesoscale: The phylogeny of the Neotropical pitvipers of the Porthidium group (Viperidae: Crotalinae)  

Microsoft Academic Search

We analyzed the phylogeny of the Neotropical pitvipers within the Porthidium group (including intra-specific through inter-generic relationships) using 1.4kb of DNA sequences from two mitochondrial protein-coding genes (ND4 and cyt-b). We investigated how Bayesian Markov chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) phylogenetic hypotheses based on this ‘mesoscale’ dataset were affected by analysis under various complex models of nucleotide evolution that partition models across

Todd A. Castoe; Mahmood M. Sasa; Christopher L. Parkinson

2005-01-01

119

Sexual activity and plasma levels of sex steroids in the aspic viper Vipera aspis L. (Reptilia, Viperidae).  

PubMed

Reproductive behavior and associated sexual activity was studied in individual male and female Vipera aspis over a 3-year period in western France in an attempt to correlate mating behavior with blood levels of gonadal sex steroids. Males had higher average levels of both testosterone (T) and 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) than females. Levels of progesterone (P) did not differ significantly between the two sexes but estradiol-17 beta (E2) concentrations were significantly higher in females during the season of mating. Spring mating behavior and copulation in males was associated with significantly increased levels of T and DHT, compared with postmating males; and a similar, but not significant trend, was evident with autumnal mating. The only statistically significant hormonal difference detected in males showing no sexual activity in autumn, was an elevated level of E2 at 0.52 +/- 0.20 ng/ml compared with 0.09 +/- 0.03 ng/ml in spring-breeding males (P = 0.05). Estrus in females is associated with increased levels of all four steroids but significant only for E2 and DHT. Levels of P were significantly reduced in females displaying seasonal anestrous in the spring immediately following reproduction. Females not displaying estrus in either spring or autumn had significantly lower plasma DHT and E2. Although mating behavior in males is associated statistically with elevated levels of T and DHT, a tight correlation is not obvious at the individual level, suggesting that increased concentrations of androgens are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for mating. The data from V. aspis suggest that, as in a number of other reptilian species, high circulating levels of androgens function to "condition" or "organize" sexual behavior in males which may be displayed at some later time, well after actual levels have fallen, thus engendering the impression that reproductive behavior may be temporally dissociated from essential hormonal stimuli. PMID:8224772

Saint Girons, H; Bradshaw, S D; Bradshaw, F J

1993-09-01

120

Edema induced by Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) snake venom and its inhibition by Costa Rican plant extracts  

Microsoft Academic Search

W e tested the capacity of leaf (Urera baccifera, Loasa speciosa, Urtica leptuphylla, Chaptalia nutans, and Satureja viminea) and root (Uncaria tomentosa) extracts to inhibit edema induced by Bothrops asper snake venom. Edema-forming activity was studied plethysmographically in the rat hind paw model. Groups of rats were injected intraperitoneally with various doses of each extract and, one hour later, venom

Beatriz Badilla; Fernando Chaves; Gerardo Mora; Luis J. Poveda

2006-01-01

121

Phylogenetic Position of Porthidium Hespere (Viperidae: Crotalinae) and Phylogeography of Arid-Adapted Hognosed Pitvipers Based on Mitochondrial DNA  

Microsoft Academic Search

Gaps in recent studies of hognosed pit vipers in the genus Porthidium have left researchers with an incomplete estimate of the evolutionary history of this group. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the poorly known P. hespere and additional Porthidium sequences obtained from GenBank were used to re-analyze the phylogenetic relationships of Porthidium. Using sequence data from the South American Porthidium,

Robert W. Bryson; Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca; Jacobo Reyes Velasco

2008-01-01

122

Leptophis santamartensis (Serpentes, Colubridae), a junior synonym of Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Leptophis santamartensis, known only from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, is one of the more poorly known species of the genus Leptophis. The characters used for its diagnosis largely overlap with those of other Leptophis, mainly with Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis, the only other Leptophis known to occur in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A detailed comparison of L. a. occidentalis with the two known specimens of L. santamartensis leads to the conclusion that the latter should be relegated to the synonymy of the former.

Albuquerque, Nelson R., de; Passos, Paulo; Gotte, Steve W.

2012-01-01

123

Mitochondrial DNA-Based phylogeography of North American rubber boas, Charina bottae (Serpentes: Boidae).  

PubMed

We used 783 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequences to study the phylogeography of Charina bottae (rubber boa) in western North America, with an emphasis on populations from California (U.S.A.). Maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood methods identified a basal divergence within C. bottae that corresponds to southern and northern segments of its current distribution. These clades coincide with the ranges of the two recognized subspecies, C. b. umbratica in the south and C. b. bottae to the north. A subsequent cladogenetic event in the C. b. bottae clade resulted in two groupings, which we refer to as the Sierra Nevada and the Northwestern subclades, based on the geographic distribution of their constituent populations. The two subclades have completely allopatric distributions, with a genetic break in the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California, an area that was subjected to glaciation during the Pleistocene and that has been volcanically active in the past 100 years. An earlier genetic study documented fixed differences between populations of bottae and umbratica in four of seven allozymes surveyed, and despite noticeable variation and overlap in the characters that define C. b. bottae and C. b. umbratica, the two forms still can be separated in most cases using a suite of morphological traits. All available evidence thus indicates that C. b. umbratica is a genetically cohesive, allopatric taxon that is morphologically diagnosable, and we conclude that it is an independent evolutionary unit that should be recognized as a distinct species, Charina umbratica. PMID:11161758

Rodríguez-Robles, J A; Stewart, G R; Papenfuss, T J

2001-02-01

124

DISCOVERY OF THE MADAGASCAR SERPENT-EAGLE, EUTRIORCHIS ASTUR, IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN MADAGASCAR. (U915543)  

EPA Science Inventory

The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

125

Shedding light on serpent sight: the visual pigments of henophidian snakes.  

PubMed

The biologist Gordon Walls proposed his "transmutation" theory through the 1930s and the 1940s to explain cone-like morphology of rods (and vice versa) in the duplex retinas of modern-day reptiles, with snakes regarded as the epitome of his hypothesis. Despite Walls' interest, the visual system of reptiles, and in particular snakes, has been widely neglected in favor of studies of fishes and mammals. By analyzing the visual pigments of two henophidian snakes, Xenopeltis unicolor and Python regius, we show that both species express two cone opsins, an ultraviolet-sensitive short-wavelength-sensitive 1 (SWS1) (lambda(max) = 361 nm) pigment and a long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) (lambda(max) = 550 nm) pigment, providing the potential for dichromatic color vision. They also possess rod photoreceptors which express the usual rod opsin (Rh1) pigment with a lambda(max) at 497 nm. This is the first molecular study of the visual pigments expressed in the photoreceptors of any snake species. The presence of a duplex retina and the characterization of LWS, SWS1, and Rh1 visual pigments in henophidian snakes implies that "lower" snakes do not provide support for Walls' transmutation theory, unlike some "higher" (caenophidian) snakes and other reptiles, such as geckos. More data from other snake lineages will be required to test this hypothesis further. PMID:19515920

Davies, Wayne L; Cowing, Jill A; Bowmaker, James K; Carvalho, Livia S; Gower, David J; Hunt, David M

2009-06-10

126

Enlarged Posterior Maxillary Teeth in the Scarlet Snake, Cemophora coccinea (Serpentes: Colubridae), Using Scanning Electron Microscopy  

Microsoft Academic Search

The scarlet snake, Cemophoracoccinea,is a small-to-medi- um sized colubrid species that is distributed throughout Arkansasand the southeastern United States (Conant and Collins, 1991). The species is noted for its coloration (a red, black, and yellow-to-creambanding pattern), fossori- al-to-semi-fossorial habits, and distinctively pointed snout. The scarlet snake is also infrequently encountered, and little is known about its biology in Arkansas other

Stanley E. Trauth

127

The Malicious SerpentSnakes as a Prototypical Stimulus for an Evolved Module of Fear  

Microsoft Academic Search

As reptiles, snakes may have signified deadly threats in the environment of early mammals. We review findings suggesting that snakes remain special stimuli for humans. Intense snake fear is prevalent in both humans and other primates. Humans and monkeys learn snake fear more easily than fear of most other stimuli through direct or vicarious conditioning. Neither the elicitation nor the

Arne Öhman; Susan Mineka

2003-01-01

128

Unusual labial glands in snakes of the genus Geophis Wagler, 1830 (Serpentes: Dipsadinae).  

PubMed

Geophis belongs to the goo-eating dipsadine assemblage of snakes that are known to feed exclusively on earthworms, snails, and slugs. Although the unusual feeding strategies of the goo-eating dipsadines are well known (but poorly documented), little attention has been paid to their internal anatomy. Here, we describe a new and noteworthy morphological and histochemical condition of the infralabial glands in three species of Geophis (G. brachycephalus, G. nasalis and G. semidoliatus), all earthworm feeders. Their infralabial glands are constituted of two distinct parts: an anterolateral portion composed of mucous and seromucous cells that stretches from the tip of the dentary to the corner of the mouth, and a tubular posteromedial portion that is exclusively seromucous. The anterolateral portion receives fibers of the levator anguli oris muscle that attaches on its posterodorsal extremity while the posteromedial portion extends posteriorly to the corner of the mouth where it receives fibers of the adductor mandibulae externus medialis muscle. Furthermore, the posteromedial portion of the infralabial gland is constituted by large acini filled with secretion that is periodic acid-Schiff positive. These acini release their secretion directly into a large lumen located in the middle of the glandular portion. In the three species examined, the supralabial glands show a traditional configuration, being constituted of mucous and seromucous cells and retaining an enlarged part in its caudal region that resembles a Duvernoy's gland. The presence in Geophis of an expanded lumen in part of the infralabial gland that is compressed by an adjacent muscle suggests a more specialized role for the secretion produced by these glands that may not be related to envenomation but rather to prey transport and mucus control. PMID:24127255

de Oliveira, Leonardo; da Costa Prudente, Ana Lúcia; Zaher, Hussam

2014-01-01

129

Postnatal development of the skull of Dinilysia patagonica (Squamata-stem Serpentes).  

PubMed

The snake skull represents a profound transformation of the ancestral squamate cranium in which dermal skull roof bones were integrated with the braincase, in a manner convergent with that which occurred during the origin of mammals. However, the ontogeny of snake characters at the origin of the clade has until now been inaccessible. Here we describe a postnatal ontogenetic series of the Late Cretaceous stem snake Dinilysia patagonica and compare it to that of extant lizards and snakes. Comparative analysis indicates notable ontogenetic changes, including advanced state of ossification, isometric growth of the otic capsule, fusion of the stylohyal to the quadrate, and great posterior elongation of the supratemporal. Of these transformations, the unfused condition of braincase bones and the retention of a large otic capsule in adults are examples of paedomorphic and peramorphic processes, respectively. Some ontogenetic transformations detected, in particular those present in middle ear, skull roof and suspensorium, are strikingly similar to those present in extant snakes. Nevertheless, Dinilysia retains a lizard-like paroccipital process without an epiphyseal extremity, and a calcified epiphysis that caps the sphenoccipital tubercle. Finally, the integration of the dermal skull roof with the braincase is similar to that seen in mammals with regard to the overall closure of the braincase, but the two evolutionary and developmental modules appear less integrated in snakes in that the parietal bone of the dermal skull roof progressively overlaps the supraoccipital of the chondrocranial braincase. PMID:24493375

Scanferla, Agustín; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

2014-03-01

130

Complete mitochondrial genome sequence from an endangered Indian snake, Python molurus molurus (Serpentes, Pythonidae).  

PubMed

This paper reports the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an endangered Indian snake, Python molurus molurus (Indian Rock Python). A typical snake mitochondrial (mt) genome of 17258 bp length comprising of 37 genes including the 13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and 2 ribosomal RNA genes along with duplicate control regions is described herein. The P. molurus molurus mt. genome is relatively similar to other snake mt. genomes with respect to gene arrangement, composition, tRNA structures and skews of AT/GC bases. The nucleotide composition of the genome shows that there are more A-C % than T-G% on the positive strand as revealed by positive AT and CG skews. Comparison of individual protein coding genes, with other snake genomes suggests that ATP8 and NADH3 genes have high divergence rates. Codon usage analysis reveals a preference of NNC codons over NNG codons in the mt. genome of P. molurus. Also, the synonymous and non-synonymous substitution rates (ka/ks) suggest that most of the protein coding genes are under purifying selection pressure. The phylogenetic analyses involving the concatenated 13 protein coding genes of P. molurus molurus conformed to the previously established snake phylogeny. PMID:22331485

Dubey, Bhawna; Meganathan, P R; Haque, Ikramul

2012-07-01

131

Serpents in the Garden: English Professors in Contemporary Film and Television  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In an article on "Smart People" (2008), a film in which Dennis Quaid plays an English professor who becomes romantically involved with a former student, Jeffery J. Williams notes that a "common complaint among academics is that films don't depict them correctly, and in some ways Quaid was accoutered by central casting, beginning the movie in a…

Carens, Timothy L.

2010-01-01

132

Rattlesnakes in the Garden: The Fascinating Serpents of the Early, Edenic Republic  

Microsoft Academic Search

This essay considers the various ways in which writers and visual artists deployed the rattlesnake to advance and, later, destabilize nationalist agendas between the French and Indian War and the Civil War. During the intervening century the rattlesnake, with its powers of fascination, evolved into a multifaceted symbol used to represent a wide range of ideas: British colonial unity; American

Zachary McLeod Hutchins

2011-01-01

133

Rattlesnakes in the Garden: The Fascinating Serpents of the Early, Edenic Republic  

Microsoft Academic Search

:This essay considers the various ways in which writers and visual artists deployed the rattlesnake to advance and, later, destabilize nationalist agendas between the French and Indian War and the Civil War. During the intervening century the rattlesnake, with its powers of fascination, evolved into a multifaceted symbol used to represent a wide range of ideas: British colonial unity; American

Zachary McLeod Hutchins

2011-01-01

134

Preliminary Results From the Serpentinite, Extension and Regional Porosity Experiment Across the Nicaraguan Trench (SERPENT)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Water plays an important role in the volcanic processes occurring at convergent margins, as the release of water from the downgoing slab affects the rheology of the mantle, increases melting by lowering the solidus temperature, and alters the chemistry of arc-lavas. Yet, one of the major uncertainties in terms of fluid inputs into the subduction factory concerns the extent of serpentinization of the oceanic upper mantle and the volumes of water that are being carried into the subduction system through this route. In April 2010 we conducted a large-scale marine electromagnetic experiment along a 300 km profile offshore Nicaragua in a region that shows evidence for substantial fault related fluid circulation in the crust and possibly upper mantle, and high Ba/La ratios and water contents in adjacent onshore volcanics that suggest a strong slab fluid input into the arc-melting. Our project is the largest combined controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) and magnetotelluric (MT) data set ever collected on an active subduction zone. During the single 28 day research cruise aboard the R/V Melville we collected 54 stations of broadband marine magnetotelluric (MT) data and deep-towed nearly 800 km of controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) data. Robust multiple-station array processing of the MT data yields high quality MT responses from 10 to 20,000 s period. The MT responses are fairly 1D over the abyssal plain, showing the effects of a thin veneer of conductive sediments overlying a resistive lithosphere and a deeper conductive mantle. The responses become strongly 2D on the trench outer rise and exhibit large 3D distortions at the bottom of the trench, likely due to a combination of effects from severe topography and seafloor conductivity variations. Two circular CSEM tows of 30 km radius were measured by special long-wire EM (LEM) sensors on the abyssal plain and the outer rise. The LEM data reveals a distinct pattern of electromagnetic polarization that is characteristic of mantle transverse anisotropy. Since the conductive axis is aligned with the fossil ridge-parallel direction and reactivated normal faults in the trench, we interpret this to be caused by conductive serpentinized mantle penetrating faults. Conventional CSEM data recorded at a broad suite of transmission frequencies along the 300 km long profile and a 50 km along strike profile provide constraints on crustal conductivity variations. The analysis of these data is ongoing and will provide a comprehensive picture of the electrical conductivity structure from the seafloor to the upper mantle, representing the entire input into this part of the Central American subduction system. Since conductivity is highly dependent on thermal structure, crack porosity and the presence of serpentinite, our experiment will provide constraints on the depth of active fluid circulation within the oceanic crust and mantle, the variation of fluid circulation with distance from the trench and hence with the degree of plate bending, and the extent of dewatering of the subducting slab in the shallow portion of the mantle wedge.

Key, K. W.; Constable, S.; Evans, R. L.; Naif, S.; Matsuno, T.; Lizarralde, D.

2010-12-01

135

The Serpent in the Garden State: Juvenile Delinquency in 1920s New Jersey  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

School administrators, educators, psychologists, social workers, the juvenile courts, institutional reformers, and others shape the manner in which children are labeled, portrayed, and treated. However, the agendas, motivations, political language, and influence of these "helping professionals" in "treating" and "reforming" juvenile delinquents…

Ferry, Thomas M.

2010-01-01

136

Phylogeography and genetic diversity of Psammophis schokari (Serpentes) in North Africa based on mitochondrial DNA sequences  

Microsoft Academic Search

The snake Psammophis schokari has a widespread distrihution across North Africa, and in Morocco\\/Western Sahara is represented by three different morphotypes: striped, unicoloured and the Western-Sahara morph. ND4 mitochondrial DNA sequences from 28 specimens com- prising 20 R shokari, two E aegyptius, one P elegans, two P sibilans, one P condanarus and two outgroups were analysed. Within P schokari we

C. Rato; J. C. Brito; M. A. Carretero; S. Larbes; B. Shacham; D. J. Harris

2007-01-01

137

Gene expression of inflammatory mediators induced by jararhagin on endothelial cells.  

PubMed

Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) are abundant toxins in venoms of viper snakes and play a relevant role in the complex and multifactorial tissue damage characteristic of Viperidae envenoming. Jararhagin, a SVMP isolated from Bothrops jararaca venom, induces a fast onset hemorrhagic lesions acting directly on the capillary vessels, which are disrupted by toxin adhesion and degradation of extracellular matrix proteins like collagen IV. Jararhagin also triggers inflammatory response, where endothelial cells are activated, resulting in the enhanced rolling of circulating leukocytes, nitric oxide generation, prostacyclin production and pro-inflammatory cytokines release. Jararhagin also decreases endothelial cells viability inducing apoptosis (in vitro studies). In the present study we attempted to correlate the effect of sub-apoptotic doses of jararhagin on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and gene expression of pro-inflammatory mediators, using microarray assay, real time PCR and detection of specific proteins on HUVEC surface or released in the medium. Jararhagin was effective in activate and up-regulate the gene expression of different mediators such as E-selectin, VCAM-1, IL-8, CD69, Ang-2 and MMP-10. Despite the increase in expression of genes coding for such molecules, jararhagin did not induce increased concentrations of E-selectin, VCAM-1 and IL-8 produced or released by endothelial cells. In conclusion, jararhagin is able to activate pro-inflammatory gene transcription on endothelial cells however this stimulus is not sufficient to result in the consequent expression of pro-inflammatory effectors molecules like E-selectin, VCAM-1 and IL-8. The time courses of these events, as well as the doses of jararhagin are important points to be addressed herein. PMID:22960448

Lopes, Daiana S; Faquim-Mauro, Eliana; Magalhães, Geraldo S; Lima, Iara C; Baldo, Cristiani; Fox, Jay W; Moura-da-Silva, Ana Maria; Clissa, Patricia B

2012-11-01

138

Species Delimitation in the Continental Forms of the Genus Epicrates (Serpentes, Boidae) Integrating Phylogenetics and Environmental Niche Models  

PubMed Central

Until recently, the genus Epicrates (Boidae) presented only one continental species, Epicrates cenchria, distributed in Central and South America, but after a taxonomic revision using morphologic characters five species were recognized: E. cenchria, E. crassus, E. maurus, E. assisi, and E. alvarezi. We analyzed two independent data sets, environmental niche models and phylogeny based on molecular information, to explore species delimitation in the continental species of this genus. Our results indicated that the environmental requirements of the species are different; therefore there are not evidences of ecological interchangeability among them. There is a clear correlation between species distributions and the major biogeographic regions of Central and South America. Their overall distribution reveals that allopatry or parapatry is the general pattern. These evidences suggest that habitat isolation prevents or limits gene exchange among them. The phylogenetic reconstruction showed that the continental Epicrates are monophyletic, being E. alvarezi the sister species for the remaining two clades: E. crassus - E. assisi, and E. maurus - E. cenchria. The clade grouping the continental Epicrates is the sister taxon of the genus Eunectes and not of the Caribbean Epicrates clade, indicating that the genus is paraphyletic. There is a non-consistent pattern in niche evolution among continental Epicrates. On the contrary, a high variation and abrupt shifts in environmental variables are shown when ancestral character states were reconstructed on the sequence-based tree. The degree of genetic and ecological divergence among continental Epicrates and the phylogenetic analyses support the elevation to full species of E. cenchria, E. crassus, E. maurus, E. assisi, and E. alvarezi.

Rivera, Paula C.; Di Cola, Valeria; Martinez, Juan J.; Gardenal, Cristina N.; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

2011-01-01

139

A NEW SPECIES OF HEPATOZOON (APICOMPLEXA: ADELEORINA) FROM PYTHON REGIUS (SERPENTES: PYTHONIDAE) AND ITS EXPERIMENTAL TRANSMISSION BY A MOSQUITO VECTOR  

Microsoft Academic Search

Hepatozoon ayorgbor n. sp. is described from specimens of Python regius imported from Ghana. Gametocytes were found in the peripheral blood of 43 of 55 snakes examined. Localization of gametocytes was mainly inside the erythrocytes; free gametocytes were found in 15 (34.9%) positive specimens. Infections of laboratory-reared Culex quinquefasciatus feeding on infected snakes, as well as experimental infection of juvenile

Michal Sloboda; Martin Kamler; Jana Bulantová; Jan Votýpka; David Modrý

2007-01-01

140

A new species of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from Python regius (Serpentes: Pythonidae) and its experimental transmission by a mosquito vector.  

PubMed

Hepatozoon ayorgbor n. sp. is described from specimens of Python regius imported from Ghana. Gametocytes were found in the peripheral blood of 43 of 55 snakes examined. Localization of gametocytes was mainly inside the erythrocytes; free gametocytes were found in 15 (34.9%) positive specimens. Infections of laboratory-reared Culex quinquefasciatus feeding on infected snakes, as well as experimental infection of juvenile Python regius by ingestion of infected mosquitoes, were performed to complete the life cycle. Similarly, transmission to different snake species (Boa constrictor and Lamprophis fuliginosus) and lizards (Lepidodactylus lugubris) was performed to assess the host specificity. Isolates were compared with Hepatozoon species from sub-Saharan reptiles and described as a new species based on the morphology, phylogenetic analysis, and a complete life cycle. PMID:18163356

Sloboda, Michal; Kamler, Martin; Bulantová, Jana; Votýpka, Jan; Modrý, David

2007-10-01

141

A perspective on natural products research and ethnopharmacology in Mexico: the eagle and the serpent on the prickly pear cactus.  

PubMed

Mexico's extraordinarily rich cultural and floristic diversity has fascinated explorers and researchers ever since the "New World" was discovered for and by Europeans. For many decades, natural product research has been a very active field of research in Mexico, and there also are some ongoing ethnopharmacological research efforts. This review provides an overview and critical appraisal on some key developments in these fields and examples of medicinal plants used by indigenous communities that have become of great local importance in Mexican popular medicine. In this review, the focus is on plants with effects on the CNS, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory processes, and gastrointestinal disorders. While some of the major food plants consumed worldwide originate from southern North America, only very few medicinal plants have become of major global importance. Opuntia species are now used increasingly to manage diabetes and metabolic syndrome and represent an example of a novel medicinal product/supplement. Undoubtedly, narcotic and mind-altering drugs both have received the widest scientific interest and have attracted considerable popular attention. The history of use of the indigenous Mexican Materia Medica in the context of research on local and popular resources specifically with regard to the diverse challenges in the context of studying the world's biodiversity and the development of comparative and semiquantitative ethnobotanical research methods is discussed herein. Natural product and ethnopharmacological research in Mexico seems to have been influenced by the political and societal developments originating from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and subsequent conventions, which have not yet had the desired effect of giving value to these local resources, as they might deserve. Their equitable and sustainable implementation remains a challenge. Natural product research and ethnopharmacology will play a key role in developing an adequate evidence base for such products derived from local and traditional knowledge in Mexico. PMID:24559070

Heinrich, Michael; Frei Haller, Barbara; Leonti, Marco

2014-03-28

142

["Lingue di seripi", "serpents' tongues" and "glossopetrae". Highlights from the history of popular "cult" medicine in early modern times].  

PubMed

In the 16th, 17th and 18th century "Glossopetrae", popularly known as "Lingue di Serpi", found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, were extensively used for medical purposes as antidotes. These fossil teeth, including specimens of the "Carcharodon Megalodon" (an extinct variant of the great white shark), were ground to powder or used as amulet pendants and "credence" and exported to pharmacies and shops in various cities of Europe. In antiquity, authors like Plinius or Solinus, excluding any religious connotations, had regarded "Glossopetrae" as objects "fallen from heaven on dark moonless nights". However, from the beginning of the 16th century the miraculous antidotic power of the specimens found at Malta was very strongly connected with the Pauline cult there. This cult owed ist origin to the excerpt of the shipwreck of the Apostle of the Gentiles on this island, as recorded in the New Testament. As in so many cases found in medieval and early modern medicine and pharmacy, the renown, collection, distribution and use of the antidote "Glossopetrae" or "Lingue di Serpi" was never limited to its real chemical and pharmaceutical properties. In the period of enlightenment and secular thinking mythic medicine as "Glossopetrae" had lost ist "magical" power. Consequently, with beginning of the late 18th century also the Maltese "Glossopetrae" featured in literature merely as exotic objects of curiosity or symbols of an age bound to medical superstition. PMID:9333999

Freller, T

1997-01-01

143

The unexpected discovery of blind snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) in Micronesia: two new species of Ramphotyphlops from the Caroline Islands  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Two new blind snakes in the genus Ramphotyphlops are described from Ulithi (R. hatmaliyeb sp. nov.) and Ant Atoll (R. adocetus sp. nov.) in the Caroline Islands, the first blind snake species known from Micronesia east of Palau (excluding Ramphotyphlops braminus). Both species are unusual in being known only from small, low-lying atolls. They can be distinguished from other Ramphotyphlops by the combination of 22 scale rows over the length of the body; a wedge-shaped snout, without a keratinized keel; and a broad, pyriform (R. adocetus) or ovate (R. hatmaliyeb) rostral scale.

Wynn, Addison H.; Reynolds, Robert P.; Buden, Donald W.; Falanruw, Marjorie; Lynch, Brian

2012-01-01

144

The unexpected discovery of blind snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) in Micronesia: Two new species of Ramphotyphlops from the Caroline Islands  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Two new blind snakes in the genus Ramphotyphlops are described from Ulithi (R. hatmaliyeb sp. nov.) and Ant Atoll (R. adocetus sp. nov.) in the Caroline Islands, the first blind snake species known from Micronesia east of Palau (excluding Ramphotyphlops braminus). Both species are unusual in being known only from small, low-lying atolls. They can be distinguished from other Ramphotyphlops by the combination of 22 scale rows over the length of the body; a wedge-shaped snout, without a keratinized keel; and a broad, pyriform (R. adocetus) or ovate (R. hatmaliyeb) rostral scale.

Wynn, A. H.; Reynolds, R. P.; Buden, D. W.; Falanruw, M.; Lynch, B.

2012-01-01

145

Lessons Learned from Cosmic Serpent, a professional development project for informal educators on science and native ways of knowing  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

How can one engage native communities and the public alike in understanding nature and our universe? Our approach has been to bring together practitioners at informal science centers, cultural museums, and tribal museums to develop relationships cross culturally, learn about different ways of studying and learning about nature and our universe, and start to develop informal education programs or exhibits at their institution through their new understandings and peer networks. The design of the grant has been to provide an initial week-long professional development workshop in a region in the Western U.S. with a follow-up workshop in that region the following year, culminating in a final conference for all participants. We focus on three regions: the southwest (SW - Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado); the northwest (Alaska, Washington, and Oregon); and California. We are in our fourth year of our four year grant and have in this time organized and run three regional week-long workshops and two follow-up workshops (in the SW and NW). We have learned many lessons through this work, including: the importance of incorporating workshop participants as presenters in the workshop agenda; how the content of astronomy, earth science, ecology, and health resonates with these museum professionals and can easily be discussed with different world views in this type of cross cultural science education; and how to best present different ways of knowing how nature and our universe work (science) in a manner that provides a context for science educators and museum professionals. In our poster presentation, we will share these and other lessons we have learned from the leadership perspective of bringing together such a diverse and under-represented-in-science group of educators.

Peticolas, L. M.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Paglierani, R.

2010-12-01

146

Lessons Learned from Cosmic Serpent: A Professional Development Project for Informal Educators on Science and Native Ways of Knowing  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

How can one engage native communities and the public alike in understanding nature and our universe? Our approach has been to bring together practitioners at informal science centers, cultural museums, and tribal museums to develop relationships cross-culturally, to learn about different ways of studying and learning about nature and our universe, and to start to develop informal education programs or exhibits at their institution through their new understandings and peer networks. The design of this National Science Foundation (NSF) grant has been to provide an initial week-long professional development workshop in a region in the Western U.S. with a follow-up workshop in that region the following year, culminating in a final conference for all participants. We focus on three regions: the southwest (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado), the northwest (Alaska, Washington, and Oregon); and California. We are in our third year of our four-year grant and have in this time organized and run three regional week-long workshops and a follow-up workshop in the southwest. We have learned many lessons through this work, including: the importance of incorporating workshop participants as presenters in the workshop agenda; how the content of astronomy, ecology, and health resonates with these museum professionals and can easily be discussed with different world views in this type of cross-cultural science education; and how to best present different ways of knowing how nature and our universe work (science) in a manner that provides a context for science educators and museum professionals. In this article, we share these and other lessons we have learned from the leadership perspective of bringing together such a diverse and under-represented-in-science group of educators.

Peticolas, L. M.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Paglierani, R.; Frappier, R.; Teren, A.

2011-09-01

147

Molecular phylogeny of the Australian venomous snake genus Hoplocephalus (Serpentes, Elapidae) and conservation genetics of the threatened H. stephensii  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Australian elapid snakeHoplocephalus stephensii (Stephens' BandedSnake) is patchily distributed in disjunctforest remnants in eastern Australia and islisted as threatened in both states in which itoccurs (Qld and NSW). Here we focus on thephylogeography of H. stephensii toaddress (1) the genetic distinctiveness of thistaxon within its genus and (2) the level ofgenetic diversity present within and betweendisjunct populations from throughout

Scott J. Keogh; Ian A. W. Scott; Mark Fitzgerald; Richard Shine

2003-01-01

148

A new species of triadal coral snake of the genus Micrurus Wagler, 1824 (Serpentes: Elapidae) from northeastern Brazil.  

PubMed

The genus Micrurus comprises 123 currently recognized taxa (species and subspecies) that are traditionally arranged in four species groups diagnosable mainly by color pattern characteristics. Here, we describe a new species of triadal coral snake from northeastern Brazil. The new species is distinguished from other sympatric triadal congeners (M. lemniscatus carvalhoi, M. ibiboboca and M. brasiliensis) mainly by the entirely black parietals and by a suite of external characters and hemipenial morphology. The new species appears to be restricted to tropical ombrophilous lowland coastal forests of northeastern Brazil and all recently collected specimens are known to occur in small forest patches surrounded by periurban environment, which calls for an urgent evaluation on its conservation status. PMID:24943187

Pires, Matheus Godoy; Da Silva, Nelson Jorge; Feitosa, Darlan Tavares; Prudente, Ana Lúcia Da Costa; Filho, Gentil Alves Pereira; Zaher, Hussam

2014-01-01

149

Phylogeography of the false smooth snakes, Macroprotodon (Serpentes, Colubridae): mitochondrial DNA sequences show European populations arrived recently from Northwest Africa  

Microsoft Academic Search

Mitochondrial DNA (1075 bp: cytochrome b, 300 bp; 12S rRNA, 393 bp; and 16S rRNA, 382 bp) corroborates the monophyly of the genus Macroprotodon and of the species M. mauritanicus, M. abubakeri, and M. brevis. The subspecies M. brevis ibericus is also monophyletic. The mtDNA tree presented here indicates that M. cucullatus consists of at least two separate units and

S. Carranza; E. N. Arnold; E. Wade; S. Fahd

2004-01-01

150

'Heaven' for serpents? A mark-recapture study of tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) on Carnac Island, Western Australia  

Microsoft Academic Search

Animals resident on small islands provide excellent opportunities to carry out detailed mark- recapture studies. Populations are closed and ecosystems are often simpler than those of mainland sites. These factors enable the study of cryptic species that have otherwise been neglected. Snakes are notable for their secretive nature and, as a result, few natural populations have been accurately described through

Xavier Bonnet; David Pearson; Mitchell Ladyman; Olivier Lourdais; Don Bradshaw

2002-01-01

151

Annotated checklist of the recent and extinct pythons (Serpentes, Pythonidae), with notes on nomenclature, taxonomy, and distribution.  

PubMed

McDiarmid et al. (1999) published the first part of their planned taxonomic catalog of the snakes of the world. Since then, several new python taxa have been described in both the scientific literature and non-peer-reviewed publications. This checklist evaluates the nomenclatural status of the names and discusses the taxonomic status of the new taxa, and aims to continue the work of McDiarmid et al. (1999) for the family Pythonidae, covering the period 1999 to 2010. Numerous new taxa are listed, and where appropriate recent synonymies are included and annotations are made. A checklist and a taxonomic identification key of valid taxa are provided. PMID:21594030

Schleip, Wulf D; O'Shea, Mark

2010-01-01

152

Dracunculus mulbus n. sp. (Nematoda: Spirurida) from the water python Liasis fuscus (Serpentes: Boidae) in northern Australia.  

PubMed

A new species of Dracunculus Reichard, 1759 (Nematoda: Spirurida) is described from the tissues surrounding organs in the body-cavity of the water python Liasis fuscus Peters in northern Australia. One to 14 worms were recovered from 22% (27/120) of pythons examined. Males were located principally around the lungs, liver and heart of the hosts, and females were recovered from peritoneal tissue surrounding the intestines and lining the body-cavity. This species differs from previously described species of Dracunculus in the position of the papillae at the posterior end in males, and in the possession of thick, narrow caudal alae. Submedian cephalic papillae are single in both sexes. Dorsal and ventral anterior cephalic papillae are absent in males. This is the first report of a species of Dracunculus from the Australian region. PMID:16972152

Jones, Hugh I; Mulder, Eridani

2007-03-01

153

Annotated checklist of the recent and extinct pythons (Serpentes, Pythonidae), with notes on nomenclature, taxonomy, and distribution  

PubMed Central

Abstract McDiarmid et al. (1999) published the first part of their planned taxonomic catalog of the snakes of the world. Since then, several new python taxa have been described in both the scientific literature and non-peer-reviewed publications. This checklist evaluates the nomenclatural status of the names and discusses the taxonomic status of the new taxa, and aims to continue the work of McDiarmid et al. (1999) for the family Pythonidae, covering the period 1999 to 2010. Numerous new taxa are listed, and where appropriate recent synonymies are included and annotations are made. A checklist and a taxonomic identification key of valid taxa are provided.

Schleip, Wulf D.; O'Shea, Mark

2010-01-01

154

Effect of Mikania glomerata (Asteraceae) leaf extract combined with anti-venom serum on experimental Crotalus durissus (Squamata: Viperidae) envenomation in rats.  

PubMed

Crotalic envenomation represents the highest number of deaths when compared to other snakebite envenomations of medical interest. Crotalic venom has important characteristics such as neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and clotting and hemolytic action. We evaluated the clinical and laboratory aspects of Crotalus durissus terrificus experimental envenomation in Wistar rats treated with antivenom and the aqueous extract of the plant Mikania glomerata. The animals were divided into three groups: Group C (control); Group VS-venom and antivenom; Group VSM-venom, antivenom and aqueous extract of M. glomerata. Crotalic poison caused clinical and laboratory alterations in Wistar mice. Significant clinical alterations were: temperature decrease, edema in the venom inoculated member, sedation and a locomotion decrease in groups VS and VSM when compared with group C. A faster recovery from sedation was observed only for animals of group VSM when compared to VS. There was an increase in the number of leukocytes, neutrophils and creatine kinase in the VS and VSM groups, compared to group C. Wistar rats showed a high resistance to crotalic venom. Additional studies with different doses, time of treatment, different administration methods and histopathological and immunological studies are necessary to understand the action of M. glomerata in crotalic accidents. PMID:20073325

Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Nogueira, Rosa Maria Barilli; Sakate, Michiko; Laposy, Cecília Braga; da Motta, Yudney Pereira; Sangiorgio, Fabíola; David, Heloísa Costa; Nabas, João Marcelo

2009-12-01

155

A relict lineage and new species of green palm-pitviper (Squamata, Viperidae, Bothriechis) from the Chort?s Highlands of Mesoamerica  

PubMed Central

Abstract A new species of palm-pitviper of the genus Bothriechis is described from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras. The new species differs from congeners by having 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a bright green dorsal coloration in adults, the prelacunal scale fused to the second supralabial, and in representing a northern lineage that is sister to Bothriechis lateralis, which is distributed in Costa Rica and western Panama and is isolated from the new taxon by the Nicaraguan Depression. This represents the 15th endemic species occurring in Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, one of the richest herpetofaunal sites in Honduras, itself being the country with the highest degree of herpetofaunal endemism in Central America. We name this new species in honor of a Honduran conservationist slain in fighting against illegal logging, highlighting the sacrifices of rural activists in battling these issues and the critical importance of conservation in these areas.

Townsend, Josiah H.; Medina-Flores, Melissa; Wilson, Larry David; Jadin, Robert C.; Austin, James D.

2013-01-01

156

Annual cycles in plasma testosterone and thyroxine in the male aspic viper Vipera aspis L., (Reptilia, Viperidae), in relation to the sexual cycle and hibernation.  

PubMed

Blood samples were taken monthly from males of Vipera aspis kept in outdoor terraria. Plasma testosterone was estimated by radioimmunoassay and plasma thyroxine by the technique of isotopic competition, between October 1979 and September 1985. Plasma testosterone showed an annual bimodal profile. The highest peak was observed from February 15 to the end of March. 2 to 5 weeks after the first emergence from hibernation. Values then decreased greatly, to reach a minimum level when the vernal spermiogenesis was at its maximum. The secondary peak of plasma testosterone was lower and less well marked. It occurred at the end of summer, during the strongest spermiogenesis, and preceded the autumnal facultative mating period. Plasma thyroxine was at a maximum concentration from February to March after which levels decreased markedly. The seasonal profile of plasma thyroxine was clearly marked during the period of hibernation. From September to October, 2 months before the beginning of hibernation, thyroxine levels began to decrease, and they reached a minimum in November-December. Endocrine reactivation of the thyroid appeared at the end of hibernation. However, in contrast to the plasma testosterone, endocrine activity of the thyroid began 2 to 3 weeks before the end of hibernation. Mechanisms of reactivation for testicular and thyroidal endocrine structures are discussed. PMID:3817449

Naulleau, G; Fleury, F; Boissin, J

1987-02-01

157

Comparative venom gland transcriptome surveys of the saw-scaled vipers (Viperidae: Echis) reveal substantial intra-family gene diversity and novel venom transcripts  

PubMed Central

Background Venom variation occurs at all taxonomical levels and can impact significantly upon the clinical manifestations and efficacy of antivenom therapy following snakebite. Variation in snake venom composition is thought to be subject to strong natural selection as a result of adaptation towards specific diets. Members of the medically important genus Echis exhibit considerable variation in venom composition, which has been demonstrated to co-evolve with evolutionary shifts in diet. We adopt a venom gland transcriptome approach in order to investigate the diversity of toxins in the genus and elucidate the mechanisms which result in prey-specific adaptations of venom composition. Results Venom gland transcriptomes were created for E. pyramidum leakeyi, E. coloratus and E. carinatus sochureki by sequencing ~1000 expressed sequence tags from venom gland cDNA libraries. A standardised methodology allowed a comprehensive intra-genus comparison of the venom gland profiles to be undertaken, including the previously described E. ocellatus transcriptome. Blast annotation revealed the presence of snake venom metalloproteinases, C-type lectins, group II phopholipases A2, serine proteases, L-amino oxidases and growth factors in all transcriptomes throughout the genus. Transcripts encoding disintegrins, cysteine-rich secretory proteins and hyaluronidases were obtained from at least one, but not all, species. A representative group of novel venom transcripts exhibiting similarity to lysosomal acid lipase were identified from the E. coloratus transcriptome, whilst novel metallopeptidases exhibiting similarity to neprilysin and dipeptidyl peptidase III were identified from E. p. leakeyi and E. coloratus respectively. Conclusion The comparison of Echis venom gland transcriptomes revealed substantial intrageneric venom variation in representations and cluster numbers of the most abundant venom toxin families. The expression profiles of established toxin groups exhibit little obvious association with venom-related adaptations to diet described from this genus. We suggest therefore that alterations in isoform diversity or transcript expression levels within the major venom protein families are likely to be responsible for prey specificity, rather than differences in the representation of entire toxin families or the recruitment of novel toxin families, although the recruitment of lysosomal acid lipase as a response to vertebrate feeding cannot be excluded. Evidence of marked intrageneric venom variation within the medically important genus Echis strongly advocates further investigations into the medical significance of venom variation in this genus and its impact upon antivenom therapy.

2009-01-01

158

On the systematics of Trimeresurus labialis Fitzinger in Steindachner, 1867, a pitviper from the Nicobar Islands (India), with revalidation of Trimeresurus mutabilis Stoliczka, 1870 (Squamata, Viperidae, Crotalinae).  

PubMed

The Asian pitviper currently identified as Trimeresurus labialis Fitzinger in Steindachner, 1867 is revised on the basis of morphological data obtained from 37 preserved specimens originating from seven islands of the Nicobar Islands. Multivariate analyses shows that these specimens can be divided into two clusters of populations which differ by a series of constant taxonomically informative morphological characters. The first cluster, which includes the name-bearing types of Trimeresurus labialis Fitzinger in Steindachner, 1867, is present only on Car Nicobar Island. The second cluster, which includes the name-bearing types of Trimeresurus mutabilis Stoliczka, 1870, is distributed on the Central Nicobar Islands. We regard these clusters as distinct species, which are morphologically diagnosable and isolated from each other. As a consequence, Trimeresurus mutabilis, long considered a synonym of T. labialis, is here resurrected to specific level. A lectotype is designated for Trimeresurus mutabilis. PMID:24869554

Vogel, Gernot; David, Patrick; Chandramouli, S R

2014-01-01

159

Viperidae snake venoms block nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and voltage-gated Ca 2+ channels in identified neurons of fresh-water snail Lymnaea stagnalis  

Microsoft Academic Search

Snake venoms contain a vast array of toxic polypeptide components interacting with a variety of cell targets. Thus, Elapidae snake venoms contain ?-neurotoxins with very high affinity for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and a few toxins\\u000a able to suppress the activity of Ca2+ and K+ channels. Experimental evidence for the presence of nAChR antagonists and voltage-gated ionic channel blockers in

E. V. Gorbacheva; V. G. Starkov; V. I. Tsetlin; Yu. N. Utkin; C. A. Vulfius

2008-01-01

160

Evolution of rattlesnakes (Viperidae; Crotalus) in the warm deserts of western North America shaped by Neogene vicariance and Quaternary climate change.  

PubMed

During Pleistocene, the Laurentide ice sheet rearranged and diversified biotic distributions in eastern North America, yet had minimal physical impact in western North America where lineage diversification is instead hypothesized to result from climatic changes. If Pleistocene climatic fluctuations impacted desert species, the latter would reflect patterns of restricted gene flow concomitant with indications of demographic bottlenecks. Accordingly, molecular evidence for refugia should be present within these distributions and for subsequent range expansions as conditions improved. We sought answers to these questions by evaluating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from four species of rattlesnakes [Crotalus mitchellii (speckled rattlesnake), Crotalus cerastes (sidewinder), Crotalus tigris (tiger rattlesnake), Crotalus ruber (red diamond rattlesnake)] with distributions restricted to desert regions of southwestern North America. We inferred relationships using parsimony and maximum likelihood, tested intraspecific clades for population expansions, applied an isolation-with-migration model to determine bi-directional migration rates (m) among regions, and inferred divergence times for species and clades by applying a semiparametric penalized likelihood approach to our molecular data. Evidence for significant range expansion was present in two of eight regions in two species (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus, C. tigris region north). Two species (C. cerastes, C. mitchellii) showed a distribution concomitant with northward displacement of Baja California from mainland México, followed by vicariant separation into subclades. Effects of Pleistocene climate fluctuations were found in the distributions of all four species. Three regional diversification patterns were identified: (i) shallow genetic diversity that resulted from Pleistocene climatic events (C. tigris, C. ruber); (ii) deep Pleistocene divisions indicating allopatric segregation of subclades within refugia (C. mitchellii, C. cerastes); and (iii) lineage diversifications that extended to Pliocene or Late Miocene (C. mitchellii, C. cerastes). Clade-diversifying and clade-constraining effects impacted the four species of rattlesnakes unequally. We found relatively high levels of molecular diversification in the two most broadly distributed species (C. mitchellii, C. cerastes), and lower levels of genetic diversification in the two species (C. tigris, C. ruber) whose ranges are relatively more restricted. Furthermore, in several cases, the distributions of subspecies were not congruent with our molecular information. We suggest regional conservation perspectives for southwestern deserts cannot rely upon subspecies as biodiversity surrogates, but must instead employ a molecular and deep historical perspective as a primary mechanism to frame biodiversity reserves within this region. PMID:16968275

Douglas, Michael E; Douglas, Marlis R; Schuett, Gordon W; Porras, Louis W

2006-10-01

161

Sympathetic outflow activates the venom gland of the snake Bothrops jararaca by regulating the activation of transcription factors and the synthesis of venom gland proteins.  

PubMed

The venom gland of viperid snakes has a central lumen where the venom produced by secretory cells is stored. When the venom is lost from the gland, the secretory cells are activated and new venom is produced. The production of new venom is triggered by the action of noradrenaline on both alpha(1)- and beta-adrenoceptors in the venom gland. In this study, we show that venom removal leads to the activation of transcription factors NFkappaB and AP-1 in the venom gland. In dispersed secretory cells, noradrenaline activated both NFkappaB and AP-1. Activation of NFkappaB and AP-1 depended on phospholipase C and protein kinase A. Activation of NFkappaB also depended on protein kinase C. Isoprenaline activated both NFkappaB and AP-1, and phenylephrine activated NFkappaB and later AP-1. We also show that the protein composition of the venom gland changes during the venom production cycle. Striking changes occurred 4 and 7 days after venom removal in female and male snakes, respectively. Reserpine blocks this change, and the administration of alpha(1)- and beta-adrenoceptor agonists to reserpine-treated snakes largely restores the protein composition of the venom gland. However, the protein composition of the venom from reserpinized snakes treated with alpha(1)- or beta-adrenoceptor agonists appears normal, judging from SDS-PAGE electrophoresis. A sexual dimorphism in activating transcription factors and activating venom gland was observed. Our data suggest that the release of noradrenaline after biting is necessary to activate the venom gland by regulating the activation of transcription factors and consequently regulating the synthesis of proteins in the venom gland for venom production. PMID:19411547

Luna, Milene S A; Hortencio, Thiago M A; Ferreira, Zulma S; Yamanouye, Norma

2009-05-01

162

Phylogenetic relationships within Bothrops neuwiedi group (Serpentes, Squamata): geographically highly-structured lineages, evidence of introgressive hybridization and Neogene/Quaternary diversification.  

PubMed

Eight current species of snakes of the Bothrops neuwiedi group are widespread in South American open biomes from northeastern Brazil to southeastern Argentina. In this paper, 140 samples from 93 different localities were used to investigate species boundaries and to provide a hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships among the members of this group based on 1122bp of cyt b and ND4 from mitochondrial DNA and also investigate the patterns and processes occurring in the evolutionary history of the group. Combined data recovered the B. neuwiedi group as a highly supported monophyletic group in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses, as well as four major clades (Northeast I, Northeast II, East-West, West-South) highly-structured geographically. Monophyly was recovered only for B. pubescens. By contrast, B. diporus, B. lutzi, B. erythromelas, B. mattogrossensis, B. neuwiedi, B. marmoratus, and B. pauloensis, as currently defined on the basis of morphology, were polyphyletic. Sympatry, phenotypic intergrades and shared mtDNA haplotypes, mainly between B. marmoratus and B. pauloensis suggest recent introgressive hybridization and the possible occurrence of a narrow hybrid zone in Central Brazil. Our data suggest at least three candidate species: B. neuwiedi from Espinhaço Range, B. mattogrossensis (TM173) from Serra da Borda (MT) and B. diporus (PT3404) from Castro Barros, Argentina. Divergence estimates highlight the importance of Neogene events in the origin of B. neuwiedi group, and the origin of species and diversification of populations of the Neotropical fauna from open biomes during the Quaternary climate fluctuations. Data reported here represent a remarkable increase of the B. neuwiedi group sampling size, since representatives of all the current recognized species from a wide geographic range are included in this study, providing basic information for understanding the evolution and conservation of Neotropical biodiversity. PMID:24140980

Machado, Taís; Silva, Vinícius X; Silva, Maria José de J

2014-02-01

163

Optimization of geometry, material and economic parameters of a two-zone subcritical reactor for transmutation of nuclear waste with SERPENT Monte Carlo code  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

An optimization study of a subcritical two-zone homogeneous reactor was carried out, taking into consideration geometry, material, and economic parameters. The advantage of a two-zone subcritical system over a single-zone system is demonstrated. The study investigated the optimal volume ratio for the inner and outer zones of the subcritical reactor, in terms of the neutron-physical parameters as well as fuel cost. Optimal geometrical parameters of the system are suggested for different material compositions.

Gulik, Volodymyr; Tkaczyk, Alan Henry

2014-06-01

164

Population genetic structure and geographic differentiation in the hot spring snake Thermophis baileyi (Serpentes, Colubridae): indications for glacial refuges in southern-central Tibet.  

PubMed

The endangered hot spring snake (Thermophis baileyi) is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and restricted to a few sites at high altitudes (>3500 m a.s.l.). Its strong preference for habitats with hot springs might be an early adaptation to the cooling climate during the plateau uplift. Some of these thermal sites may have been free of ice during the last glacial maximum (LGM) serving as refuges for the snake. To test this and to examine the population genetic structure data of 12 microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA were obtained from 153 individuals from 12 sites across the plateau. Four of the microsatellite loci were newly developed for this study. The results suggest that T. baileyi has at least two genetically diverse clades in Tibet, which developed during the Pleistocene and expanded after the LGM. Accordingly, the existence of separate glacial refuges on the central plateau can be assumed. Analyses of the genetic variation indicated a high level of geographic differentiation and population structure on a regional as well as on a range-wide scale. The study shows that, apart from the phylogeographic signatures, the diversification of current Thermophis populations is caused by (a) a limited dispersal due to mountain ranges, (b) a strong preference for hot springs and (c) the insular distribution of suitable habitats on the plateau. The present data should be taken into account in necessary monitoring and management plans for T. baileyi. PMID:22306823

Hofmann, Sylvia

2012-05-01

165

Understanding the formation of ancient intertropical disjunct distributions using Asian and Neotropical hinged-teeth snakes (Sibynophis and Scaphiodontophis: Serpentes: Colubridae).  

PubMed

Numerous taxa show ancient intertropical disjunct distributions. Many can be explained by well-known processes of historical vicariance, such as the breakup of Gondwanaland. Others, such as Asian-Neotropical divergences are not as well understood. To clarify the phylogenetic position and understand biogeographic and temporal origins of the geographically disjunct and morphologically unique genera of hinged-teeth snakes, Scaphiodontophis (n=1) and Sibynophis (n=9; Colubridae), we inferred a time-calibrated phylogeny with additional 107 taxa representing the superfamily Colubroidea using four genes (c-mos, cyt-b, ND2, RAG-1; 3085 bp). We used this tree to estimate ancestral areas for the group. The results show that Scaphiodontophis is sister to Sibynophis, both originated in the late Eocene/Oligocene in Asia and likely dispersed through Beringia to the New World, but unlike other snake groups left no extant species in temperate North America. Current recognition of Scaphiodontophiinae renders Colubrinae paraphyletic, and we resurrect the previously named subfamily Sibynophiinae to encompass both genera and use the tribes Sibynophiini (Sibynophis) and Scaphiodontophiini (Scaphiodontophis) to highlight the geographically distinct areas occupied by these taxa. These results suggest that intercontinental dispersal with extinction in intermediate areas can explain puzzling patterns of ancient intertropical disjunct distributions. PMID:23044403

Chen, Xin; Huang, Song; Guo, Peng; Colli, Guarino R; Nieto Montes de Oca, Adrián; Vitt, Laurie J; Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, Frank T

2013-01-01

166

Snakes across the Strait: trans-Torresian phylogeographic relationships in three genera of Australasian snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus, and Pseudechis).  

PubMed

We analyze the phylogeny of three genera of Australasian elapid snakes (Acanthophis-death adders; Oxyuranus-taipans; Pseudechis-blacksnakes), using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis of sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND4 genes. In Acanthophis and Pseudechis, we find evidence of multiple trans-Torresian sister-group relationships. Analyses of the timing of cladogenic events suggest crossings of the Torres Strait on several occasions between the late Miocene and the Pleistocene. These results support a hypothesis of repeated land connections between Australia and New Guinea in the late Cenozoic. Additionally, our results reveal undocumented genetic diversity in Acanthophis and Pseudechis, supporting the existence of more species than previously believed, and provide a phylogenetic framework for a reinterpretation of the systematics of these genera. In contrast, our Oxyuranus scutellatus samples from Queensland and two localities in New Guinea share a single haplotype, suggesting very recent (late Pleistocene) genetic exchange between New Guinean and Australian populations. PMID:15579378

Wüster, Wolfgang; Dumbrell, Alex J; Hay, Chris; Pook, Catharine E; Williams, David J; Fry, Bryan Grieg

2005-01-01

167

Assessing species boundaries and the phylogenetic position of the rare Szechwan ratsnake, Euprepiophis perlaceus (Serpentes: Colubridae), using coalescent-based methods.  

PubMed

Delimiting species and clarifying phylogenetic relationships are the main goals of systematics. For species with questionable taxonomic status, species delimitation approaches using multi-species coalescent models with multiple loci are recommended if morphological data are unavailable or unhelpful. Moreover, these methods will also reduce subjectivity based on genetic distance or requirement of monophyletic genetic lineages. We determine the validity and phylogenetic position of a rare and long controversial species of Chinese reptile, the Szechwan ratsnake (Euprepiophis perlaceus), using multi-locus data from multiple individuals and coalescent-based approaches. Species were first delimited using Bayesian Phylogenetics & Phylogeography (BP&P), Brownie and Bayes Factor model comparison approaches, while relationships among species were estimated using species tree inference in (*)BEAST. Results indicate that Euprepiophis perlaceus is a distinct species sister to Euprepiophis mandarinus. Despite gene tree discrepancy, the coalescent model-based approaches used here demonstrate the taxonomic validity and the phylogenetic position of Euprepiophis perlaceus. These approaches objectively test the validity of questionable species diagnoses based on morphological characters and determine their phylogenetic position. PMID:24060366

Chen, Xin; Jiang, Ke; Guo, Peng; Huang, Song; Rao, Dingqi; Ding, Li; Takeuchi, Hirohiko; Che, Jing; Zhang, Ya-ping; Myers, Edward A; Burbrink, Frank T

2014-01-01

168

Redescription of Haemogregarina garnhami (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the blood of Psammophis schokari (Serpentes: Colubridae) as Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. based on molecular, morphometric and morphologic characters.  

PubMed

Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. was redescribed from Schokari sand snakes (Psammophis schokari) collected from Riyadh city in Saudi Arabia. Gametocytes were found in the peripheral blood of 2 of 15 snakes examined. Based on the similar morphological and morphometric characteristics, the same host and a similar host habitat environment, it can be concluded for the first time that the present species is conspecific with Haemogregarina garnhami previously reported from Psammophis shokari aegyptius. To further characterize this parasite, the partial 18S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced. The sequence analysis also showed that Haemogregarina garnhami should be reassigned into the genus Hepatozoon as Hepatozoon garnhami which has 99.5% (859/863 bp) sequence similarity to Hepatozoon ayorgbor, infecting the erythrocytes of Python regius in Ghana. Phylogenetic analysis showed that H. garnhami formed a mixed clade with Hepatozoon spp. from geckos, snakes and rodents and ophidian Hepatozoon spp. did not form a separated phylogenetic unit. Also, Psammophis schokari-infecting Hepatozoon contained several different genetic lineages. To our knowledge, the present work extends the geographic distribution of H. garnhami and is the first report of Hepatozoon infection in snakes from Saudi Arabia. PMID:24827101

Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem S; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Zhang, J Y

2014-06-01

169

The phylogeny of cobras inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences: Evolution of venom spitting and the phylogeography of the African spitting cobras (Serpentes: Elapidae: Naja nigricollis complex)  

Microsoft Academic Search

We use phylogenetic analysis of 1333bp of mitochondrial DNA sequence to investigate the phylogeny and historical biogeography of the cobra-like elapid snakes, with special reference to the evolution of spitting and the phylogeography of the African spitting cobras, a radiation widespread in open vegetational formations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Our results suggest that spitting adaptations appear to have evolved three times

Wolfgang Wüster; Steven Crookes; Ivan Ineich; Youssouph Mané; Catharine E. Pook; Jean-François Trape; Donald G. Broadley

2007-01-01

170

Body size, food habits, reproduction and growth in a population of black whip snakes ( Demansia vestigiata ) (Serpentes?:?Elapidae) in tropical Australia  

Microsoft Academic Search

Two species of large black whip snakes (Demansia vestigiata and D. papuensis) are morphologically and ecologically similar and have broadly overlapping distributions. A long history of taxonomic difficulties has meant that mostprevioustaxonomicandecologicalstudiescomprisecompositesamplesofbothtaxa.Here,weprovideecologicaldata (body sizes, food habits, reproduction and inferred growth rates) collected from captured and road-killed specimens from a tropical population of D. vestigiata at Townsville, north-eastern Queensland, Australia. Males

S. FearnA; D. F. TrembathB

2009-01-01

171

"So it really does exist-the sea-Serpent we've never believed in!" Ferenczi's influence on freud revisited.  

PubMed

In the last phase of his work, Ferenczi created a new language for trauma, based on the fragmentation of mental life. In the paper on "The principles of relaxation and neocatharsis," Ferenczi reformulated the goal of analysis by proposing that "no analysis can be regarded … as complete unless we have succeed in penetrating the traumatic material", where the "traumatic material" was not to be sought in the neurotic reactions and adaptive solutions of the ego but in more primitive reactions, such as the psychotic turning away from reality, splitting, and fragmentation. This was exactly the material that Freud assimilated in the essay "A disturbance of memory on the Acropolis", after the death of Ferenczi. Freud visited Athens in 1904, and the walk up to the Parthenon represented the successful coronation of his self-analysis. Actually, the hallucination turned out to be so uncanny that he never again visited Athens. In a letter to Fliess, written shortly before the meeting in Nuremberg, on January 24, 1897, Freud reported on a case history turning on a "scene about the circumcision of a girl," who later was convincingly identified by Schur as Emma Eckstein. Did Freud have the germinal idea that Emma Eckstein's hallucination of the penis contained the wish to overcome her trauma and the hope to have a restored genital? Is this the holy visitation, which haunted him on the Acropolis? Why did he give up the profound insight that the dreams of gigantic snakes had a traumatic origin? PMID:24309686

Bonomi, Carlo

2013-12-01

172

Epidermal differentiation during ontogeny and after hatching in the snake Liasis fuscus (Pythonidae, Serpentes, Reptilia), with emphasis on the formation of the shedding complex.  

PubMed

Differentiation and localization of keratin in the epidermis during embryonic development and up to 3 months posthatching in the Australian water python, Liasis fuscus, was studied by ultrastructural and immunocytochemical methods. Scales arise from dome-like folds in the skin that produce tightly imbricating scales. The dermis of these scales is completely differentiated before any epidermal differentiation begins, with a loose dermis made of mesenchymal cells beneath the differentiating outer scale surface. At this stage (33) the embryo is still unpigmented and two layers of suprabasal cells contain abundant glycogen. At Stage 34 (beginning of pigmentation) the first layers of cells beneath the bilayered periderm (presumptive clear and oberhautchen layers) have not yet formed a shedding complex, within which prehatching shedding takes place. At Stage 35 the shedding complex, consisting of the clear and oberhautchen layers, is discernible. The clear layer contains a fine fibrous network that faces the underlying oberhautchen, where the spinulae initially contain a core of fibrous material and small beta-keratin packets. Differentiation continues at Stage 36 when the beta-layer forms and beta-keratin packets are deposited both on the fibrous core of the oberhautchen and within beta-cells. Mesos cells are produced from the germinal layer but remain undifferentiated. At Stage 37, before hatching, the beta-layer is compact, the mesos layer contains mesos granules, and cells of the alpha-layer are present but are not yet keratinized. They are still only partially differentiated a few hours after hatching, when a new shedding complex is forming underneath. Using antibodies against chick scale beta-keratin resolved at high magnification with immunofluorescent or immunogold conjugates, we offer the first molecular confirmation that in snakes only the oberhautchen component of the shedding complex and the underlying beta cells contain beta-keratin. Initially, there is little immunoreactivity in the small beta-packets of the oberhautchen, but it increases after fusion with the underlying cells to produce the syncytial beta layer. The beta-keratin packets coalesce with the tonofilaments, including those attached to desmosomes, which rapidly disappear in both oberhautchen and beta-cells as differentiation progresses. The labeling is low to absent in forming mesos-cells beneath the beta-layer. This study further supports the hypothesis that the shedding complex in lepidosaurian reptiles evolved after there was a segregation between alpha-keratogenic cells from beta-keratogenic cells during epidermal renewal. PMID:12616573

Alibardi, L; Thompson, M B

2003-04-01

173

Inhibitory properties of the antibothropic complex from the South American opossum ( Didelphis marsupialis) serum  

Microsoft Academic Search

The South American opossum Didelphis marsupialis is known to be highly resistant to snake envenomation. In this paper it is shown that the opossum serum inhibits haemorrhage induced by both Crotalinae and Viperinae venoms. Tested against Bothrops jararaca (jararaca) venom, the antibothropic complex (ABC) isolated from the opossum serum was at least six times more antihaemorrhagic than the commercial antivenom.

Ana G. C. Neves-Ferreira; Jonas Perales; Michael Ovadia; Haity Moussatché; Gilberto B. Domont

1997-01-01

174

Interaction of the neurotoxic and nontoxic secretory phospholipases A2 with the crotoxin inhibitor from Crotalus serum.  

PubMed

Crotalus durissus terrificus snakes possess a protein in their blood, named crotoxin inhibitor from Crotalus serum (CICS), which protects them against crotoxin, the main toxin of their venom. CICS neutralizes the lethal potency of crotoxin and inhibits its phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity. The aim of the present study is to investigate the specificity of CICS towards snake venom neurotoxic PLA2s (beta-neurotoxins) and nontoxic mammalian PLA2s. This investigation shows that CICS does not affect the enzymatic activity of pancreatic and nonpancreatic PLA2s, bee venom PLA2 and Elapidae beta-neurotoxins but strongly inhibits the PLA2 activity of Viperidae beta-neurotoxins. Surface plasmon resonance and PAGE studies further demonstrated that CICS makes complexes with monomeric and multimeric Viperidae beta-neurotoxins but does not interact with nontoxic PLA2s. In the case of dimeric beta-neurotoxins from Viperidae venoms (crotoxin, Mojave toxin and CbICbII), which are made by the noncovalent association of a PLA2 with a nonenzymatic subunit, CICS does not react with the noncatalytic subunit, instead it binds tightly to the PLA2 subunit and induces the dissociation of the heterocomplex. In vitro assays performed with Torpedo synaptosomes showed a protective action of CICS against Viperidae beta-neurotoxins but not against other PLA2 neurotoxins, on primary and evoked liberation of acetylcholine. In conclusion, CICS is a specific PLA2 inhibitor of the beta-neurotoxins from the Viperidae family. PMID:10903514

Faure, G; Villela, C; Perales, J; Bon, C

2000-08-01

175

Some aspects of the venom proteome of the Colubridae snake Philodryas olfersii revealed from a Duvernoy's (venom) gland transcriptome.  

PubMed

We investigated the putative toxins of Philodryas olfersii (Colubridae), a representative of a family of snakes neglected in venom studies despite their growing medical importance. Transcriptomic data of the venom gland complemented by proteomic analysis of the gland secretion revealed the presence of major toxin classes from the Viperidae family, including serine proteases, metalloproteases, C-type lectins, Crisps, and a C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). Interestingly, the phylogenetic analysis of the CNP precursor showed it as a linker between two related precursors found in Viperidae and Elapidae snakes. We suggest that these precursors constitute a monophyletic group derived from the vertebrate CNPs. PMID:16857193

Ching, Ana T C; Rocha, Marisa M T; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Pimenta, Daniel C; de Fátima D Furtado, Maria; Serrano, Solange M T; Ho, Paulo L; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M

2006-08-01

176

RICIS Software Engineering 90 Symposium: Aerospace Applications and Research Directions Proceedings  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Papers presented at RICIS Software Engineering Symposium are compiled. The following subject areas are covered: synthesis - integrating product and process; Serpent - a user interface management system; prototyping distributed simulation networks; and software reuse.

1990-01-01

177

Randomness Testing of the Advanced Encryption Standard Finalist Candidates.  

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

Mars, RC6, Rijndael, Serpent and Twofish were selected as finalists for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). To evaluate the finalists' suitability as random number generators, empirical statistical testing is commonly employed. Although it is widely b...

J. Soto L. Bassham

2000-01-01

178

77 FR 4614 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Children of the Plumed...  

Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

...Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ``Children of the...that the objects to be included in the exhibition ``Children of the Plumed Serpent...imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of...

2012-01-30

179

Carbon Isotope Systematics in Mineral-Catalyzed Hydrothermal Organic Synthesis Processes at High Temperature and Pressures.  

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

Observation of methane in the Martian atmosphere has been reported by different detection techniques. Reduction of CO2 and/or CO during serpentization by mineral surface catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) synthesis may be one possible process responsibl...

P. B. Niles Q. Fu R. A. Socki

2011-01-01

180

Snake venom proteins acting on hemostasis  

Microsoft Academic Search

The venoms of Viperidae and Crotalidae snakes are a rich source of proteins with activity against various factors involved in coagulation and fibrinolysis. These proteins are very specific for their molecular targets, resistant to physiological inhibitors and stable in vitro and in vivo. They have therefore proved to be useful for diagnostic tests. Based on sequence similarities, these snake venom

Sandrine Braud; Cassian Bon; Anne Wisner

2000-01-01

181

Acetylcholinesterases from Elapidae snake venoms: biochemical, immunological and enzymatic characterization  

Microsoft Academic Search

We analyzed 45 batches of venom from 20 different species belonging to 11 genera from the 3 main families of venomous snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae and Crotalidae). We found high acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in all venoms from Elapidae, except in those from the Dendroaspis genus. AChE was particularly abundant in Bungarus venoms which contain up to 8 mg of enzyme per

Yveline Frobert; Christophe Créminon; Xavier Cousin; Marie-Hélène Rémy; Jean-Marc Chatel; Suzanne Bon; Cassian Bon; Jacques Grassi

1997-01-01

182

Income breeding allows an aquatic snake Seminatrix pygaea to reproduce normally following prolonged drought-induced aestivation  

Microsoft Academic Search

Summary 1. Capital breeding is an ideal reproductive strategy for many ectotherms because it provides a disassociation between feeding and reproduction, a necessary requirement for animals that become anorexic during pregnancy. Among ectotherms, some vivi- parous snakes (e.g. Viperidae) exemplify the capital breeding strategy because many spe- cies (i) do not feed during pregnancy due to behavioural conflicts between reproduction

CHRISTOPHER T. WINNE; JOHN D. WILLSON; J. W. Gibbons

2006-01-01

183

Snakebite.  

PubMed

The five families of poisonous snakes are: Viperidae, elapidae, colubridae, hydrophidae, atractaspididae. The commonly seen snakes in India are saw scaled viper, Russell's viper, common cobri and common crait. The venom of a single snake contains all the toxins. The venom of viperidae is haemotoxic. It may complicate with acute renal failure if left untreated. The venom of elapidae is neurotoxic. Management consists in two parts-general and specific. Supportive treatment is done with the use of antibiotics and tetanus immunoglobulin/toxoid. Specific therapy for viper bite is elaborated in this article. Elapid bite and hydrophidae bites are also discussed. Prevention of snakebite is done with avoidance of contact with a snake by using protective knee length footwear and thick gloves. Venom toxoids are used for secondary prevention among the farmers of Japan. PMID:17058570

Dutta, T K; Mukta, V

2006-05-01

184

[Studies on hemorrhagic toxins from the venoms of Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus, Crotalus ruber ruber, Vipera aspis aspis and Agkistrodon acutus and arginine ester hydrolases from Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus venom].  

PubMed

Venom samples were corrected from several poisonous snakes, such as Bungarus multicinctus, Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus, T. gramineus, T. flavoviridis, and Agkistrodon acutus, and stored in a desiccator at room temperature for 25 to 31 years. Then they were compared with fresh venoms as to their biological activities. The characteristic local symptoms produced by the bite of venomous snakes of Crotalidae and Viperidae are hemorrhage, necrosis and muscular degeneration. Hemorrhagic toxins were purified from Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus, Crotalus ruber ruber, Vipera aspis aspis, and Agkistrodon acutus venoms and their biological, biochemical, and pathological properties were investigated. Arginine ester hydrolases are present in the venoms of Crotalidae and Viperidae, but are not found in the venoms of Elapidae and Hydrophiidae. In this paper we describe the enzymatic and biological activities of arginine ester hydrolases from a Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus venom. PMID:10774254

Nikai, T; Komori, Y; Sugihara, H

2000-04-01

185

The Chinese representation of cosmic elements as graphic symbols.  

PubMed

In Chinese cosmology, cosmic elements have been deified and assigned life-forms. Air, representing ultrasonic energy as a celestial entity, became bird-god, Red-bird. Water acquired Dragon as its representative and Fire had Tiger as its graphic symbol. Earth, as body, was fertile and long-lasting. It was symbolized as Tortoise, known to be long-lived. Its soul became Serpent, long enough to be powerful as Cosmic soul. Serpent-Tortoise, as Body-Soul, became the god Black-Warrior in charge of Earth. PMID:3218627

Mahdihassan, S

1988-01-01

186

Snake venom dipeptidyl peptidase IV: Taxonomic distribution and quantitative variation  

Microsoft Academic Search

The present study examined the taxonomic distribution of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) activity in venoms of 59 ophidian taxa, representing seven subfamilies of the Families Elapidae and Viperidae. DPP IV activity is extremely variable at all taxonomic levels. It ranged from essentially none in laticaudine, hydrophiine, and some bungarine and elapine venoms, to 10.72 ?mol 4-methoxy-?-naphthylamine liberated per min per

Steven D. Aird

2008-01-01

187

Cytotoxicity induced in myotubes by a Lys49 phospholipase A 2 homologue from the venom of the snake Bothrops asper: Evidence of rapid plasma membrane damage and a dual role for extracellular calcium  

Microsoft Academic Search

Acute muscle tissue damage, myonecrosis, is a typical consequence of envenomations by snakes of the family Viperidae. Catalytically-inactive Lys49 phospholipase A2 homologues are abundant myotoxic components in viperid venoms, causing plasma membrane damage by a mechanism independent of phospholipid hydrolysis. However, the precise mode of action of these myotoxins remains unsolved. In this work, a cell culture model of C2C12

Juan Carlos Villalobos; Rodrigo Mora; Bruno Lomonte; José María Gutiérrez; Yamileth Angulo

2007-01-01

188

Global richness patterns of venomous snakes reveal contrasting influences of ecology and history in two different clades  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent studies addressing broad-scale species richness gradients have proposed two main primary drivers: contemporary climate\\u000a and evolutionary processes (differential balance between speciation and extinction). Here, we analyze the global richness\\u000a patterns of two venomous snake clades, Viperidae and Elapidae. We used ordinary least squares multiple regression (OLS) and\\u000a partial regression analysis to investigate to what extent actual evapotranspiration (AET; summarizing

Levi Carina Terribile; Miguel Ángel Olalla-Tárraga; Ignacio Morales-Castilla; Marta Rueda; Rosa M. Vidanes; Miguel Ángel Rodríguez; José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho

2009-01-01

189

What have snakes taught us about integrins?  

Microsoft Academic Search

Snake venoms contain unique components that affect cell-matrix interactions. Disintegrins represent a class of low molecular weight, Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing, cysteine-rich peptides purified from the venom of various snakes among the Viperidae and Crotalidae. They bind with various degrees of specificity to integrins fIIbvЉv, ЁvЇ and fVvЉ expressed on cells. Snake venom metalloproteases (high molecular mass haemorrhagins) also contain disintegrin-like domains,

T.-F. Huang

1998-01-01

190

Characterization of nerve growth factors (NGFs) from snake venoms by use of a novel, quantitative bioassay utilizing pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells overexpressing human trkA receptors  

Microsoft Academic Search

Snake venoms are a very abundant source of nerve growth factors (NGF). NGFs of Elapidae showing 65% sequence homology with mouse or human NGF, while the Viperidae NGF shows N-glycosylation (Asn-21) typical of these mammalian NGFs. Snake NGF-induced neurite outgrowth (neurotropic activity) was measured in the past by using PC12 cell or dorsal root ganglion bioassays.The present study was aimed

Itzhak Katzir; Jashovam Shania; Gal Goshen; Jona Sela; Einat Ninary; Anne Marie Dogonovski; Dalia Shabashova; Seiji Inoue; Kiyoshi Ikeda; Kyozo Hayashi; Shela Gorinstein; Joseph Deutsch; Philip Lazarovici

2003-01-01

191

Ecological Function of Venom in Varanus, with a Compilation of Dietary Records from the Literature  

Microsoft Academic Search

Until recently, venom in reptiles was thought to be present in two lineages: Serpentes and Heloderma. Research has now shown that venom evolved only once in reptiles, in a venom clade known as Toxicofera. This has resulted in venoms being discovered in many more species within this clade, including monitor lizards, genus Varanus. To date, very little work has been

KEVIN ARBUCKLE

192

Software engineering activities at SEI (Software Engineering Institute)  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Prototyping was shown to ease system specification and implementation, especially in the area of user interfaces. Other prototyping approaches do not allow for the evolution of the prototype into a production system or support maintenance after the system is fielded. A set of goals is presented for a modern user interface environment and Serpent, a prototype implementation that achieves these goals, is described.

Chittister, Clyde

1990-01-01

193

Transcriptomic analysis of the venom gland of the red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps) using expressed sequence tags  

Microsoft Academic Search

BACKGROUND: The Red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps, Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae) is a medically important venomous snake that inhabits South-East Asia. Although the venoms of most species of the snake genus Bungarus have been well characterized, a detailed compositional analysis of B. flaviceps is currently lacking. RESULTS: Here, we have sequenced 845 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the venom gland of a

Ang Swee Siang; Robin Doley; Freek J Vonk; R Manjunatha Kini

2010-01-01

194

Interior view, detail view of the balustrade; the balustrade is ...  

Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

Interior view, detail view of the balustrade; the balustrade is cast bronze and consists of two ribbed posts alternating with a single post decorated with twisted serpents - New Post Office Building, Twelfth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, District of Columbia, DC

195

Animal Symbols in the Art of the Hodensaunee.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Explains the significance of the main animal symbols incorporated into the social, cultural, artistic, and spiritual fabric of the Hodenosaunee (the People of the Longhouse) also known as the Six Nations Iroquois: the eagle, turtle, bear, wolf, hawk, heron, snipe, eel, deer, beaver, moose, snake, and serpent. (NEC)

Hill, Richard

1987-01-01

196

Comparative study of the cytolytic activity of myotoxic phospholipases A2 on mouse endothelial (tEnd) and skeletal muscle (C2C12) cells in vitro.  

PubMed

A rapid in vitro cytolytic effect of some myotoxic phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) isolated from the venoms of Viperidae snakes has been previously described. This study was undertaken to investigate if cytolytic activity is a common property of the myotoxic proteins from this group. Murine endothelial cells (tEnd) and skeletal muscle myotubes (C2C12) were utilized as targets. The release of lactic dehydrogenase was quantified as a measure of cell damage, 3 h after exposure of cells to the different PLA2s, including representatives from the genera Bothrops, Agkistrodon, Trimeresurus, Crotalus (family Viperidae), and Notechis (family Elapidae). All of the group II myotoxic PLA2s tested displayed rapid cytolytic activity when tested in the micromolar range of concentrations (8-32 microM). In contrast, the group I myotoxic PLA2 notexin was devoid of this activity. Aspartate-49 and lysine-49 PLA2 group II variants showed a comparable cytolytic effect. Skeletal muscle myotubes, obtained after fusion and differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts, were significantly more susceptible to the cytolytic action of myotoxins than endothelial cells, previously reported to be more susceptible than undifferentiated myoblasts under the same assay conditions. Cytolytic activity appears to be a common characteristic of group II myotoxic PLA2s of the Viperidae. Bee venom PLA2, a group III enzyme of known myotoxicity, also displayed cytotoxic activity on C2C12 myotubes, being devoid of activity on endothelial cells. These results suggest that in vitro differentiated skeletal muscle myotubes may represent a suitable model target for the study of myotoxic PLA2s of the structural group II found in snake venoms. PMID:9920486

Lomonte, B; Angulo, Y; Rufini, S; Cho, W; Giglio, J R; Ohno, M; Daniele, J J; Geoghegan, P; Gutiérrez, J M

1999-01-01

197

In vitro comparison of enzymatic effects among Brazilian Bothrops spp. venoms.  

PubMed

In various types of snake venom, the major toxic components are proteinases and members of the phospholipase A2 family, although other enzymes also contribute to the toxicity. In this study, we evaluated the proteolytic, phospholipase, and L-Amino acid oxidase activities in the venom of five Bothrops species-Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops neuwiedi, and Bothrops alternatus-all of which are used in the production of commercial antivenom, prepared in horses. The enzymatic activities of each species' venom were classified as high, moderate, or low. B. moojeni venom demonstrated the highest enzymatic activity profile, followed by the venom of B. neuwiedi, B. jararacussu, B. jararaca, and B. alternatus. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare all of these enzymes from multiple species, which is significant in view of the activity of L-amino acid oxidase across Bothrops species. PMID:23998940

Campos, Lucas B; Pucca, Manuela B; Roncolato, Eduardo C; Bertolini, Thaís B; Netto, Joaquim C; Barbosa, José E

2013-12-15

198

[Venomous and poisonous animals. III. Elapidae snake envenomation].  

PubMed

Envenomation by Elapidae snakes is less frequent than by Viperidae snakes but represents a true medical emergency due to rapid progression of cobra syndrome. Elapidae venom contains neurotoxins that paralyze striated muscles especially in the thoracic cavity. Respiratory paralysis can occur within a few hours and is preceded by neurological symptoms (local paresthesia and paresis progressing to the cranial nerves). When cobra envenomation is suspected, antivenom administration by the direct venous route must be undertaken as quickly as possible to stop the envenomation process. Artificial ventilation is necessary in case of dyspnea. PMID:17506264

Chippaux, J P

2007-02-01

199

Inhibition of Hemorragic Snake Venom Components: Old and New Approaches  

PubMed Central

Snake venoms are complex toxin mixtures. Viperidae and Crotalidae venoms, which are hemotoxic, are responsible for most of the envenomations around the world. Administration of antivenins aimed at the neutralization of toxins in humans is prone to potential risks. Neutralization of snake venom toxins has been achieved through different approaches: plant extracts have been utilized in etnomedicine. Direct electric current from low voltage showed neutralizing properties against venom phospholipase A2 and metalloproteases. This mini-review summarizes new achievements in venom key component inhibition. A deeper knowledge of alternative ways to inhibit venom toxins may provide supplemental treatments to serum therapy.

Panfoli, Isabella; Calzia, Daniela; Ravera, Silvia; Morelli, Alessandro

2010-01-01

200

Role of cyclooxygenases in oedema-forming activity of bothropic venoms  

Microsoft Academic Search

The venoms of Bothrops asper (BaV) and Bothrops jararaca (BjV), two of the most medically important poisonous snakes of Latin America, cause pronounced oedema in the victims through poorly understood mechanisms. In the present study, we examined the possible role of cyclooxygenases (COX) in the genesis of mouse paw oedema caused by BaV and BjV injections. BaV at 2.5?g\\/paw and

Renata do A. Olivo; Catarina F. P. Teixeira; John L. Wallace; Jose M. Gutierrez; Stella R. Zamuner

2007-01-01

201

Chronic blockade of nitric oxide biosynthesis in rats: effect on leukocyte endothelial interaction and on leukocyte recruitment  

Microsoft Academic Search

Introduction: Previous studies showed that animals chronically treated with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) have a reduced inflammatory reaction. Now the role of L-NAME treatment (20 mg\\/Kg\\/day\\/14 days) on leukocyte mobilisation was assessed in rats. Methods: In vivo leukocyte recruitment evoked by Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) and nitrite\\/nitrate (NO 2 ?\\/NO 3 ?; Griess reaction) were evaluated in the air pouch cavity.

S. H. P. Farsky; P. Borelli; R. A. Fock; S. Z. Proto; J. M. C. Ferreira; S. B. V. Mello

2004-01-01

202

A study on the venom yield of venomous snake species from Argentina  

Microsoft Academic Search

A study on the venom yield of snakes from Argentina over a three year period was carried out on adult specimens of Bothrops alternatus (n=74); Bothrops neuwiedii (n=127); Bothrops ammodytoides (n=30); Bothrops moojeni (n=14); Bothrops jararaca (n=14); B. jararacussu (n=6); Crotalus durissus terrificus (n=120) and Micrurus spp. (n=6) as well as with 12 specimens of newborn C. d. terrificus kept

Adolfo R de Roodt; Jorge A Dolab; Pedro P Galarce; Eduardo Gould; Silvana Litwin; J. Christian Dokmetjian; Liliana Segre; Juan C Vidal

1998-01-01

203

The effect of post-translational modifications on the hemorrhagic activity of snake venom metalloproteinases  

Microsoft Academic Search

Metalloproteinases (MPs) are Zn+-dependent endoproteolytic enzymes, abundant in crotalid and viperid snake venoms. Most snake venom metalloproteinases (svMPs) are active on extracellular matrix components and this effect is thought to result in bleeding as a consequence of the basement membrane disruption in capillaries. Jararhagin and ACLH are hemorrhagic svMPs from Bothrops jararaca and Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus venom, respectively. Both enzymes

L. T Garc??a; L. T Parreiras e Silva; O. H. P Ramos; A. K Carmona; P. A Bersanetti; H. S Selistre-de-Araujo

2004-01-01

204

Proteomic profiling of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs): insights into venom induced pathology.  

PubMed

Bothrops sp. snakebites account for the majority of envenomations in South and Central America. Bothrops jararaca accidents are characterized by edema, hemorrhage and necrosis, mainly attributed to the action of hemorrhagic snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). Interestingly, accidents involving Bothrops lanceolatus (Fer-de-Lance) have a prothrombotic profile with necrosis and hemorrhage rarely reported. Here we describe biochemical and proteomic approaches to compare the venom composition of these snakes, focusing on the presence and activity of SVMPs. The total relative amount of SVMPs was found to be approximately the same in the venom of both species, the difference being in the distribution of SVMPs subgroups. Fer-de-Lance venom has relatively more PI SVMPs peptides identified (23-16%) while Jararaca venom has a higher amount of PIII SVMPs (54-43%). Gelatinolytic activity in the PIII mass range is also higher in Jararaca venom. Interestingly, the homologous band region in the Fer-de-Lance zymogram was only very weakly gelatinolytic. According to these findings it is feasible that the different distribution of SVMPs subgroups and their particular biochemical and pharmacological characteristics are two of the main factors contributing to these two radically different venom induced pathologies. PMID:19539639

Terra, Renata M S; Pinto, Antônio F M; Guimarães, Jorge A; Fox, Jay W

2009-11-01

205

[Rod of asclepius. Symbol of medicine].  

PubMed

Symbolism is one of the most archaic forms of human thoughts. Symbol derives from the Latin word symbolum, and the latter from the Greek symbolon or symballo, which means "I coincide, I make matches". The Medicine symbol represents a whole series of historical and ethical values. Asclepius Rod with one serpent entwined, has traditionally been the symbol of scientific medicine. In a misconception that has lasted 500 years, the Caduceus of Hermes, entwined by two serpents and with two wings, has been considered the symbol of Medicine. However, the Caduceus is the current symbol of Commerce. Asclepius Rod and the Caduceus of Hermes represent two professions, Medicine and Commerce that, in ethical practice, should not be mixed. Physicians should be aware of their real emblem, its historical origin and meaning. PMID:24522424

Young, Pablo; Finn, Bárbara C; Bruetman, Julio E; Cesaro Gelos, Jorge; Trimarchi, Hernán

2013-09-01

206

Spallation Source Modelling for an ADS Using the MCNPX and GEANT4 Packages for Sensitivity Analysis of Reactivity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A simulation for the time evolution of the MYRRHA conceptual reactor was developed. The SERPENT code was used to simulate the nuclear fuel depletion and the spallation source which drives the system was simulated using both MCNPX and GEANT4 packages. The obtained results for the neutron energy spectrum from the spallation are coherent with each other and were used as input for the SERPENT code which simulated a constant power operation regime. The obtained results show that the criticality of the system is not sensitive to the spallation models employed and only relative small deviations with respect to the inverse kinetic model coming from the point kinetic equations proposed by Gandini were observed.

Antolin, M. Q.; Marinho, F.; Palma, D. A. P.; Martinez, A. S.

2014-04-01

207

Susanoo: One of the Central Gods in Japanese Mythology  

Microsoft Academic Search

The god Susanoo is one of the central characters in the eighth-century annals known as Kojiki and Nihon shoki, and the contradictory way he is depicted has inspired several different interpretations. On one hand he is the violent counter-part of the sun-goddess Amaterasu; on the other, the hero who slays the enormous serpent Yamata no Orochi and saves the maiden

Emilia Gadeleva

2000-01-01

208

Formation of Ellerman bombs due to 3D flux emergence  

Microsoft Academic Search

Aims. We investigate the emergence of a ``sea-serpent'' magnetic field into the outer solar atmosphere and the connection between undulating fieldlines and formation of Ellerman bombs. Methods: We perform 3D numerical experiments solving the time-dependent and resistive MHD equations. Results: A sub-photospheric magnetic flux sheet develops undulations due to the Parker instability. It rises from the convectively unstable sub-photospheric layer

V. Archontis; A. W. Hood

2009-01-01

209

Dyke swarm emplacement in the Ethiopian Large Igneous Province: not only a matter of stress  

Microsoft Academic Search

In the Tana^Belaya area, western Ethiopia, field data and satellite imagery reveal the existence of two dyke swarms, the NE^SW Serpent-God dyke swarm, and the NW^SE Dinder dyke swarm. Both swarms are thought to have the same age, 30 Ma, and are likely to have contributed to feeding the traps. After a description of the swarms, this paper examines their

Daniel Me; Tesfaye Korme

210

Computation of a Canadian SCWR unit cell with deterministic and Monte Carlo codes  

SciTech Connect

The Canadian SCWR has the potential to achieve the goals that the generation IV nuclear reactors must meet. As part of the optimization process for this design concept, lattice cell calculations are routinely performed using deterministic codes. In this study, the first step (self-shielding treatment) of the computation scheme developed with the deterministic code DRAGON for the Canadian SCWR has been validated. Some options available in the module responsible for the resonance self-shielding calculation in DRAGON 3.06 and different microscopic cross section libraries based on the ENDF/B-VII.0 evaluated nuclear data file have been tested and compared to a reference calculation performed with the Monte Carlo code SERPENT under the same conditions. Compared to SERPENT, DRAGON underestimates the infinite multiplication factor in all cases. In general, the original Stammler model with the Livolant-Jeanpierre approximations are the most appropriate self-shielding options to use in this case of study. In addition, the 89 groups WIMS-AECL library for slight enriched uranium and the 172 groups WLUP library for a mixture of plutonium and thorium give the most consistent results with those of SERPENT. (authors)

Harrisson, G.; Marleau, G. [Inst. of Nuclear Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (Canada)

2012-07-01

211

Titania Composite Microspheres Endowed with a Size-Exclusive Effect toward the Highly Specific Revelation of Phosphopeptidome.  

PubMed

The efficient isolation of low-abundance phosphopeptides from complicated biological samples containing a significant quantity of nonphosphopeptides and proteins is essential for phosphopeptidome research but remains a great challenge. In this Article, magnetic composite microspheres comprising a magnetic colloidal nanocrystal cluster core and a mesoporous titania shell with an average pore diameter of 3.4 nm were modified by directly coating an amorphous titania shell onto the magnetite core, followed by converting the amorphous titania shell into a crystalline structure via a hydrothermal process at 80 °C. The as-prepared magnetic mesoporous titania microspheres possess a remarkable specific surface area that is as high as 603.5 m(2)/g, which is an appropriate pore size with a narrow size distribution and a high magnetic responsiveness. These outstanding features imply that the composite microspheres exhibit extraordinary performance in phosphopeptidome research, including high specificity toward phosphopeptides, an excellent size-exclusion effect against phosphoproteins, exceptional enrichment capacity, and efficient separation from mixtures. Encouraged by the experimental results, we employed this method to investigate the phosphopeptidome of snake venom for the first time. A total of 35 phosphopeptides was identified from the snake venom from the family Viperidae, accounting for 75% of the total identified peptides. This result represents the largest data set of the phosphopeptidome in snake venom from the family Viperidae. PMID:24745367

Zhang, Ying; Ma, Wanfu; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Changchun; Lu, Haojie

2014-05-14

212

Structural characteristics and evolution of a novel venom phospholipase A2 gene from Protobothrops flavoviridis.  

PubMed

A novel phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) gene, named PfPLA 6, was found in a 6,328-bp NIS-1(5')-a segment in the Protobothrops flavoviridis (Habu, Crotalinae) genome. A comparison of the aligned nucleotide sequences of Viperidae (Viperinae and Crotalinae) venom PLA(2) genes, including PfPLA 6, revealed the deletion of a 12-bp segment called S1EX 1 and a 55-bp segment called S2EX 1 in exon 1 and the interposition of a 219-bp segment called SINT 2 (SINE) in intron 2. A classification of Viperidae PLA(2) genes based on these structural modes indicated that the A-type genes (without SINE), including PfPLA 6, are evolutionarily ancestral to the B-type (Viperinae) and C-type (Crotalinae) PLA(2) genes (both with SINE). Since PfPLA 6 is a pseudogene, an active prototype of PfPLA 6 can be assumed to be the ancestral PLA(2) gene. Putative evolutionary processes from this A-type prototype PLA(2) gene to descendent PLA(2) genes are discussed. PMID:22451399

Chijiwa, Takahito; Ikeda, Naoki; Masuda, Haruna; Hara, Hiroaki; Oda-Ueda, Naoko; Hattori, Shosaku; Ohno, Motonori

2012-01-01

213

Extremely low nerve growth facior (NGF) activity of sea snake (Hydrophiidae) venoms.  

PubMed

Sea snake venoms contain less protein than those of land snakes (Toom et al., 1969). Sea snake venoms lack arginine ester hydrolyzing activity, whereas those of Crotalidae and Viperidae have such activity (Tu et al., 1966). Sea snakes live in salty water, and their venoms may be different from those of land snakes. Because of the difficulty in obtaining sea snake venoms, information about sea snake venoms is quite incomplete. NGF is commonly present in the venoms of land snakes such as Elapidae, Viperidae, and Crotalidae (Cohen and Levi-Montalcini, 1956; Lipps, 2002). It is therefore of interest to investigate the presence or absence of NGF in sea snake venoms. In order to investigate the presence or absence of NGF, five sea snake venoms were selected. Lapemis hardwickii (Hardwick's sea snake) and Acalyptophis peronii venom were obtained from the Gulf of Thailand. Hydrophis cyanocinctus (common sea snake) and Enhydrina schistosa (beaked sea snake) venom were obtained from the Strait of Malacca. Laticauda semifasciata (broad band blue sea snake) venom was also examined and the venom was obtained from Gato Island in the Philippines. PMID:12503884

Mariam, Khafizova; Tu, Anthony T

2002-12-01

214

Determination of sphingomyelinase-D activity of Loxosceles venoms in sphingomyelin/cholesterol liposomes containing horseradish peroxidase.  

PubMed

Based on degradation of sphingomyelin/cholesterol liposomes containing entrapped horseradish peroxidase, we evaluated the Sphingomyelinase-D (SMase-D) activity of scorpion, spider and snake venoms by monitoring spectrophotometrically the product of oxidation of HRP released. The results indicate that Loxosceles crude venoms (Loxosceles intermedia, Loxosceles laeta, Loxosceles gaucho and Loxosceles similis) displayed SMase-D activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, this activity was blocked by the anti-loxoscelic antivenom. However, Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom, Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom and Bothrops jararaca, Crotalus durissus, Lachesis muta and Micrurus frontalis snake venoms did not show measurable SMase-D activity. PMID:21236288

Gomes, Marco Túlio R; Guimarães, Gabriela; Frézard, Frédéric; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Minozzo, João Carlos; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Oliveira, Sergio Costa; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

2011-03-15

215

BE-I-PLA2, a novel acidic phospholipase A 2 from Bothrops erythromelas venom: Isolation, cloning and characterization as potent anti-platelet and inductor of prostaglandin I 2 release by endothelial cells  

Microsoft Academic Search

A novel acidic Asp49 phospholipase A2 was isolated from Bothrops erythromelas (jararaca malha-de-cascavel) snake venom by four chromatographic steps. BE-I-PLA2 present a molecular weight of 13,649.57Da as estimated by mass spectrometry. N-terminal and four internal peptides were sequenced, covering around one-third of the complete toxin sequence. The complete BE-I-PLA2 cDNA was cloned from a B. erythromelas venom-gland cDNA library. The

Jeanne Claine de Albuquerque Modesto; Patrick J. Spencer; Márcio Fritzen; Renata C. Valença; Maria Luíza Vilela Oliva; Marcia Bezerra da Silva; Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi; Miriam Camargo Guarnieri

2006-01-01

216

Current challenges for confronting the public health problem of snakebite envenoming in Central America.  

PubMed

Snakebite envenoming is a serious public health problem in Central America, where approximately 5,500 cases occur every year. Panama has the highest incidence and El Salvador the lowest. The majority, and most severe, cases are inflicted by the pit viper Bothrops asper (family Viperidae), locally known as 'terciopelo', 'barba amarilla' or 'equis'. About 1% of the bites are caused by coral snakes of the genus Micrurus (family Elapidae). Despite significant and successful efforts in Central America regarding snakebite envenomings in the areas of research, antivenom manufacture and quality control, training of health professionals in the diagnosis and clinical management of bites, and prevention of snakebites, much remains to be done in order to further reduce the impact of this medical condition. This essay presents seven challenges for improving the confrontation of snakebite envenoming in Central America. Overcoming these challenges demands a coordinated partnership of highly diverse stakeholders though inter-sectorial and inter-programmatic interventions. PMID:24602234

Gutiérrez, José María

2014-01-01

217

Respiratory cooling in rattlesnakes.  

PubMed

We used infrared thermography to study respiratory cooling in the rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalinae) and to partition the effects of air temperature, humidity, and activity levels on head-body temperature differences. We observed a single, cooled region centered around the mouth and nasal capsule that extended across the pit membrane at air temperatures above 20 degrees C. Both head and body temperatures of rattlesnakes increased linearly with air temperature. Head-body temperature differentials also increased with air temperature, but declined significantly at higher relative humidities. Rattling rattlesnakes exhibited significantly greater head-body temperature differentials than did resting rattlesnakes. We suggest that respiratory cooling may provide a thermal buffer for the thermoreceptive pit organs at high air temperatures, but caution that this adaptive hypothesis must be tested with direct neural or behavioral assays. PMID:15936707

Borrell, Brendan J; Laduc, Travis J; Dudley, Robert

2005-04-01

218

Venomous snakebites.  

PubMed

More than 5 million people are bitten by venomous snakes annually and more than 100,000 of them die. In Europe, one person dies due to envenomation every 3 years. There is only one venomous snake species in Lithuania--the common adder (Vipera berus)--which belongs to the Viperidae family; however, there are some exotic poisonous snakes in the zoos and private collections, such as those belonging to the Elapidae family (cobras, mambas, coral snakes, etc.) and the Crotalidae subfamily of the Viperidae family (pit vipers, such as rattlesnakes). Snake venom can be classified into hemotoxic, neurotoxic, necrotoxic, cardiotoxic, and nephrotoxic according to the different predominant effects depending on the family (i.e., venom of Crotalidae and Viperidae snakes is more hemotoxic and necrotoxic, whereas venom of Elapidae family is mainly neurotoxic). The intoxication degree is estimated according to the appearance of these symptoms: 1) no intoxication ("dry" bite); 2) mild intoxication (local edema and pain); 3) moderate intoxication (pain, edema spreading out of the bite zone, and systemic signs); 4) severe intoxication (shock, severe coagulopathy, and massive edemas). This topic is relevant because people tend to make major mistakes providing first aid (e.g., mouth suction, wound incision, and application of ice or heat). Therefore, this article presents the essential tips on how first aid should be performed properly according to the "Guidelines for the Management of Snake-Bites" by the World Health Organization (2010). Firstly, the victim should be reassured. Rings or other things must be removed preventing constriction of the swelling limb. Airway/breathing must be maintained. The bitten limb should be immobilized and kept below heart level to prevent venom absorption and systemic spread. Usage of pressure bandage is controversial since people usually apply it improperly. Incision, mouth suction, or excision should not be performed; neither a tourniquet nor ice or heat should be applied. A doctor must monitor respiratory rate, blood pressure, heart rate, renal function, fluid balance, and coagulation status. The only specific treatment method is antivenin--serum with antibodies against antigens of snake venom. Antivenins against pit vipers used in the United States are Antivenin Crotalidae Polyvalent (ACP) and a more purified and hence causing less adverse reactions--Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (CroFab). In Europe, a polyvalent antiserum against Viperidae family snakes (including the common adder) can be used. Antivenins often may cause severe hypersensitivity reactions because of their protein nature. The bite of the common adder (the only poisonous snake in such countries as Lithuania and Great Britain) relatively rarely results in death; thus, considering the risk of dangerous reactions the antivenin causes itself, the usage of it is recommended to be limited only to life-threatening conditions. PMID:22123554

Adukauskien?, Dalia; Varanauskien?, Egl?; Adukauskait?, Agn?

2011-01-01

219

Current challenges for confronting the public health problem of snakebite envenoming in Central America  

PubMed Central

Snakebite envenoming is a serious public health problem in Central America, where approximately 5,500 cases occur every year. Panama has the highest incidence and El Salvador the lowest. The majority, and most severe, cases are inflicted by the pit viper Bothrops asper (family Viperidae), locally known as ‘terciopelo’, ‘barba amarilla’ or ‘equis’. About 1% of the bites are caused by coral snakes of the genus Micrurus (family Elapidae). Despite significant and successful efforts in Central America regarding snakebite envenomings in the areas of research, antivenom manufacture and quality control, training of health professionals in the diagnosis and clinical management of bites, and prevention of snakebites, much remains to be done in order to further reduce the impact of this medical condition. This essay presents seven challenges for improving the confrontation of snakebite envenoming in Central America. Overcoming these challenges demands a coordinated partnership of highly diverse stakeholders though inter-sectorial and inter-programmatic interventions.

2014-01-01

220

The kallikrein, kininase and related peptides activities in central Asian snake venoms.  

PubMed

The quantitative content estimation of kininogenases, kininases and related peptides have been made for Central Asian snake venoms: V. lebetina turanica and E. multisquamatus (gen. Vipera and Echis, fam. Viperidae), Ag. halys halys (gen. Agkistrodon, fam. Crotalidae) and N. oxiana (gen. Naja, fam Elapidae). It has been demonstrated, that all venoms investigated cause the contractile effect, when acting on isolated smooth muscle preparations. Kinin-like contractile activity was found in the low molecular weight fraction of the cobra venom. This action has the prolonged character as compared with bradykinin, but apart from it, results in the inactivation of the rat uterus because of cytotoxic components presence. The specific bradykinin-potentiating effect of the low molecular weight fraction of the E. multisquamatus venom has been discovered. It has been found, that the effect is connected with inhibition of the kininase II (angiotensin I converting enzyme, ACE). Two peptide inhibitors was isolated and characterized from this fraction. PMID:1334625

Yukelson LYa; L'vov, V M; Shkinev, A V; Sultanalieva, N

1992-01-01

221

Biochemical characterization, action on macrophages, and superoxide anion production of four basic phospholipases A2 from Panamanian Bothrops asper snake venom.  

PubMed

Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) is the most important venomous snake in Central America, being responsible for the majority of snakebite accidents. Four basic PLA2s (pMTX-I to -IV) were purified from crude venom by a single-step chromatography using a CM-Sepharose ion-exchange column (1.5 × 15?cm). Analysis of the N-terminal sequence demonstrated that pMTX-I and III belong to the catalytically active Asp49 phospholipase A2 subclass, whereas pMTX-II and IV belong to the enzymatically inactive Lys49 PLA2s-like subclass. The PLA2s isolated from Panama Bothrops asper venom (pMTX-I, II, III, and IV) are able to induce myotoxic activity, inflammatory reaction mainly leukocyte migration to the muscle, and induce J774A.1 macrophages activation to start phagocytic activity and superoxide production. PMID:23509779

Rueda, Aristides Quintero; Rodríguez, Isela González; Arantes, Eliane C; Setúbal, Sulamita S; Calderon, Leonardo de A; Zuliani, Juliana P; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

2013-01-01

222

Abati's work on the amazing nature of the viper and its miraculous powers.  

PubMed

For centuries since Herodotus, writings on those "footless lizards" touched on serpents, their types, appearance, habitat, anatomy external and internal, physiology, reproduction and venomy. However, the status of information remained much the same from Aristotle (B.C. IV) to Coiter (A.D. XVI). In 1589 a new era began with the publication of a book by Baldo Angelo Abati. Its factual illustrations, the first to depict the viper's internal anatomy, were soon republished, in part confirmed and in part contradicted, generally agreed upon by late 1600. PMID:2048145

Knoefel, P K

1991-01-01

223

Robert sagot - an unrecognized observer - his double stars measures; (French Title: Robert sagot - un dupliciste méconnu - ses mesures d'étoiles doubles)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Robert SAGOT (February 1, 1910 - May 5, 2006) measured double stars from October 1956 to March 1961, using at the Société Astronomique de France observatory a 22,53cm x 3,009m refractor (objectif Benoît) located 28 rue Serpente, in Paris. He has published only 186 measures of 55 binaries in the Journal des Observateurs, vol. 41, no. 2, pages 31/39, février 1958. The paper presents the programme, the method of observation and the latest 707 observations of the 167 previously unpublished double stars.

Thorel, J. C.

2006-12-01

224

Bernard CLOUET : unpublished double stars measures (French Title: Bernard CLOUET et ses mesures d'étoiles doubles inédites)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Bernard CLOUET measured double stars from December 1955 to May 1961, using 22,53cm x 3,009m refractor (objectif Benoît) of the Société Astronomique de France observatory located at 28 rue Serpente, in Paris. He discovered CLU 1 and published only 271 measures of 91 binaries in the Journal des Observateurs, vol. 41, no. 2, pages 31/39, février 1958. The paper presents the program, the method of observation and the latest 398 observations of the 98 previously unpublished double stars.

Thorel, J. C.

2007-09-01

225

Spectroscopy of Moses Rock kimberlite diatreme  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Three types of remote sensing data (Airborne Imaging Spectroscopy (AIS), NS001, Zeiss IR-photographs) were obtained for the Moses Rock kimberlite dike in southern Utah. The goal is to identify and characterize the mantle derived mafic component in such volcanic features. The Zeiss and NS001 images provide information on the regional setting and allow units of the dike to be distinguished from surrounding material. A potential unmapped satellite dike was identified. The AIS data provide characterizing information of the surface composition of the dike. Serpentized olivine-bearing soils are (tentatively) identified from the AIS spectra for a few areas within the dike.

Pieters, C. M.; Mustard, J. F.

1985-01-01

226

A Serrate-expressing signaling center controls Drosophila hematopoiesis  

PubMed Central

The differentiation of Drosophila blood cells relies on a functional hierarchy between the GATA protein, Serpent (Srp), and multiple lineage-specific transcription factors, such as the AML1-like protein, Lozenge (Lz). Two major branches of Drosophila hematopoiesis give rise to plasmatocytes/macrophages and crystal cells. Serrate signaling through the Notch pathway is critical in the regulation of Lz expression and the specification of crystal cell precursors, thus providing a key distinction between the two lineages. The expression of Serrate marks a discrete cluster of cells in the lymph gland, a signaling center, with functional similarities to stromal signaling in mammalian hematopoiesis.

Lebestky, Tim; Jung, Seung-Hye; Banerjee, Utpal

2003-01-01

227

Geobotanical techniques for discriminating serpentine rock types in Western United States  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The effectiveness of airborne multispectral imagery for identifying vegetation indicative of serpentine soils, which usually contain deposits of Ni, Cr, and Co, was examined with ground truth data. Analyses were carried out in SW Oregon, the Jasper Ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada foothills. Airborne studies were performed with 10-channel scanner, a IR scanner, and with false color composites, while ground studies classified the vegetation and mineral contents of the soil. The airborne studies were successfully used to discern serpentine soils from nonultramafic rock types, although difficulties were encountered in separating serpentine from nonserpentinized peridotite. A lack of deciduous trees on serpentized land was noted.

Mouat, D.; Elvidge, C.; Lyon, R.

1982-01-01

228

Comparative Sex Chromosome Genomics in Snakes: Differentiation, Evolutionary Strata, and Lack of Global Dosage Compensation  

PubMed Central

Snakes exhibit genetic sex determination, with female heterogametic sex chromosomes (ZZ males, ZW females). Extensive cytogenetic work has suggested that the level of sex chromosome heteromorphism varies among species, with Boidae having entirely homomorphic sex chromosomes, Viperidae having completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and Colubridae showing partial differentiation. Here, we take a genomic approach to compare sex chromosome differentiation in these three snake families. We identify homomorphic sex chromosomes in boas (Boidae), but completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes in both garter snakes (Colubridae) and pygmy rattlesnake (Viperidae). Detection of W-linked gametologs enables us to establish the presence of evolutionary strata on garter and pygmy rattlesnake sex chromosomes where recombination was abolished at different time points. Sequence analysis shows that all strata are shared between pygmy rattlesnake and garter snake, i.e., recombination was abolished between the sex chromosomes before the two lineages diverged. The sex-biased transmission of the Z and its hemizygosity in females can impact patterns of molecular evolution, and we show that rates of evolution for Z-linked genes are increased relative to their pseudoautosomal homologs, both at synonymous and amino acid sites (even after controlling for mutational biases). This demonstrates that mutation rates are male-biased in snakes (male-driven evolution), but also supports faster-Z evolution due to differential selective effects on the Z. Finally, we perform a transcriptome analysis in boa and pygmy rattlesnake to establish baseline levels of sex-biased expression in homomorphic sex chromosomes, and show that heteromorphic ZW chromosomes in rattlesnakes lack chromosome-wide dosage compensation. Our study provides the first full scale overview of the evolution of snake sex chromosomes at the genomic level, thus greatly expanding our knowledge of reptilian and vertebrate sex chromosomes evolution.

Zektser, Yulia; Mahajan, Shivani; Bachtrog, Doris

2013-01-01

229

Comparative sex chromosome genomics in snakes: differentiation, evolutionary strata, and lack of global dosage compensation.  

PubMed

Snakes exhibit genetic sex determination, with female heterogametic sex chromosomes (ZZ males, ZW females). Extensive cytogenetic work has suggested that the level of sex chromosome heteromorphism varies among species, with Boidae having entirely homomorphic sex chromosomes, Viperidae having completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and Colubridae showing partial differentiation. Here, we take a genomic approach to compare sex chromosome differentiation in these three snake families. We identify homomorphic sex chromosomes in boas (Boidae), but completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes in both garter snakes (Colubridae) and pygmy rattlesnake (Viperidae). Detection of W-linked gametologs enables us to establish the presence of evolutionary strata on garter and pygmy rattlesnake sex chromosomes where recombination was abolished at different time points. Sequence analysis shows that all strata are shared between pygmy rattlesnake and garter snake, i.e., recombination was abolished between the sex chromosomes before the two lineages diverged. The sex-biased transmission of the Z and its hemizygosity in females can impact patterns of molecular evolution, and we show that rates of evolution for Z-linked genes are increased relative to their pseudoautosomal homologs, both at synonymous and amino acid sites (even after controlling for mutational biases). This demonstrates that mutation rates are male-biased in snakes (male-driven evolution), but also supports faster-Z evolution due to differential selective effects on the Z. Finally, we perform a transcriptome analysis in boa and pygmy rattlesnake to establish baseline levels of sex-biased expression in homomorphic sex chromosomes, and show that heteromorphic ZW chromosomes in rattlesnakes lack chromosome-wide dosage compensation. Our study provides the first full scale overview of the evolution of snake sex chromosomes at the genomic level, thus greatly expanding our knowledge of reptilian and vertebrate sex chromosomes evolution. PMID:24015111

Vicoso, Beatriz; Emerson, J J; Zektser, Yulia; Mahajan, Shivani; Bachtrog, Doris

2013-01-01

230

Ability of a synthetic coumestan to antagonize Bothrops snake venom activities.  

PubMed

We investigated a synthetic coumestan named LQB93 and similar compounds abilities to antagonize activities of Bothrops jararacussu and Bothrops jararaca crude venoms in different protocols. The antimyotoxic activity was evaluated in vitro by the rate of release of creatine kinase (CK) from isolated mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL) induced by B. jararacussu (25 g/ml). For in vivo studies, B. jararacussu venom (1.0 mg/kg) was preincubated with LQB93 (0.1-30 mg/kg), during 30 min, for later injection in mouse tight and evaluation of the antimyotoxic and anti-edematogenic effects. LQB93 antagonized in vitro, the increase of CK release from the EDL muscle (IC(50)=0.0291 M). It also showed in vivo, antimyotoxic and anti-edematogenic effects that were dose-dependent with ID50 of 0.17 mg/kg and 0.14 mg/kg, respectively. The hemorrhage induced by B. jararaca (1.0 mg/kg) venom in the mouse skin, was abolished by LQB93 (10.0 mg/kg) preincubated with venom. Like wedelolactone, LQB93 protected rat isolated heart on a Langendorff preparation, from the cardiotoxicity of B. jararacussu venom. LQB93 inhibit the effects of Bothrops venoms like wedelolactone, a natural compound isolated from the plant Eclipta prostrata. PMID:19883675

Melo, Paulo A; Pinheiro, Diogo A; Ricardo, Hilmar Dias; Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Tomaz, Marcelo A; El-Kik, Camila Z; Strauch, Marcelo A; da Fonseca, Tatiane F; Sifuentes, Daniel N; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Buarque, Camilla D; Brito, Flávia V; Costa, Paulo R R; Da Silva, Alcides J M

2010-01-01

231

Reference toxins for antivenin standardization*  

PubMed Central

Potency determinations in mice of venom samples from snakes of the species Bothrops jararaca, which had been caught in an area of less than 10 000 km2, gave the following principal results: (1) Various methods of drying—i.e., closed and continuous vacuum-drying at 5° and 37°C and freeze-drying (lyophilization)—had no different effect on the potency of venoms. (2) Venom samples which display no differences in the final results of intravenous assay may be distinguishable if the observation time is limited to one or two hours. (3) Venom samples obtained from snakes caught no more than about 50 km apart may be of different potencies. (4) Different titres may be obtained for an antivenin, if different samples of venom from the same snake species are employed as reference preparations in the assay. From physiological experiments on dogs and rabbits, in conjunction with observations made in tests on mice, it is evident that B. jararaca venom causes death in circulatory collapse through a mechanism which is as yet unknown. Two physiologically (and probably immunologically) distinct hypotensory factors seem to be present in this venom. The conclusions drawn from the investigation is that consistent and reproducible reference preparations of snake venoms for antivenin assay can probably be obtained only from snakes that are bred and kept in captivity under constant environmental conditions.

Schottler, W. H. A.

1958-01-01

232

Bradykinin-potentiating peptides: beyond captopril.  

PubMed

The identification of novel endogenous and exogenous molecules acting in the complex mechanism of regulating the vascular tonus has always been of great interest. The discovery of bradykinin (1949) and the bradykinin-potentiating peptides (1965) had a pivotal influence in the field, respectively, in understanding cardiovascular pathophysiology and in the development of captopril, the first active-site directed inhibitor of angiotensin-converting enzyme, and used worldwide to treat human hypertension. Both discoveries originated from studies of envenoming by the snake Bothrops jararaca. The aim of the present article is to reveal that the snake proline-rich oligopeptides, known as bradykinin-potentiating peptides, are still a source of surprising scientific discoveries, some of them useful not only to reveal potential new targets but also to introduce prospective lead molecules for drug development. In particular, we emphasize argininosuccinate synthetase as a new functional target for one of bradykinin-potentiating peptides found in B. jararaca, Bj-BPP-10c. This decapeptide leads to argininosuccinate synthetase activation, consequently sustaining increased nitric oxide production, a critical endogenous molecule to reduce the arterial blood pressure. PMID:21835190

Camargo, Antonio C M; Ianzer, Danielle; Guerreiro, Juliano R; Serrano, Solange M T

2012-03-15

233

Analysis of the subproteomes of proteinases and heparin-binding toxins of eight Bothrops venoms.  

PubMed

Viperid snakes show the most complex snake-venom proteomes and offer an intriguing challenge in terms of understanding the nature of their components and the pathological outcomes of envenomation characterized by local and systemic effects. In this work, the venom complexity of eight Bothrops species was analyzed by 2-DE, and their subproteomes of proteinases were explored by 2-D immunostaining and 2-D gelatin zymography, demonstrating the diversity of their profiles. Heparin, a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan released from mast cells, is involved in anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory processes. Here, we explored the hypothesis that heparin released upon envenomation could interact with toxins and interfere with venom pathogenesis. We first identified the Bothrops venom subproteome of toxins that bind with high-affinity for heparin as composed of mainly serine proteinases and C-type lectins. Next, we explored the Bothrops jararaca toxins that bind to heparin under physiological conditions and identified a relationship between the subproteomes of proteinases, and that of heparin-binding toxins. Only the non-bound fraction, composed mainly of metalloproteinases, showed lethal and hemorrhagic activities, whereas the heparin-bound fraction contained mainly serine proteinases associated with coagulant and fibrinogenolytic activities. These data suggest that heparin binding to B. jararaca venom components in vivo has a minor protective effect to venom toxicity. PMID:19137556

Paes Leme, Adriana F; Kitano, Eduardo S; Furtado, Maria F; Valente, Richard H; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ho, Paulo L; Fox, Jay W; Serrano, Solange M T

2009-02-01

234

Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Efforts and Observations at the Rocknest Eolian Sand Shadow in Curiosity's Gale Crater Field Site  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is focused on assessing the past or present habitability of Mars, through interrogation of environment and environmental records at the Curiosity rover field site in Gale crater. The MSL team has two methods available to collect, process and deliver samples to onboard analytical laboratories, the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. One approach obtains samples by drilling into a rock, the other uses a scoop to collect loose regolith fines. Scooping was planned to be first method performed on Mars because materials could be readily scooped multiple times and used to remove any remaining, minute terrestrial contaminants from the sample processing system, the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA). Because of this cleaning effort, the ideal first material to be scooped would consist of fine to very fine sand, like the interior of the Serpent Dune studied by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit team in 2004 [1]. The MSL team selected a linear eolian deposit in the lee of a group of cobbles they named Rocknest (Fig. 1) as likely to be similar to Serpent Dune. Following the definitions in Chapter 13 of Bagnold [2], the deposit is termed a sand shadow. The scooping campaign occurred over approximately 6 weeks in October and November 2012. To support these activities, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired images for engineering support/assessment and scientific inquiry.

Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Goetz, W.; Kah, L. C.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L. W.; Carsten, J. L.; Cooper, B.; Deen, R. G.; Dromart, G.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hardgrove, C. J.; Harker, D. E.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herrera, P. N.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Jandura, L.; Ming, D. W.

2013-01-01

235

Polyarnye siyaniya sistemy avroral'nogo ovala kak kosmoloficheskij obraz drevnej mifologii %t The northern light of the auroral oval system as a cosmological concept of the archaic mythology  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Since archaic epochs people attentively observe the sky. They used to associate the sky phenomena with gods, heroes, spirits, etc. People interpreted the regularities in the motion of celestial objects in terms of their mythological model of the Universe. These observations and interpretations were first steps of the archaeoastronomy. Many remarkable features are inherent in the patterns of northern lights of the auroral oval system. Their manifestations are fairly regular. Did the ancients observe and some how classify these northern light phenomena? If yes, with which mythological personages were they associated? When were studies of the polar lights initiated? The present work is an attempt to answer these questions. We shall see that the ancient people assumed the spirit-world to be situated on the North. If so, it should manifest itself in spectacular polar aurorae. The specifically northern mythic cosmology formed the basis for Slavic fairy tales (theme of the Serpent and Serpent Fighter) and folk-beliefs. Other inhabitants of snowy latitudes should also manifest similar views. Studying the mythological reflections of typical auroral phenomena, it is possible to trace up long-standing ideological trends from the late glaciation epoch to the present time. Our results can help geophysicists in studying paleoauroral phenomena.

Alekseeva, L. M.

236

On the modeling of snake venom serine proteinase interactions with benzamidine-based thrombin inhibitors  

PubMed Central

Pit viper venoms contain a number of serine proteinases that exhibit one or more thrombin-like activities on fibrinogen and platelets, this being the case for the kinin-releasing and fibrinogen-clotting KN-BJ from the venom of Bothrops jararaca. A three-dimensional structural model of the KN-BJ2 serine proteinase was built by homology modeling using the snake venom plasminogen activator TSV-PA as a major template and porcine kallikrein as additional structural support. A set of intrinsic buried waters was included in the model and its behavior under dynamic conditions was molecular dynamics simulated, revealing a most interesting similarity pattern to kallikrein. The benzamidine-based thrombin inhibitors ?-NAPAP, 3-TAPAP, and 4-TAPAP were docked into the refined model, allowing for a more insightful functional characterization of the enzyme and a better understanding of the reported comparatively low affinity of KN-BJ2 toward those inhibitors.

Henriques, Elsa S.; Fonseca, Nelson; Ramos, Maria Joao

2004-01-01

237

High-level expression, purification, characterization and structural prediction of a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor in Pichia pastoris.  

PubMed

Snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor BJ46a is from the serum of the venomous snake Bothrops jararaca. It has been proven to possess the capacity to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), likely based on its structural similarity to MMPs. This report describes the successful expression, purification, and characterization of the recombinant protein BJ46a in Pichia pastoris. Purified recombinant protein BJ46a was found to inhibit MMPs. Structural modeling was completed and should provide the foundation for further functional research. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the large scale expression of BJ46a, and it provides promise as a method for generation of BJ46a and investigation of its potential use as a new drug for treatment of antitumor invasion and metastasis. PMID:22307654

Shi, Yi; Ji, Ming-Kai; Xu, Jian-Wen; Lin, Xu; Lin, Jian-Yin

2012-03-01

238

Molecular diversity of snake venom nerve growth factors.  

PubMed

Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a protein which stimulates the differentiation and maintenance of sympathetic and embryonic sensory neurons. Snake venoms are a rich source of NGF. Due to small quantities it is sometimes difficult and laborious to isolate NGF from the venoms. In this study the use of Ni-NTA-agarose for isolation of NGF is studied. Anti-Vipera lebetina NGF antibodies were used for identification of NGF during Ni-NTA-agarose fractionation as well as for cross-reaction studies with 21 snake venoms. All studied venoms contained NGF. The molecular masses of the NGFs from Echis ocellatus, Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix, A. bilineatus, A. blomhoffii, A. saxatilis, Calloselasma rhodostoma, Bothrops jararaca and B. lanceolatus were determined for the first time. Some previous results of the NGF studies are revaluated. PMID:21801740

Trummal, Katrin; Tõnismägi, Külli; Paalme, Viiu; Järvekülg, Lilian; Siigur, Jüri; Siigur, Ene

2011-09-15

239

Structure and function of snake venom proteins affecting platelet plug formation.  

PubMed

Many snake venom proteins have been isolated that affect platelet plug formation by interacting either with platelet integrins, membrane glycoprotein Ib (GPIb), or plasma von Willebrand factor (VWF). Among them, disintegrins purified from various snake venoms are strong inhibitors of platelet aggregation. Botrocetin and bitiscetin derived from Bothrops jararaca and Bitis arietans venom, respectively, induce VWF-dependent platelet agglutination in vitro. Several GPIb-binding proteins have also been isolated from snake venoms. In this review, we focus on the structure and function of those snake venom proteins that influence platelet plug formation. These proteins are potentially useful as reagents for the sub-diagnosis of platelet disorder or von Willebrand disease, as well as for clinical and basic research of thrombosis and hemostasis. PMID:22069544

Matsui, Taei; Hamako, Jiharu; Titani, Koiti

2010-01-01

240

Integrin inhibitors from snake venom: exploring the relationship between the structure and activity of RGD-peptides.  

PubMed

alphaIIbbeta3 is an integrin that is involved in platelet adhesion and aggregation. This receptor may be inhibited by cysteine-rich peptides known as disintegrins. We isolated two disintegrins from Bothrops jararaca venom called jarastatin and jararacin. We evaluated the structural characteristics and the effects on human platelet aggregation of these disintegrins. Inhibitory profiles were compared to six distinct peptides synthesized based on their RGD hairpin loop primary sequences. Both jarastatin and jararacin inhibited ADP and thrombin induction. Conversely, none of the cyclic peptides showed high-quality activity in assays induced by ADP or thrombin. We constructed homology models for all of these molecules, and theoretically evaluated their interaction with the alphaIIbbeta3 crystal structure using a molecular modeling approach. These results support the observations that the cyclic peptides had little effects, and also reinforce the observation that residues outside the disintegrin RGD sequence are required for interactions with receptor. PMID:19101499

Wermelinger, Luciana S; Geraldo, Reinaldo B; Frattani, Flavia S; Rodrigues, Carlos R; Juliano, Maria A; Castro, Helena C; Zingali, Russolina B

2009-02-01

241

Malformations in neotropical viperids: qualitative and quantitative analysis.  

PubMed

Malformations can occur in all living species, but there is little information about anomalies that occur in snakes and their frequency. This study assessed malformations in newborn South American pit vipers (Bothrops jararaca) and South American rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus) from wild captured pregnant females (240 and 35 litters, respectively). Newborn snakes were measured, weighed, sexed and studied grossly and by radiography for the presence of malformations. Ninety-five malformed pit vipers were identified from 4,087 births (2.3%), while 36 malformed rattlesnakes were found from 324 births (11.1%). Spinal abnormalities were the most common in both species, followed by fusion of ventral scales. Pit vipers showed a greater range of malformations including schistosomia (22.1%), kinked tail (13.7%), bicephaly (3.1%) and hydrocephaly (2.1%). PMID:23885804

Sant'Anna, S S; Grego, K F; Lorigados, C A B; Fonseca-Pinto, A C B C; Fernandes, W; Sá-Rocha, L C; Catão-Dias, J L

2013-11-01

242

Alteration of Al-rich inclusions inside amoeboid olivine aggregates in the Allende meteorite  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The primary phases of Al-rich inclusions in amoeboid olivine aggregates have undergone alteration reactions with the solar nebular gas. The simplest interpretation of the present observations is that melilite was the first primary phase to disappear with falling temperature, and was replaced by grossular + anorthite + feldspathoids, followed by fassaite; spinel was the last phase to be altered. Thermodynamic calculations suggest that Na-rich phlogopite could have formed at about 470 K and chlorite at about 328 K at a water fugacity of 0.000001, which is that of a gas of solar composition in this temperature range. The olivine around Al-rich inclusions is not serpentized, indicating the cessation of gas-solid equilibrium above 274 K.

Hashimoto, A.; Grossman, L.

1987-06-01

243

S. Weir mitchell and his snakes: unraveling the "united web and woof of popular and scientific beliefs".  

PubMed

Although best known as a nineteenth-century neurologist and creator of the rest cure, S. Weir Mitchell was one of the first Americans to engage in large-scale animal experimentation. In 1860 he published Researches Upon the Venom of the Rattlesnake, and in 1886, in collaboration with Dr. Edward T. Reichert, he published Researches Upon the Venoms of Poisonous Serpents. Yet, Mitchell's pioneering work in scientific medicine remains a little known aspect of his career. This essay, based mainly on primary source material, tells the story of Mitchell's medical education and research on venomous snakes in order to reveal the ways myth and metaphor influenced medicine as it was becoming a science. PMID:17629777

Cervetti, Nancy

2007-09-01

244

Spectroscopy of Moses Rock dike using remote sensing  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Zeiss IR-photographs, NS0001 (TM simulator) and airborne imaging spectrometer (AIS) data were obtained for the Moses Rock kimberlite dike in southern Utah to identify and characterize the distinctive mafic mineralogy of the dike as well as the surrounding sedimentary rocks. The Zeiss and NS001 images provide information on the regional setting and allow units of the dike to be distinguished from the sediments. The AIS data are narrow images obtained in 128 near-infrared channels and provide characterizing information on the surface composition through. Three distinct spectroscopic units were found which have been tentatively identified as serpentized olivine-bearing soils found in the dike and two types of gypsum bearing soils found in the surrounding sedimentary soils.

Mustard, J. F.; Pieters, C. M.

1985-01-01

245

Formation of Ellerman bombs due to 3D flux emergence  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Aims. We investigate the emergence of a “sea-serpent” magnetic field into the outer solar atmosphere and the connection between undulating fieldlines and formation of Ellerman bombs. Methods: We perform 3D numerical experiments solving the time-dependent and resistive MHD equations. Results: A sub-photospheric magnetic flux sheet develops undulations due to the Parker instability. It rises from the convectively unstable sub-photospheric layer and emerges into the highly stratified atmosphere through successive reconnection events along the undulating system. Brightenings with the characteristics of Ellerman bombs are produced due to reconnection, which occurs during the emergence of the field. At an advanced stage of the evolution of the system, the resistive emergence leads to the formation of long, arch-like magnetic fields that expand into the corona. The enhancement of the magnetic field at the low atmosphere and episodes of emergence of new magnetic flux are also discussed.

Archontis, V.; Hood, A. W.

2009-12-01

246

Penumbral fine structure: Theoretical understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

To understand the dynamic fine structure and the Evershed effect of the sunspot penumbra, we have carried out time-dependent simulations of a thin magnetic flux tube embedded in a static sunspot model (Schlichenmaier et al. 1998a,b). Here, we present new simulation results of the moving tube model which reveal flux tubes that, instead of lying horizontal in the penumbral photosphere, develop waves (photospheric serpent) that reproduce not only the inward migration of penumbral grains, but also their observed outward migration, and which exhibit downflow arches in the outer penumbra. During its evolution the flux tube exhibits quasi-steady states. These states are compared to time-independent solutions of siphon flow models, which have been used to explain the Evershed flow (Meyer & Schmidt 1968, Degenhardt 1991, Montesinos & Thomas 1997).

Schlichenmaier, R.

2002-07-01

247

Floridas Miami Tequesta Indian Site, Its Calusa Indian Locations, the Matacumbe Keys, and Orlandos Wikiwa Springs Generate Environmentally Significant EMFs.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Florida purchased the Tequesta ([Langue] doc Christ Spirit-signal) Indian site along the Miami River site that vigorously pulsates with even minor rainstorms entering or leaving the area. Although there is a laughable chimera of a fountain of youth associated with Ponce de Leons discovery of the Florida peninsula in about AD 1513, the Calusa (Royal Christ Jesus Spirit-signal) Indian Nation has an associated significance with EMF signals they possibly monitored throughout their area of activity. Our efforts have also led to the investigation of cultural and other influences implied by the Matacumbe Keys that indicate a shared commonality of awareness with Native Americans of the northeast such as Metacomet, or regions like Maines Grand Lake Matagamon and its associated electromagnetic Spirit Signal. Wikiwa Springs near Orlando shares much with Massachusetts (adherent of serpent Jesus Christ Spirit-signal) Natick, and New Hampshires Naticook Island. These are the locales of environmentally sensitive instrumentation.

Mac Dougall, Jean S.; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, David M.

2003-10-01

248

Origins of the ancient constellations: I. The Mesopotamian traditions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In the sky-map of ancient Babylon, constellations had two different roles, and thus developed into two overlapping traditions. One set of constellations represented the gods and their symbols; the other set represented rustic activities and provided a farming calendar. Many constellations were shared by the two traditions, but in some regions of sky there were alternative divine and rustic figures. These figures developed in stages from ~3200 BC to ~500 BC. Of the divine set, the most important (although the last to be finalised) were the twelve zodiacal signs, plus several associated animals (the serpent, crow, eagle, and fish), which were all transmitted to the classical Greek sky-map that we still use today. Conversely, the rustic constellations of workers and tools and animals were not transmitted to the West. However, a few of them may have survived in Bedouin Arab sky-maps of the first millennium AD.

Rogers, J. H.

1998-02-01

249

Hunter-gatherers and other primates as prey, predators, and competitors of snakes.  

PubMed

Relationships between primates and snakes are of widespread interest from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, but surprisingly, little is known about the dangers that serpents have posed to people with prehistoric lifestyles and nonhuman primates. Here, we report ethnographic observations of 120 Philippine Agta Negritos when they were still preliterate hunter-gatherers, among whom 26% of adult males had survived predation attempts by reticulated pythons. Six fatal attacks occurred between 1934 and 1973. Agta ate pythons as well as deer, wild pigs, and monkeys, which are also eaten by pythons, and therefore, the two species were reciprocally prey, predators, and potential competitors. Natural history data document snake predation on tree shrews and 26 species of nonhuman primates as well as many species of primates approaching, mobbing, killing, and sometimes eating snakes. These findings, interpreted within the context of snake and primate phylogenies, corroborate the hypothesis that complex ecological interactions have long characterized our shared evolutionary history. PMID:22160702

Headland, Thomas N; Greene, Harry W

2011-12-27

250

Snake Robots.com  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

One of the latest developments in robotics is flexible, snake-like machines that could be used for such activities as Martian landscape exploration because they are highly flexible, adaptable, and maneuverable into tight spaces and over relatively large obstacles. Snake Robots.com comes from robotics engineer Gavin Miller who developed his own "snakes" with inspiration from his work on physically-based computer animation at Alias Research, Inc. and Apple Computer, Inc. (Note: this private site is not affiliated with those corporations.) Visitors to Miller's site can see color videos, with audio, of his incredibly life-like serpents (.mpeg). Links to other snake robot sites are provided along with information about upcoming museum exhibitions and articles.

251

Presence of a radioactive gas in archaeological excavations, determination and mitigation.  

PubMed

During recent archaeological discovery and excavation of a tunnel build approximately 2000 years ago by the Teotihuacans under the feathered serpent temple, in Mexico, abnormal radon concentrations up to 700 Bq m(-3) were measured at several excavation stages. The tunnel is at 15m below the earth surface with a vertical rectangular entrance of 4×4 m(2), a semi cylindrical shape of 3m in diameter, with a probable length of 100 m. This study supports the assumption that at the opening of the tunnel radon concentration was around 5500 Bq m(-3); however, although natural convection in the tunnel atmosphere naturally pups radon out, it build up to a maximum concentration of 2000 Bq m(-3). This paper presents the identification of the radon problem in this archaeological site, dose determination, and the mitigation actions that reduced the radon concentration down to 40 Bq m(-3) that ensure a negligible radon risk for archaeologist. PMID:23938077

Balcázar, M; Gómez, S; Peña, P; Zavala Arredondo, J; Gazzola, J; Villamares, A

2014-01-01

252

In situ video observations of two manefishes (perciformes: Caristiidae) in the mesopelagic zone of the northern Gulf of Mexico  

USGS Publications Warehouse

This paper describes direct video observations of two manefishes, likely Paracaristius sp., from the mesopelagic waters of the north-central Gulf of Mexico. One fish was observed with a remotely operated vehicle at a depth of 829 m by an industrial ROV as part of the SERPENT Project. The second was observed at 496 m from a manned submersible. Little is known about the behavior of manefishes because most records result from net-collected material. Our observation demonstrates that manefishes are capable of precise locomotory and posture control using extended, erect fins and that the pelvic fins of these fishes are extended in a parachute-like manner. Moreover, one of the specimens exhibited an unusual vertical, sinusoidal oscillation of its caudal fin. One of the observations took place in association with a physonect siphonophore. These observations may include the deepest published record for a manefish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Benfield, M. C.; Caruso, J. H.; Sulak, K. J.

2009-01-01

253

Drosophila E-Cadherin Functions in Hematopoietic Progenitors to Maintain Multipotency and Block Differentiation  

PubMed Central

A fundamental question in stem cell biology concerns the regulatory strategies that control the choice between multipotency and differentiation. Drosophila blood progenitors or prohemocytes exhibit key stem cell characteristics, including multipotency, quiescence, and niche dependence. As a result, studies of Drosophila hematopoiesis have provided important insights into the molecular mechanisms that control these processes. Here, we show that E-cadherin is an important regulator of prohemocyte fate choice, maintaining prohemocyte multipotency and blocking differentiation. These functions are reminiscent of the role of E-cadherin in mammalian embryonic stem cells. We also show that mis-expression of E-cadherin in differentiating hemocytes disrupts the boundary between these cells and undifferentiated prohemocytes. Additionally, upregulation of E-cadherin in differentiating hemocytes increases the number of intermediate cell types expressing the prohemocyte marker, Patched. Furthermore, our studies indicate that the Drosophila GATA transcriptional co-factor, U-shaped, is required for E-cadherin expression. Consequently, E-cadherin is a downstream target of U-shaped in the maintenance of prohemocyte multipotency. In contrast, we showed that forced expression of the U-shaped GATA-binding partner, Serpent, repressed E-cadherin expression and promoted lamellocyte differentiation. Thus, U-shaped may maintain E-cadherin expression by blocking the inhibitory activity of Serpent. Collectively, these observations suggest that GATA:FOG complex formation regulates E-cadherin levels and, thereby, the choice between multipotency and differentiation. The work presented in this report further defines the molecular basis of prohemocyte cell fate choice, which will provide important insights into the mechanisms that govern stem cell biology.

Gao, Hongjuan; Wu, Xiaorong; Fossett, Nancy

2013-01-01

254

Dyke swarm emplacement in the Ethiopian Large Igneous Province: not only a matter of stress  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In the Tana-Belaya area, western Ethiopia, field data and satellite imagery reveal the existence of two dyke swarms, the NE-SW Serpent-God dyke swarm, and the NW-SE Dinder dyke swarm. Both swarms are thought to have the same age, 30 Ma, and are likely to have contributed to feeding the traps. After a description of the swarms, this paper examines their relationships with the basement structures. The two dyke swarms follow major lithospheric weakness zones. The Serpent-God dyke swarm follows the Pan-African Tulu Dimtu ductile shear zone, and the Dinder dyke swarm follows a large NW-SE-trending Precambrian fracture zone already reactivated during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic as the northern boundary of the Blue Nile Rift. Because the dyke swarms are adjacent but their orientation differs, the stress trajectory patterns during their emplacement were spatially variable at local scale. Therefore, rather than plate-boundary processes, the origin of stress is thought to be primarily related to the Ethiopian plume. Postulating (in the absence of more data relating to the magma chambers that fed the traps) that dyke orientation is the result of an axisymmetric stress field, the location of the stress source can be placed close to Lake Tana, which is the centre of the Ethiopian broad negative regional Bouguer anomaly. The dykes in the Tana-Belaya area provide the first clues to the orientation of the stress field that prevailed in the early history of the Ethiopian mantle plume, and to some of the factors that guided the distribution of the trap feeders.

Mège, Daniel; Korme, Tesfaye

2004-05-01

255

Small serum protein-1 changes the susceptibility of an apoptosis-inducing metalloproteinase HV1 to a metalloproteinase inhibitor in habu snake (Trimeresurus flavoviridis)  

PubMed Central

Viperidae snakes containing various venomous proteins also have several anti-toxic proteins in their sera. However, the physiological function of serum protein has been elucidated incompletely. Small serum protein (SSP)-1 is a major component of the SSPs isolated from the serum of a Japanese viper, the habu snake (Trimeresurus flavoviridis). It exists in the blood as a binary complex with habu serum factor (HSF), a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor. Affinity chromatography of the venom on an SSP-1-immobilized column identified HV1, an apoptosis-inducing metalloproteinase, as the target protein of SSP-1. Biacore measurements revealed that SSP-1 was bound to HV1 with a dissociation constant of 8.2 × 10?8 M. However, SSP-1 did not inhibit the peptidase activity of HV1. Although HSF alone showed no inhibitory activity or binding affinity to HV1, the SSP-1–HSF binary complex bound to HV1 formed a ternary complex that non-competitively inhibited the peptidase activity of HV1 with a inhibition constant of 5.1 ± 1.3 × 10?9 M. The SSP-1–HSF complex also effectively suppressed the apoptosis of vascular endothelial cells and caspase 3 activation induced by HV1. Thus, SSP-1 is a unique protein that non-covalently attaches to HV1 and changes its susceptibility to HSF.

Shioi, Narumi; Ogawa, Eiki; Mizukami, Yuki; Abe, Shuhei; Hayashi, Rieko; Terada, Shigeyuki

2013-01-01

256

Capillary damage in the area postrema by venom of the northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus)  

PubMed Central

The Northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus) venom is mainly hemotoxic, hemorrhagic, and neurotoxic. Its effects in the central nervous system are unknown and only poorly described for all Viperidae species in general. This is why we are interested in describe the damage induced by C. m. molossus venom in rat brain, particularly in the area postrema capillaries. Four C. m. molossus venom doses were tested (0.02, 0.05, 0.10 and 0.20mg/kg) injected intramuscularly at the lower limb, incubated by 24 hours and the brains were harvested. Area postrema coronal sections were stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin, and examined to observe the venom effect in quantity of capillaries and porphology. Starting from the 0.10mg/kg treatment we observed lysed extravasated erythrocytes and also capillary breakdown, as a consequence of hemorrhages appearance. The number of capillaries decreased significantly in response to the venom dose increment. Hemorrhages could be caused by the metalloproteinase activity on the basal membrane and the apoptosis generated by L-amino acid oxidases. Hemolysis could be caused by phospholipase A2 hemotoxic effect. We conclude that C. m. molossus crude venom produces hemolysis, capillary breakdown, hemorrhages, and the reduction in number of capillaries in the area postrema.

Melendez-Martinez, David; Macias-Rodriguez, Eduardo; Vargas-Caraveo, Alejandra; Martinez-Martinez, Alejandro; Gatica-Colima, Ana; Plenge-Tellechea, Luis Fernando

2014-01-01

257

Correlation between annual activity patterns of venomous snakes and rural people in the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria  

PubMed Central

Background Venomous snakes are among the most serious health hazards for rural people in tropical regions of the world. Herein we compare the monthly activity patterns of eight venomous snake species (Elapidae and Viperidae) with those of rural people in the Niger Delta area of southern Nigeria, in order to identify the periods of highest potential risk for persons, and the human group actually at greater risk of snakebite. Results We documented that above-ground activity of all venomous snakes peaked in the wet season, and that high snake activity and high human activity were most highly correlated between April and August. In addition, we documented that women and teenagers were at relatively higher risk of encountering a venomous snake than adult males, despite they are less often in the field than men. Conclusions Our results suggest that future programs devoted to mitigate the social and health effects of snakebites in the Niger Delta region should involve especially women and teenagers, with ad-hoc education projects if appropriate. We urge that international organizations working on social and health problems in the developing world, such as IRD, DFID, UNDP, should provide advice through specific programs targeted at especially these categories which have been highlighted in comparatively potential higher threat from snakebites than adult men.

2013-01-01

258

'Offensive' snakes: cultural beliefs and practices related to snakebites in a Brazilian rural settlement  

PubMed Central

This paper records the meaning of the term 'offense' and the folk knowledge related to local beliefs and practices of folk medicine that prevent and treat snake bites, as well as the implications for the conservation of snakes in the county of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil. The data was recorded from September to November 2006 by means of open-ended interviews performed with 74 individuals of both genders, whose ages ranged from 4 to 89 years old. The results show that the local terms biting, stinging and pricking are synonymous and used as equivalent to offending. All these terms mean to attack. A total of 23 types of 'snakes' were recorded, based on their local names. Four of them are Viperidae, which were considered the most dangerous to humans, besides causing more aversion and fear in the population. In general, local people have strong negative behavior towards snakes, killing them whenever possible. Until the antivenom was present and available, the locals used only charms, prayers and homemade remedies to treat or protect themselves and others from snake bites. Nowadays, people do not pay attention to these things because, basically, the antivenom is now easily obtained at regional hospitals. It is understood that the ethnozoological knowledge, customs and popular practices of the Pedra Branca inhabitants result in a valuable cultural resource which should be considered in every discussion regarding public health, sanitation and practices of traditional medicine, as well as in faunistic studies and conservation strategies for local biological diversity.

2010-01-01

259

Snake venomics and toxicological profiling of the arboreal pitviper Bothriechis supraciliaris from Costa Rica.  

PubMed

The genus Bothriechis comprises a lineage of nine species of Neotropical pitvipers distributed mainly in highlands across Middle America, all adapted to arboreal habitats. Bothriechis supraciliaris is a relatively recently described species that inhabits the Pacific southwest of Costa Rica, whose venom had never been studied. A proteomic and toxicological profiling of its venom is here reported. Proteins or peptides that belong to eleven families were found, with a predominance of bradykinin-potentiating peptides (21.9%), followed by serine proteinases (15.2%) and phospholipases A(2) (13.4%). A group of short polyglycine peptides, resembling the poly-His/poly-Gly metalloproteinase inhibitors described in Atheris and Echis snake venoms, was observed for the first time in a Bothriechis venom. Comparison of the venom proteome of B. supraciliaris with those of Bothriechis schlegelii, Bothriechis lateralis, and Bothriechis nigroviridis, confirms the highly diverse toxicological strategies evolved by these arboreal snakes in each case, as possible alternative solutions to the same trophic purpose. Toxicological profiling of B. supraciliaris venom revealed a potent hemorrhagic action, moderate myotoxicity, and very weak procoagulant activity. Importantly from the medical perspective, the lethal activity of its venom (mouse intraperitoneal LD(50): 7.1 ?g/g) was efficiently neutralized by a polyvalent (Viperidae) antivenom of therapeutic use in Central America. PMID:22333435

Lomonte, Bruno; Tsai, Wan-Chih; Bonilla, Fabián; Solórzano, Alejandro; Solano, Gabriela; Angulo, Yamileth; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

2012-04-01

260

Scales microstructure of snakes from the Egyptian area.  

PubMed

The morphology of many organisms seems to be related to the environments in which they live. Many snakes are so similar in their morphological patterns that it becomes quite difficult to distinguish any adaptive divergence that may have occurred. Many authors have suggested that the microstructure of the reptile's scales has important functional value. Herein, we investigate variations on the micromorphology of the external surface of dorsal scales on the head, the mid-body region (trunk), and the tail of Rhomphotyphlops braminus (Typhlopidae), Eryx jaculus (Boidae), Psammophis sibilans (Colubridae), Naja haje (Elapidae) and Echis carinatus (Viperidae). The specimens were metallized and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. All species displayed unique dorsal scale surface microstructures of the investigated regions. The microstructural pattern of the scales of head, trunk, and tail differs in different species of these snakes. In conclusion, we detected ecomorphologic relationships between extant dorsal scale microstructures and snake microhabitat, enabling us to hypothesize that environmental pressures have significant influences not only on these animals' macrostructure, but also on its microstructure as well. PMID:23106563

Allam, Ahmed A; Abo-Eleneen, Rasha E

2012-11-01

261

Small serum protein-1 changes the susceptibility of an apoptosis-inducing metalloproteinase HV1 to a metalloproteinase inhibitor in habu snake (Trimeresurus flavoviridis).  

PubMed

Viperidae snakes containing various venomous proteins also have several anti-toxic proteins in their sera. However, the physiological function of serum protein has been elucidated incompletely. Small serum protein (SSP)-1 is a major component of the SSPs isolated from the serum of a Japanese viper, the habu snake (Trimeresurus flavoviridis). It exists in the blood as a binary complex with habu serum factor (HSF), a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor. Affinity chromatography of the venom on an SSP-1-immobilized column identified HV1, an apoptosis-inducing metalloproteinase, as the target protein of SSP-1. Biacore measurements revealed that SSP-1 was bound to HV1 with a dissociation constant of 8.2 × 10?? M. However, SSP-1 did not inhibit the peptidase activity of HV1. Although HSF alone showed no inhibitory activity or binding affinity to HV1, the SSP-1-HSF binary complex bound to HV1 formed a ternary complex that non-competitively inhibited the peptidase activity of HV1 with a inhibition constant of 5.1 ± 1.3 × 10?? M. The SSP-1-HSF complex also effectively suppressed the apoptosis of vascular endothelial cells and caspase 3 activation induced by HV1. Thus, SSP-1 is a unique protein that non-covalently attaches to HV1 and changes its susceptibility to HSF. PMID:23100271

Shioi, Narumi; Ogawa, Eiki; Mizukami, Yuki; Abe, Shuhei; Hayashi, Rieko; Terada, Shigeyuki

2013-01-01

262

Molecular cloning, characterization, and chromosome mapping of reptilian estrogen receptors.  

PubMed

In many vertebrates, steroid hormones are essential for ovarian differentiation during a critical developmental stage as well as promoting the growth and differentiation of the adult female reproductive system. Although studies have been extensively conducted in mammals and a few fish, amphibians, and bird species, the molecular mechanisms of sex steroid hormone (estrogens) action have been poorly examined in reptiles. Here, we evaluate hormone receptor and ligand interactions in two species of snake, the Okinawa habu (Protobothrops flavoviridis, Viperidae) and the Japanese four-striped rat snake (Elaphe quadrivirgata, Colubridae) after the isolation of cDNAs encoding estrogen receptor ? (ESR1) and estrogen receptor ? (ESR2). Using a transient transfection assay with mammalian cells, the transcriptional activity of reptilian (Okinawa habu, Japanese four-striped rat snake, American alligator, and Florida red-belly freshwater turtle) ESR1 and ESR2 was examined. All ESR proteins displayed estrogen-dependent activation of transcription via an estrogen-response element-containing promoter; however, the responsiveness to various estrogens was different. Further, we determined the chromosomal locations of the snake steroid hormone receptor genes. ESR1 and ESR2 genes were localized to the short and long arms of chromosome 1, respectively, whereas androgen receptor was localized to a pair of microchromosomes in the two snake species examined. These data provide basic tools that allow future studies examining receptor-ligand interactions and steroid endocrinology in snakes and also expands our knowledge of sex steroid hormone receptor evolution. PMID:20926589

Katsu, Yoshinao; Matsubara, Kazumi; Kohno, Satomi; Matsuda, Yoichi; Toriba, Michihisa; Oka, Kaori; Guillette, Louis J; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Iguchi, Taisen

2010-12-01

263

Venomous adversaries: a reference to snake identification, field safety, and bite-victim first aid for disaster-response personnel deploying into the hurricane-prone regions of North America.  

PubMed

Each hurricane season, emergency-preparedness deployment teams including but not limited to the Office of Force Readiness and Deployment of the US Public Health Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deployment Medical Assistance Teams, Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams, and the US Army and Air Force National Guard are at risk for deploying into hurricane-stricken areas that harbor indigenous hazards, including those posed by venomous snakes. North America is home to 2 distinct families of venomous snakes: 1) Viperidae, which includes the rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths; and 2) Elapidae, in which the only native species are the coral snakes. Although some of these snakes are easily identified, some are not, and many rank among the most feared and misunderstood animals. This article specifically addresses all the native species of venomous snakes that inhabit the hurricane-prone regions of North America and is intended to serve as a reference to snake identification, basic field safety procedures, and the currently recommended first-aid measures for snakebite casualties. PMID:17219788

Wozniak, Edward J; Wisser, John; Schwartz, Michael

2006-01-01

264

Isolation and Biochemical Characterization of a New Thrombin-Like Serine Protease from Bothrops pirajai Snake Venom  

PubMed Central

This paper presents a novel serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops pirajai, a venomous snake found solely in Brazil that belongs to the Viperidae family. The identified SP, named BpirSP-39, was isolated by three chromatographic steps (size exclusion, bioaffinity, and reverse phase chromatographies). The molecular mass of BpirSP-39 was estimated by SDS-PAGE and confirmed by mass spectrometry (39,408.32?Da). The protein was able to form fibrin networks, which was not observed in the presence of serine protease inhibitors, such as phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Furthermore, BpirSP-39 presented considerable thermal stability and was apparently able to activate factor XIII of the blood coagulation cascade, unlike most serine proteases. BpirSP-39 was capable of hydrolyzing different chromogenic substrates tested (S-2222, S-2302, and S-2238) while Cu2+ significantly diminished BspirSP-39 activity on the three tested substrates. The enzyme promoted platelet aggregation and also exhibited fibrinogenolytic, fibrinolytic, gelatinolytic, and amidolytic activities. The multiple alignment showed high sequence similarity to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. These results allow us to conclude that a new SP was isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom.

Zaqueo, Kayena D.; Kayano, Anderson M.; Simoes-Silva, Rodrigo; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Fuly, Andre L.; Maltarollo, Vinicius G.; Honorio, Kathia M.; da Silva, Saulo L.; Acosta, Gerardo; Caballol, Maria Antonia O.; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Stabeli, Rodrigo G.

2014-01-01

265

The effects of selected Australian snake venoms on tumour-associated microvascular endothelial cells (TAMECs) in vitro  

PubMed Central

The effects of various viperid and elapid venoms on the cellular biology of tumour-associated microvascular endothelial cells (TAMECs) were determined in the current study using cells isolated from a rat mammary adenocarcinoma. Previous studies to determine the effects of snake venoms on endothelial cells in vitro have in the main been performed on either human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) or endothelial cell lines. These cell populations are accessible and easy to maintain in culture, however, it is well established that endothelial cells display vast heterogeneity depending upon the local microenvironment of the tissue from which they are isolated. Vascular targeting agents have been isolated from a variety of snake venoms, particularly from snakes of the Viperidae family, but it is yet to be established to what extent the venoms from Australian elapids possess similar vascular targeting properties. The present study used endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from the microvasculature of a rat mammary adenocarcinoma to determine the effects of a panel of snake venoms, including viperid venoms with known apoptotic activity and elapid venoms (both exotic and indigenous to Australia), on endothelial morphology and viability, paying specific attention to apoptotic responses. Three of the five Australian snake venoms investigated in this study elicited significant apoptotic responses in ECs which were in many ways similar to responses elicited by the selected viperid venoms. This suggests that these Australian elapids may possess vascular targeting components similar to those found within viperid venoms.

Bateman, Emma; Venning, Michael; Mirtschin, Peter; Woods, Anthony

2013-01-01

266

cDNA cloning of the two subunits of phospholipase A2 inhibitor PLIgamma from blood plasma of the Chinese mamushi, Agkistrodon blomhoffii siniticus.  

PubMed

Three phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitors (PLI) have been purified from the blood plasma of the Chinese mamushi, Agkistrodon blomhoffii siniticus; 1 of these, PLIgamma, contains 2 homologous subunits, PLIgamma-A and PLIgamma-B. The cDNAs encoding these 2 subunits of PLIgamma were isolated from a liver cDNA library by using fragments from polymerase chain reaction amplifications as probes and sequenced. The respective nucleotide sequences encoded 19-residue signal sequences, followed by 181-residue proteins. The calculated molecular masses were 20123 and 20150 Da for the PLIgamma-A and PLIgamma-B subunits, respectively; and PLIgamma-A included a N-linked carbohydrate site at Asn-157. The sequences of these subunits contained 2 internal repeats of disulfide-bonding pattern characteristic to those of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor and members of the Ly-6 superfamily. A phylogenetic analysis comparing the amino acid sequences of PLIgamma-A and PLIgamma-B with those for other snakes revealed that the gene duplication leading to these 2 subunits occurred before the divergence of Viperidae and Elapidae. PMID:10791922

Okumura, K; Inoue, S; Ohkura, N; Ikeda, K; Hayashi, K

1999-07-01

267

Snake mitochondrial genomes: phylogenetic relationships and implications of extended taxon sampling for interpretations of mitogenomic evolution  

PubMed Central

Background Snake mitochondrial genomes are of great interest in understanding mitogenomic evolution because of gene duplications and rearrangements and the fast evolutionary rate of their genes compared to other vertebrates. Mitochondrial gene sequences have also played an important role in attempts to resolve the contentious phylogenetic relationships of especially the early divergences among alethinophidian snakes. Two recent innovative studies found dramatic gene- and branch-specific relative acceleration in snake protein-coding gene evolution, particularly along internal branches leading to Serpentes and Alethinophidia. It has been hypothesized that some of these rate shifts are temporally (and possibly causally) associated with control region duplication and/or major changes in ecology and anatomy. Results The near-complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of three henophidian snakes were sequenced: Anilius scytale, Rhinophis philippinus, and Charina trivirgata. All three genomes share a duplicated control region and translocated tRNALEU, derived features found in all alethinophidian snakes studied to date. The new sequence data were aligned with mt genome data for 21 other species of snakes and used in phylogenetic analyses. Phylogenetic results agreed with many other studies in recovering several robust clades, including Colubroidea, Caenophidia, and Cylindrophiidae+Uropeltidae. Nodes within Henophidia that have been difficult to resolve robustly in previous analyses remained uncompellingly resolved here. Comparisons of relative rates of evolution of rRNA vs. protein-coding genes were conducted by estimating branch lengths across the tree. Our expanded sampling revealed dramatic acceleration along the branch leading to Typhlopidae, particularly long rRNA terminal branches within Scolecophidia, and that most of the dramatic acceleration in protein-coding gene rate along Serpentes and Alethinophidia branches occurred before Anilius diverged from other alethinophidians. Conclusions Mitochondrial gene sequence data alone may not be able to robustly resolve basal divergences among alethinophidian snakes. Taxon sampling plays an important role in identifying mitogenomic evolutionary events within snakes, and in testing hypotheses explaining their origin. Dramatic rate shifts in mitogenomic evolution occur within Scolecophidia as well as Alethinophidia, thus falsifying the hypothesis that these shifts in snakes are associated exclusively with evolution of a non-burrowing lifestyle, macrostomatan feeding ecology and/or duplication of the control region, both restricted to alethinophidians among living snakes.

2010-01-01

268

The complete mitochondrial genome of a gecko and the phylogeneticposition of the Middle Eastern teratoscincus keyserlingii  

SciTech Connect

Sqamate reptiles are traditionally divided into six groups: Iguania, Anguimorpha, Scincomorpha, Gekkota (these four are lizards), Serpentes (snakes), and Amphisbaenia (the so-called worm lizards). Currently there are complete mitochondrial genomes from two representatives of the Iguania (Janke et al., 2001; Kumazawa, 2004), three from the Anguimorpha (Kumazawa, 2004; Kumazawa and Endo, 2004), two from the Scincomorpha (Kumazawa and Nishida, 1999; Kumazawa, 2004), two from Serpentes (Kumazawa et al., 1998; Kumazawa, 2004) and 12 from Amphisbaenia (Macey et al., 2004). The only traditional group of Squamata from which a complete mitochondrial genome has not been sequenced is the Gekkota. Here we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Teratoscincus keyserlingii, a Middle Eastern representative of the Gekkota. The gekkonid lizard genus Teratoscincus is distributed throughout the deserts of central and southwest Asia as shown in figure 1, with five species currently recognized (Macey et al. 1997a, 1999b). Included in this figure are the positions of mountain ranges discussed in the text; see also figure 1 in Macey et al. (1999b). Two species, T. bedriagai and T. microlepis, are restricted to Southwest Asia south of the Kopet Dagh and Hindu Kush in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (Anderson, 1999). Two species are found in the deserts of western China and Mongolia, with T. przewalskii occurring in the Taklimakan and lowland Gobi deserts, and T. roborowskii restricted to the Turpan Depression. The fifth species, T. scincus, is sometimes considered to be restricted to the Caspian Basin in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzistan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Alternatively, Teratoscincus populations in Southwest Asia, primarily on the Iranian Plateau, situated directly north of the Arabian Plate, are sometimes considered to be a subspecies of T. scincus or, otherwise, to constitute a sixth species, T. keyserlingii. Macey et al. (1999b) assessed the phylogenetic relationships of four Teratoscincus species with mitochondrial DNA sequences from a {approx}1800 base-pair segment spanning from nad1 to cox1. Phylogenetic analysis places T. microlepis in a basal position to a clade containing T. scincus, T. przewalskii and T. roborowskii, with the later two as sister taxa. This phylogenetic arrangement suggests that tectonic plate movements in Southwest Asia and western China due to the Indian and Arabian collisions caused speciation among Teratoscincus species. No molecular phylogenetic study has included the putative species T. keyserlingii.

Macey, J. Robert; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Shafiei,Soheila; Ananjeva, Natalia B.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

2005-04-22

269

Isolation and characterization of two disintegrins inhibiting ADP-induced human platelet aggregation from the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake)  

SciTech Connect

Disintegrins and disintegrin-like proteins are molecules found in the venom of four snake families (Atractaspididae, Elapidae, Viperidae, and Colubridae). The disintegrins are nonenzymatic proteins that inhibit cell-cell interactions, cell-matrix interactions, and signal transduction, and may have potential in the treatment of strokes, heart attacks, cancers, and osteoporosis. Prior to 1983, the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake) was known to be only neurotoxic; however, now there is evidence that these snakes can contain venom with: (1) neurotoxins; (2) hemorrhagins; and (3) both neurotoxins and hemorrhagins. In this study, two disintegrins, mojastin 1 and mojastin 2, from the venom of a Mohave rattlesnake collected in central Arizona (Pinal County), were isolated and characterized. The disintegrins in these venoms were identified by mass-analyzed laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI/TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry as having masses of 7.436 and 7.636 kDa. Their amino acid sequences are similar to crotratroxin, a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the western diamondback rattlesnake (C. atrox). The amino acid sequence of mojastin 1 was identical to the amino acid sequence of a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the Timber rattlesnake (C. horridus). The disintegrins from the Mohave rattlesnake venom were able to inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation in whole human blood both having IC{sub 5}s of 13.8 nM, but were not effective in inhibiting the binding of human urinary bladder carcinoma cells (T24) to fibronectin.

Sanchez, Elda E. [Natural Toxins Research Center, College of Arts and Science, 920 University Blvd. MSC 158, Texas A and M University-Kingsville, MSC 158, Kingsville, TX 78363 (United States); Galan, Jacob A. [Natural Toxins Research Center, College of Arts and Science, 920 University Blvd. MSC 158, Texas A and M University-Kingsville, MSC 158, Kingsville, TX 78363 (United States); Russell, William K. [Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry, Department of Chemistry, PO Box 30012, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77842-3013 (United States); Soto, Julio G. [Department of Biological Sciences, One Washington Square Duncan Hall, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0100 (United States); Russell, David H. [Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry, Department of Chemistry, PO Box 30012, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77842-3013 (United States); Perez, John C. [Natural Toxins Research Center, College of Arts and Science, 920 University Blvd. MSC 158, Texas A and M University-Kingsville, MSC 158, Kingsville, TX 78363 (United States)]. E-mail: kfjcp00@tamuk.edu

2006-04-01

270

Structural and functional studies of a bothropic myotoxin complexed to rosmarinic acid: new insights into Lys49-PLA? inhibition.  

PubMed

Snakebite envenoming is an important public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Most severe cases are inflicted by species of the families Elapidae and Viperidae, and lead to a number of systemic and local effects in the victim. One of the main problems regarding viperidic accidents is prominent local tissue damage whose pathogenesis is complex and involves the combined actions of a variety of venom components. Phospholipases A? (PLA?s) are the most abundant muscle-damaging components of these venoms. Herein, we report functional and structural studies of PrTX-I, a Lys49-PLA? from Bothops pirajai snake venom, and the influence of rosmarinic acid (RA) upon this toxin's activities. RA is a known active component of some plant extracts and has been reported as presenting anti-myotoxic properties related to bothopic envenomation. The myotoxic activity of Lys49-PLA?s is well established in the literature and although no in vivo neurotoxicity has been observed among these toxins, in vitro neuromuscular blockade has been reported for some of these proteins. Our in vitro studies show that RA drastically reduces both the muscle damage and the neuromuscular blockade exerted by PrTX-I on mice neuromuscular preparations (by ?80% and ?90%, respectively). These results support the hypothesis that the two effects are closely related and lead us to suggest that they are consequences of the muscle membrane-destabilizing activity of the Lys49-PLA?. Although the C-terminal region of these proteins has been reported to comprise the myotoxic site, we demonstrate by X-ray crystallographic studies that RA interacts with PrTX-I in a different region. Consequently, a new mode of Lys49-PLA? inhibition is proposed. Comparison of our results with others in the literature suggests possible new ways to inhibit bothropic snake venom myotoxins and improve serum therapy. PMID:22205953

Dos Santos, Juliana I; Cardoso, Fábio F; Soares, Andreimar M; Dal Pai Silva, Maeli; Gallacci, Márcia; Fontes, Marcos R M

2011-01-01

271

A horsefly saliva antigen 5-like protein containing RTS motif is an angiogenesis inhibitor.  

PubMed

The Ag5 proteins are the most abundant and immunogenic proteins in the venom secretory ducts of stinging insects. An antigen 5-like protein (named tabRTS) composed of 221 amino acid residues was purified and characterized from the salivary glands of the horsefly, Tabanus yao (Diptera, Tabanidae). Its cDNA was cloned from the cDNA library of the horsefly's salivary gland. TabRTS containing the SCP domain (Sc7 family of extracellular protein domain) was found in insect antigen 5 proteins. More interestingly, there is an Arg-Thr-Ser (RTS) disintegrin motif at the C-terminus of tabRTS. The RTS motif is positioned in a loop bracketed by cysteine residues as those found in RTS-disintegrins of Crotalidae and Viperidae snake venoms, which act as angiogenesis inhibitors. Endothelial Cell Tube formation assay in vitro and chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) angiogenesis assay in vivo were performed as to investigate the effect of tabRTS on angiogenesis. It was found that tabRTS could significantly inhibit angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Anti-alpha(1)beta(1) monoclonal antibody could dose-dependently inhibit the anti-angiogenic activity of tabRTS. This result indicated that tabRTS possibly targets the alpha(1)beta(1) integrin to exert the anti-angiogenic activity as snake venom RTS-/KTS-disintegrins do. The current work revealed the first angiogenesis inhibitor protein containing RTS motif from invertebrates, a possible novel type of RTS-disintegrin. PMID:19635491

Ma, Dongying; Gao, Li; An, Shu; Song, Yuzhu; Wu, Jing; Xu, Xueqing; Lai, Ren

2010-01-01

272

A novel family of RGD-containing disintegrins (Tablysin-15) from the salivary gland of the horsefly Tabanus yao targets ?IIb?3 or ?V?3 and inhibits platelet aggregation and angiogenesis.  

PubMed

A novel family of RGD-containing molecules (Tablysin-15) has been molecularly characterised from the salivary gland of the haematophagous horsefly Tabanus yao. Tablysin-15 does not share primary sequence homology to any disintegrin discovered so far, and displays an RGD motif in the N-terminus of the molecule. It is also distinct from disintegrins from Viperidae since its mature form is not released from a metalloproteinase precursor. Tablysin-15 exhibits high affinity binding for platelet ?IIb?3 and endothelial cell ?V?3 integrins, but not for ?5?1 or ?2?1. Accordingly, it blocks endothelial cell adhesion to vitronectin (IC50 ~1 nM) and marginally to fibronectin (IC50 ~1 ?M), but not to collagen. It also inhibits fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-induced endothelial cell proliferation, and attenuates tube formation in vitro. In platelets, Tablysin-15 inhibits aggregation induced by collagen, ADP and convulxin, and prevents static platelet adhesion to immobilised fibrinogen. In addition, solid-phase assays and flow cytometry demonstrates that ?IIb?3 binds to Tablysin-15. Moreover, immobilised Tablysin-15 supports platelet adhesion by a mechanism which was blocked by anti-integrin ?IIb?3 monoclonal antibody (e.g. abciximab) or by EDTA. Furthermore, Tablysin-15 dose-dependently attenuates thrombus formation to collagen under flow. Consistent with these findings, Tablysin-15 displays antithrombotic properties in vivo suggesting that it is a useful tool to block ?IIb?3, or as a prototype to develop antithrombotics. The RGD motif in the unique sequence of Tablysin-15 represents a novel template for studying the structure-function relationship of the disintegrin family of inhibitors. PMID:21475772

Ma, D; Xu, X; An, S; Liu, H; Yang, X; Andersen, J F; Wang, Y; Tokumasu, F; Ribeiro, J M C; Francischetti, I M B; Lai, R

2011-06-01

273

Stable isotope tracer reveals that viviparous snakes transport amino acids to offspring during gestation.  

PubMed

Viviparity and placentation have evolved from oviparity over 100 times in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). The independent origins of placentation have resulted in a variety of placental morphologies in different taxa, ranging from simple apposition of fetal and maternal tissues to endotheliochorial implantation that is homoplasious with mammalian placentation. Because the eggs of oviparous squamates transport gases and water from the environment and calcium from the eggshell, the placentae of viviparous squamates are thought to have initially evolved to accomplish these functions from within the maternal oviduct. Species with complex placentae have also been shown to rely substantially, or even primarily, on placental transport of organic nutrients for embryonic nutrition. However, it is unclear whether species with only simple placentae are also capable of transporting organic nutrients to offspring. Among viviparous squamates, all of the snakes that have been studied thus far have been shown to have simple placentae. However, most studies of snake placentation are limited to a single lineage, the North American Natricinae. We tested the abilities of four species of viviparous snakes - Agkistrodon contortrix (Viperidae), Boa constrictor (Boidae), Nerodia sipedon (Colubridae: Natricinae) and Thamnophis sirtalis (Colubridae: Natricinae) - to transport diet-derived amino acids to offspring during gestation. We fed [(15)N]leucine to pregnant snakes, and compared offspring (15)N content with that of unlabeled controls. Labeled females allocated significantly more (15)N to offspring than did controls, but (15)N allocation did not differ among species. Our results indicate that viviparous snakes are capable of transporting diet-derived amino acids to their offspring during gestation, possibly via placentation. PMID:22323198

Van Dyke, James U; Beaupre, Steven J

2012-03-01

274

A novel family of RGD-containing disintegrin (Tablysin-15) from the salivary gland of the horsefly Tabanus yao targets integrins ?IIb?3 and ?V?3 and inhibits platelet aggregation and angiogenesis  

PubMed Central

A novel family of RGD-containing molecule (Tablysin-15) has been molecularly characterized from the salivary gland of the hematophagous horsefly Tabanus yao. Tablysin-15 does not share primary sequence homology to any disintegrin discovered so far, and displays an RGD motif in the N-terminus of the molecule. It is also distinct from disintegrins from Viperidae since its mature form is not released from a metalloproteinase precursor. Tablysin-15 exhibits high affinity for platelet ?IIb?3 and endothelial cell ?v?3 integrins, but not for ?5?1 or ?2?1. Accordingly, it blocks endothelial cell adhesion to vitronectin (IC50 ~ 1 nM) and marginally to fibronectin (IC50 ~ 1 µM), but not to collagen. It also inhibits FGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation, and attenuates tube formation in vitro. In platelets, Tablysin-15 inhibits aggregation induced by collagen, ADP and convulxin, and prevents static platelet adhesion to immobilized fibrinogen. In addition, solid-phase assays and flow cytometry demonstrates that ?IIb?3 binds to Tablysin-15. Moreover, immobilized Tablysin-15 supports platelet adhesion by a mechanism which was blocked by anti-integrin ?IIb?3 monoclonal antibody (e.g. abciximab) or by EDTA. Furthermore, Tablysin-15 dose-dependently attenuates thrombus formation to collagen under flow, without affecting platelet adhesion to collagen fibrils. Consistent with these findings, Tablysin-15 displays antithrombotic properties in vivo suggesting that it is a useful tool to block ?IIb?3, or as a prototype to develop antithrombotics. The RGD motif in the unique sequence of Tablysin-15 represents a novel template for studying the structure-function relationship of the disintegrin family of inhibitors.

Ma, Dongying; Xu, Xueqing; An, Su; Liu, Huan; Yang, Xuening; Andersen, John F.; Wang, Yipeng; Tokumasu, Fuyuki; Ribeiro, Jose M. C.; Francischetti, Ivo M. B.; Lai, Ren

2012-01-01

275

Evaluation of the Lethal Potency of Scorpion and Snake Venoms and Comparison between Intraperitoneal and Intravenous Injection Routes  

PubMed Central

Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD50) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD50 values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD50 values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD50 values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the nature of toxins, might be attributed to the rich composition of high molecular weight enzymes in the case of viper venoms.

Oukkache, Naoual; Jaoudi, Rachid El; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

2014-01-01

276

Structural and Functional Studies of a Bothropic Myotoxin Complexed to Rosmarinic Acid: New Insights into Lys49-PLA2 Inhibition  

PubMed Central

Snakebite envenoming is an important public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Most severe cases are inflicted by species of the families Elapidae and Viperidae, and lead to a number of systemic and local effects in the victim. One of the main problems regarding viperidic accidents is prominent local tissue damage whose pathogenesis is complex and involves the combined actions of a variety of venom components. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the most abundant muscle-damaging components of these venoms. Herein, we report functional and structural studies of PrTX-I, a Lys49-PLA2 from Bothops pirajai snake venom, and the influence of rosmarinic acid (RA) upon this toxin's activities. RA is a known active component of some plant extracts and has been reported as presenting anti-myotoxic properties related to bothopic envenomation. The myotoxic activity of Lys49-PLA2s is well established in the literature and although no in vivo neurotoxicity has been observed among these toxins, in vitro neuromuscular blockade has been reported for some of these proteins. Our in vitro studies show that RA drastically reduces both the muscle damage and the neuromuscular blockade exerted by PrTX-I on mice neuromuscular preparations (by ?80% and ?90%, respectively). These results support the hypothesis that the two effects are closely related and lead us to suggest that they are consequences of the muscle membrane-destabilizing activity of the Lys49-PLA2. Although the C-terminal region of these proteins has been reported to comprise the myotoxic site, we demonstrate by X-ray crystallographic studies that RA interacts with PrTX-I in a different region. Consequently, a new mode of Lys49-PLA2 inhibition is proposed. Comparison of our results with others in the literature suggests possible new ways to inhibit bothropic snake venom myotoxins and improve serum therapy.

dos Santos, Juliana I.; Cardoso, Fabio F.; Soares, Andreimar M.; dal Pai Silva, Maeli; Gallacci, Marcia; Fontes, Marcos R. M.

2011-01-01

277

Purification and characterization of three distinct types of phospholipase A2 inhibitors from the blood plasma of the Chinese mamushi, Agkistrodon blomhoffii siniticus.  

PubMed

Three distinct types of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitory proteins (PLIalpha, PLIbeta, and PLIgamma) were isolated from the blood plasma of the Chinese mamushi, Agkistrodon blomhoffii siniticus. PLIalpha is an inhibitor that we have already purified and whose amino acid sequence we have already determined [Ohkura, Inoue, Ikeda and Hayashi (1993) J. Biochem. (Tokyo) 113, 413-419]. It inhibited selectively the group-II acidic PLA2s from Crotalidae venom. PLIbeta was a 160-kDa glycoprotein having a trimeric structure composed of 50-kDa subunits. The amino acid sequence of the first 30 amino acids of the N-terminal part of the 50-kDa subunit was determined and found to have no significant homology to that of known proteins. PLIbeta was a selective inhibitor against the group-II basic PLA2s from Crotalidae venom. Some amino acid residues located in or close to the interfacial binding surface of the group-II basic PLA2s were suggested to be involved in selective binding to PLIbeta. PLIgamma was a 100-kDa glycoprotein containing 25-kDa and 20-kDa subunits and inhibited all of the PLA2s investigated equally, including Elapidae venom PLA2s (group I), Crotalidae and Viperidae venom PLA2s (group II) and honey-bee PLA2 (group III). From the N-terminal sequences of the two subunits, PLIgamma was found to be the same type of PLI that had been purified from Thailand cobra plasma. PMID:9230137

Ohkura, N; Okuhara, H; Inoue, S; Ikeda, K; Hayashi, K

1997-07-15

278

In vivo evaluation of homeostatic effects of Echis carinatus snake venom in Iran  

PubMed Central

Background The venom of the family Viperidae, including the saw-scaled viper, is rich in serine proteinases and metalloproteinases, which affect the nervous system, complementary system, blood coagulation, platelet aggregation and blood pressure. One of the most prominent effects of the snake venom of Echis carinatus (Ec) is its coagulation activity, used for killing prey. Materials and methods Subfractions F1A and F1B were isolated from Ec crude venom by a combination of gel chromatography (Sephadex G-75) and ion exchange chromatography on a DEAE-Sepharose (DE-52). These subfractions were then intravenously (IV) injected into NIH male mice. Blood samples were taken before and after the administration of these subfractions. Times for prothrombin, partial thromboplastin and fibrinogen were recorded. Results and conclusions Comparison of the prothrombin time before and after F1A and F1B administrations showed that time for blood coagulation after injection is shorter than that of normal blood coagulation and also reduced coagulation time after Ec crude venom injection. This difference in coagulation time shows the intense coagulation activity of these subfractions that significantly increase the coagulation cascade rate and Causes to quick blood coagulation. The LD50 of the Ec crude venom was also determined to be 11.1 ?g/mouse. Different crude venom doses were prepared with physiological serum and injected into four mice. Comparison of the prothrombin times after injection of subfractions F1A and F1B showed that the rate of mouse blood coagulation increases considerably. Comparing the partial thromboplastin times after injecting these subfractions with this normal test time showed that the activity rate of intrinsic blood coagulation system rose sharply in mice. Finally, by comparing the fibrinogen time after subfraction injections and normal test time, we can infer intense activation of coagulation cascade and fibrin production.

2013-01-01

279

A survey of hemoparasite infections in free-ranging mammals and reptiles in French Guiana.  

PubMed

Blood smears of 1,353 free-ranging mammals (35 species) and 112 reptiles (31 species) from French Guiana were examined for hemoparasites. Parasites from 3 major groups were recorded: Apicomplexa (including hemogregarines, piroplasms, and Plasmodium spp.), Trypanosomatidae, and Filaroidea. Fifty percent of the individuals (86% of the species) were infected by parasites from at least 1 group. Hemogregarines, identified as Hepatozoon sp., infected numerous snakes with high prevalences (30-100%); infection is reported for the first time in 5 host genera of snakes: Clelia, Oxybelis, Pseustes, Rhinobotryum, and Bothriopsis. Infections were also observed in 4 marsupial species and 1 rodent. Hepatozoon spp. recorded in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia) and Coendou prehensilis (Rodentia) may be new species. Plasmodium sp. were observed in 2 snake species, Dipsas indica (Colubridae) and Bothrops atrox (Viperidae). Plasmodium brasilianum was recorded in all 5 primate species examined. Piroplasms were observed in all mammal orders except primates. Large terrestrial rodents were the main hosts of members of the Babesidae; 42% of Myoprocta acouchy, 36% of Dasyprocta agouti, and 44% of Agouti paca were infected. Trypanosomes were common in mammals and were recorded in 70% of the examined genera. Trypanosoma cruzi-like infections were reported in 21 mammal species, including sloths, rodents, carnivores, and primates. Microfilariae were also widespread, with higher prevalences in sloths, anteaters, and porcupines (>40% of the individuals infected) and in tamarins (95% infected). This survey highlights some potential anthropozoonotic risks due to the recent further evidence of Plasmodium brasilianum and P. malariae as a single species and to the increased diversity of hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi. PMID:11128476

de Thoisy, B; Michel, J C; Vogel, I; Vié, J C

2000-10-01

280

Structural and functional studies with mytoxin II from Bothrops moojeni reveal remarkable similarities and differences compared to other catalytically inactive phospholipases A?-like.  

PubMed

Lys49-phospholipases A? (Lys49-PLA?s) are proteins found in bothropic snake venoms (Viperidae family) and belong to a class of proteins which presents a phospholipase A2 scaffold but are catalytically inactive. These proteins (also known as PLA?s-like toxins) exert a pronounced local myotoxic effect and are not neutralized by antivenom, being their study relevant in terms of medical and scientific interest. Despite of the several studies reported in the literature for this class of proteins only a partial consensus has been achieved concerning their functional-structural relationships. In this work, we present a comprehensive structural and functional study with the MjTX-II, a dimeric Lys49-PLA? from Bothrops moojeni venom which includes: (i) high-resolution crystal structure; (ii) dynamic light scattering and bioinformatics studies in order to confirm its biological assembly; (iii) myographic and electrophysiological studies and, (iv) comparative studies with other Lys49-PLA?s. These comparative analyses let us to get important insights into the role of Lys122 amino acid, previously indicated as responsible for Lys49-PLA?s catalytic inactivity and added important elements to establish the correct biological assembly for this class of proteins. Furthermore, we show two unique sequential features of MjTX-II (an amino acid insertion and a mutation) in comparison to all bothropic Lys49-PLA?s that lead to a distinct way of ligand binding at the toxin's hydrophobic channel and also, allowed the presence of an additional ligand molecule in this region. These facts suggest a possible particular mode of binding for long-chain ligands that interacts with MjTX-II hydrophobic channel, a feature that may directly affect the design of structure-based ligands for Lys49-PLA?s. PMID:23810946

Salvador, Guilherme H M; Cavalcante, Walter L G; Dos Santos, Juliana I; Gallacci, Márcia; Soares, Andreimar M; Fontes, Marcos R M

2013-09-01

281

Purification, characterization and cDNA cloning of a phospholipase A2 inhibitor from the serum of the non-venomous snake Elaphe quadrivirgata.  

PubMed

The serum of a non-venomous striated snake, Elaphe quadrivirgata, was found to contain phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitory proteins (PLIs). One of these inhibitors was purified by Sephadex G-200 gel filtration, Q-Sepharose FF ion-exchange chromatography and Butyl Sepharose 4FF hydrophobic chromatography. The purified PLI inhibited the enzymic activities of all PLA2 groups, including Elapidae venom (group-I), Viperidae venom (group-II) and honeybee PLA2s (group-III). The inhibitor was a 130 kDa glycoprotein consisting of two distinct subunits, A and B, of 30 and 29 kDa respectively; each of which was glycosylated with N-linked oligosaccharide chains. The cDNAs encoding the respective inhibitor subunits were isolated from a liver cDNA library by the use of probes, prepared by PCR, based on the partially determined amino-acid sequences of the corresponding subunits. The respective nucleotide sequences encoded 19-amino-acid-residue signal sequences, followed by 183- and 181-residue protein sequences for the A and B subunits respectively. The amino-acid sequences revealed that the E. quadrivirgata inhibitor corresponded to PLIgamma, one of three kinds of inhibitors purified from venomous snakes. The existence of PLIgamma in the serum of this non-venomous snake suggested that, besides having a protective role against the venom PLA2s of other venomous snakes, PLIgamma has other important physiological functions in regulating local PLA2 activities; and thus it raises the possibility that PLIgamma occurs in other animals, including mammals. PMID:10377258

Okumura, K; Masui, K; Inoue, S; Ikeda, K; Hayashi, K

1999-07-01

282

Characterization of hyaluronidase isolated from Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix (Southern Copperhead) venom.  

PubMed

Snake venoms are a rich source of enzymes including many hydrolytic enzymes. Some enzymes such as phospholipase A2, proteolytic enzymes, and phosphodiesterases are well characterized. However many enzymes, such as the glycosidase, hyaluronidase, have not been studied extensively. Here we describe the characterization of snake venom hyaluronidase. In order to determine which venom was the best source for isolation of the enzyme, the hyaluronidase activity of 19 venoms from Elapidae, Viperidae, and Crotalidae snakes was determined. Since Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix venom showed the highest activity, this venom was used for purification of hyaluronidase. Molecular weight was determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectroscopy and was found to be 59,290 Da. The molecular weight value as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was 61,000 Da. Substrate specificity studies indicated that the snake venom enzyme was specific only for hyaluronan and did not hydrolyze similar polysaccharides of chondroitin, chondroitin sulfate A (chondroitin 4-sulfate), chondroitin sulfate B (dermatan sulfate), chondroitin sulfate C (chondroitin 6-sulfate), chondroitin sulfate D, chondroitin sulfate E, or heparin. The enzyme is an endo-glycosidase without exo-glycosidase activity, as it did not hydrolyze p-nitrophenyl-beta-D-glucuronide or p-nitrophenyl-N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminide. The main hydrolysis products from hyaluronan were hexa- and tetrasaccharides with N-acetylglucosamine at the reducing terminal. The cleavage point is at the beta1,4-glycosidic linkage and not at the beta1,3-glycosidic linkage. Thus, snake venom hyaluronidase is an endo-beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase specific for hyaluronan. PMID:11368337

Kudo, K; Tu, A T

2001-02-15

283

Parasitological and immunological diagnoses from feces of captive-bred snakes at Vital Brazil Institute.  

PubMed

Fecal samples from 56 snakes at the Vital Brazil Institute, in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, were tested using the sedimentation and flotation techniques to investigate the evolutionary forms of parasites such as helminths and protozoa, and using enzyme immunoassay techniques to detect antigens of Cryptosporidium sp. and Giardia sp. Among the animals tested, 80.3% were positive for parasites. Out of these, there were 16 Bothrops jararaca, 16 B. jararacussu and 13 Crotalus durissus. The prevalence of parasitic nematodes was 41.1%, and nematodes were found in all three snake species. Among these, the most frequent finding was eggs of Kalicephalus sp., which were diagnosed in 25% of the snakes. The positivity for protozoa detected using parasite concentration techniques was 75%, including oocysts of Caryospora sp. in 75%, cysts with morphology similar to Giardia sp. 3.6%, amoeboid cysts in 41.1% and unsporulated coccidia oocysts in 8.9%. Immunoassays for Cryptosporidium sp. antigens produced positive findings in 60.7%. Pseudoparasites were detected in 64.3%. These results show that there is a need to improve the sanitary handling of captive-bred snakes, and also for the animal house that supplies rodents to feed them. The results also highlight that diagnostic tests should be performed periodically on stool specimens from captive-bred snakes. PMID:25054488

Souza, Janaína Lima de; Barbosa, Alynne da Silva; Vazon, Adriana Prado; Uchôa, Claudia Maria Antunes; Nunes, Beatriz Coronato; Cortez, Myrian Bandeira Vianna; Silva, Valmir Laurentino da; Más, Leonora Brazil; Melgarejo, Aníbal Rafael; Bastos, Otilio Machado Pereira

2014-06-01

284

Isolation and characterization of a novel bradykinin potentiating peptide (BPP) from the skin secretion of Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis.  

PubMed

Bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs) from Bothrops jararaca venom were first described in the middle of 1960s and were the first natural inhibitors of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). BPPs present a classical motif and can be recognized by their typical pyroglutamyl (Pyr)/proline rich sequences presenting, invariably, a proline residue at the C-terminus. In the present study, we describe the isolation and biological characterization of a novel BPP isolated from the skin secretion of the Brazilian tree-frog Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis. This new BPP, named Phypo Xa presents the sequence Pyr-Phe-Arg-Pro-Ser-Tyr-Gln-Ile-Pro-Pro and is able to potentiate bradykinin activities in vivo and in vitro, as well as efficiently and competitively inhibit ACE. This is the first canonical BPP (i.e. Pyr-Aaa(n)-Gln-Ile-Pro-Pro) to be found not only in the frog skin but also in any other natural source other than the snake venoms. PMID:17098329

Conceição, Katia; Konno, Katsuhiro; de Melo, Robson Lopes; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos; Sciani, Juliana M; Conceição, Isaltino M; Prezoto, Benedito C; de Camargo, Antônio Carlos Martins; Pimenta, Daniel C

2007-03-01

285

Leberagin-C, A disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich protein from Macrovipera lebetina transmediterranea venom, inhibits alphavbeta3 integrin-mediated cell adhesion.  

PubMed

Leberagin-C, a new member of the disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich (D/C) family, was purified to homogeneity from the venom of Tunisian snake Macrovipera lebetina transmediterranea. It is a monomeric protein with a molecular mass of 25,787 Da. Its complete sequence of 205 amino acid residues was established by cDNA cloning. The leberagin-C shows many conserved sequences with other known D/C proteins, like the SECD binding sites and a pattern of 28 cysteines. It is the first purified protein from M. lebetina transmediterranea with only two disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich domains. Leberagin-C is able to inhibit platelet aggregation induced by thrombin and arachidonic acid with IC(50) of 40 and 50 nM respectively. It was also able to inhibit the adhesion of melanoma tumour cells on fibrinogen and fibronectin, by interfering with the function of alphavbeta3 and, to a lesser extent, with alphavbeta6 and alpha5beta1 integrins. To our knowledge, leberagin-C is the sole described D/C protein that does not specifically interact with the alpha2beta1 integrin. Structure-activity relationship study of leberagin-C suggested that there are some important amino acid differences with jararhagin, the most studied PIII metalloprotease from Bothrops jararaca, notably around the SECD motif in its disintegrin-like domain. Other regions implicated in leberagin-C specificities could not be excluded. PMID:19808093

Limam, Inès; Bazaa, Amine; Srairi-Abid, Najet; Taboubi, Salma; Jebali, Jed; Zouari-Kessentini, Raoudha; Kallech-Ziri, Olfa; Mejdoub, Hafedh; Hammami, Asma; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Luis, José; Marrakchi, Naziha

2010-03-01

286

Characterization of urinary metabolites from four synthetic bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs) in mice.  

PubMed

BPPs have been identified in the venom of the Bothrops jararaca snake, or deduced from precursor proteins expressed either in the venom gland or in the brain of the snake. Their potentiating activity on bradykinin (Bk) is assumed to occur through a somatic angiotensin-converting enzyme (sACE) inhibitory mechanism. We have demonstrated that synthetic BPPs show remarkable functional differences, despite their high amino acid sequence similarities. Recently, we demonstrated that BPP-10c, after i.p. administration, was found in its intact form and in the form of a unique metabolite (des-Pro(10) BPP-10c) in mouse urine. Given this finding, we selected a number of BPPs with different structure-activities - BPP-5a (

Silva, Carlos A; Ianzer, Danielle A; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Konno, Katsuhiro; Faria, Marcella; Fernandes, Beatriz L; Camargo, Antonio C M

2008-09-01

287

Complete amino-acid sequence, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of leucurolysin-a, a nonhaemorrhagic metalloproteinase from Bothrops leucurus snake venom.  

PubMed

Leucurolysin-a (leuc-a) is a class P-I snake-venom metalloproteinase isolated from the venom of the South American snake Bothrops leucurus (white-tailed jararaca). The mature protein is composed of 202 amino-acid residues in a single polypeptide chain. It contains a blocked N-terminus and is not glycosylated. In vitro studies revealed that leuc-a dissolves clots made either from purified fibrinogen or from whole blood. Unlike some other venom fibrinolytic metalloproteinases, leuc-a has no haemorrhagic activity. Leuc-a was sequenced and was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique. Crystals were obtained using PEG 6000 or PEG 1500. Diffraction data to 1.80 and 1.60 A resolution were collected from two crystals (free enzyme and the endogenous ligand-protein complex, respectively). They both belonged to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with very similar unit-cell parameters (a = 44.0, b = 56.2, c = 76.3 A for the free-enzyme crystal). PMID:19652343

Ferreira, Rodrigo Novaes; Rates, Breno; Richardson, Michael; Guimarães, Beatriz Gomes; Sanchez, Eládio Oswaldo Flores; Pimenta, Adriano Monteiro de Castro; Nagem, Ronaldo Alves Pinto

2009-08-01

288

Hemorrhagic activity of HF3, a snake venom metalloproteinase: insights from the proteomic analysis of mouse skin and blood plasma.  

PubMed

Hemorrhage induced by snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) is a complex phenomenon resulting in capillary disruption and blood extravasation. The mechanism of action of SVMPs has been investigated using various methodologies however the precise molecular events associated with microvessel disruption remains not fully understood. To gain insight into the hemorrhagic process, we analyzed the global effects of HF3, an extremely hemorrhagic SVMP from Bothrops jararaca, in the mouse skin and plasma. We report that in the HF3-treated skin there was evidence of degradation of extracellular matrix (collagens and proteoglycans), cytosolic, cytoskeleton, and plasma proteins. Furthermore, the data suggest that direct and indirect effects promoted by HF3 contributed to tissue injury as the activation of collagenases was detected in the HF3-treated skin. In the plasma analysis after depletion of the 20 most abundant proteins, fibronectin appeared as degraded by HF3. In contrast, some plasma proteinase inhibitors showed higher abundance compared to control skin and plasma. This is the first study to assess the complex in vivo effects of HF3 using high-throughput proteomic approaches, and the results underscore a scenario characterized by the interplay between the hydrolysis of intracellular, extracellular, and plasma proteins and the increase of plasma inhibitors in the hemorrhagic process. PMID:21939285

Paes Leme, Adriana F; Sherman, Nicholas E; Smalley, David M; Sizukusa, Letícia O; Oliveira, Ana K; Menezes, Milene C; Fox, Jay W; Serrano, Solange M T

2012-01-01

289

Effects induced by Apis mellifera venom and its components in experimental models of nociceptive and inflammatory pain.  

PubMed

The effects induced by Apis mellifera venom (AMV), melittin-free AMV, fraction with molecular mass < 10 kDa (Fjararaca) venom injected into the dorsum of mice did not inhibit formaldehyde-induced nociception. In addition, AMV (6 mg/kg), but not F

Merlo, Leonardo A; Bastos, Leandro F S; Godin, Adriana M; Rocha, Leonardo T S; Nascimento, Elias B; Paiva, André L L; Moraes-Santos, Tasso; Zumpano, Antônio A C; Bastos, Esther M A F; Heneine, Luiz Guilherme D; Coelho, Márcio M

2011-04-01

290

Transcriptome analysis of the Amazonian viper Bothrops atrox venom gland using expressed sequence tags (ESTs).  

PubMed

Bothrops atrox is a highly dangerous pit viper in the Brazilian Amazon region. We produced a global catalogue of gene transcripts to identify the main toxin and other protein families present in the B. atrox venom gland. We prepared a directional cDNA library, from which a set of 610 high quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated by bioinformatics processing. Our data indicated a predominance of transcripts encoding mainly metalloproteinases (59% of the toxins). The expression pattern of the B. atrox venom was similar to Bothrops insularis, Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops jararacussu in terms of toxin type, although some differences were observed. B. atrox showed a higher amount of the PIII class of metalloproteinases which correlates well with the observed intense hemorrhagic action of its toxin. Also, the PLA2 content was the second highest in this sample compared to the other three Bothrops transcriptomes. To our knowledge, this work is the first transcriptome analysis of an Amazonian rain forest pit viper and it will contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the gene diversity of the venom gland of members of the Bothrops genus. Moreover, our results can be used for future studies with other snake species from the Amazon region to investigate differences in gene patterns or phylogenetic relationships. PMID:19708221

Neiva, Márcia; Arraes, Fabricio B M; de Souza, Jonso Vieira; Rádis-Baptista, Gandhi; Prieto da Silva, Alvaro R B; Walter, Maria Emilia M T; Brigido, Marcelo de Macedo; Yamane, Tetsuo; López-Lozano, Jorge Luiz; Astolfi-Filho, Spartaco

2009-03-15

291

Preclinical assessment of the neutralizing capacity of antivenoms produced in six Latin American countries against medically-relevant Bothrops snake venoms.  

PubMed

Species of the genus Bothrops induce the vast majority of snakebite envenomings in Latin America. A preclinical study was performed in the context of a regional network of public laboratories involved in the production, quality control and development of antivenoms in Latin America. The ability of seven polyspecific antivenoms, produced in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Costa Rica, to neutralize lethal, hemorrhagic, coagulant, defibrinogenating and myotoxic activities of the venoms of Bothrops neuwiedi (diporus) (Argentina), Bothrops jararaca (Brazil), B. neuwiedi (mattogrossensis) (Bolivia), Bothrops atrox (Peru and Colombia) and Bothrops asper (Costa Rica) was assessed using standard laboratory tests. Despite differences in the venom mixtures used in the immunization of animals for the production of these antivenoms, a pattern of extensive cross-neutralization was observed between these antivenoms and all the venoms tested, with quantitative differences in the values of effective doses. This study reveals the capacity of these antivenoms to neutralize, in preclinical tests, homologous and heterologous Bothrops venoms in Central and South America, and also highlight quantitative differences in the values of Median Effective Doses (ED50s) between the various antivenoms. PMID:20621114

Segura, A; Castillo, M C; Núñez, V; Yarlequé, A; Gonçalves, L R C; Villalta, M; Bonilla, C; Herrera, M; Vargas, M; Fernández, M; Yano, M Y; Araújo, H P; Boller, M A A; León, P; Tintaya, B; Sano-Martins, I S; Gómez, A; Fernández, G P; Geoghegan, P; Higashi, H G; León, G; Gutiérrez, J M

2010-11-01

292

Identification and recombinant analysis of botrocetin-2, a snake venom cofactor for von Willebrand factor-induced platelet agglutination.  

PubMed

Botrocetin is a heterodimer snake venom protein that induces von Willebrand factor (VWF)- and platelet glycoprotein Ib (GPIb)-dependent platelet agglutination in vitro. We have cloned cDNAs for a botrocetin-2 from a cDNA library of the venom gland of Bothrops jararaca having a high similarity with botrocetin subunits. Recombinant botrocetin-2, expressed in 293T cells, showed cofactor activity comparable to natural botrocetin. In a single subunit expression experiment, a dimer of the ? subunit was obtained, and it showed reduced, but apparent, platelet agglutination activity. Ala scanning mutagenesis showed that substitutions at Asp62, Asp70, Arg115, or Lys117 in the ? subunit reduced platelet agglutination activity. The 3D homology modeling of botrocetin-2 complexed with the VWF A1 domain and GPIb? indicated that Asp62, Arg115, and Lys117 of the ? subunit are located near Arg218 and Asp222 of GPIb?, respectively, and that Asp?70 is in proximity to Gln1391 of the A1 domain. Our results indicate that these charged amino acid residues in the ? subunit have a preferential role in the activity of botrocetin-2. Since it has been time-consuming and difficult to obtain homogeneous botrocetin from natural venom, recombinant botrocetin-2 has potential benefits for clinical and basic investigations into hemostasis and thrombosis as a standard reagent. PMID:22647083

Yamamoto-Suzuki, Yukiyo; Sakurai, Yoshihiko; Fujimura, Yoshihiro; Matsumoto, Masanori; Hamako, Jiharu; Kokubo, Tetsuro; Kitagawa, Hitoshi; Kawsar, Sarkar M A; Fujii, Yuki; Ozeki, Yasuhiro; Matsushita, Fumio; Matsui, Taei

2012-07-01

293

Bj-PRO-5a, a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, promotes vasodilatation mediated by both bradykinin B?and M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.  

PubMed

Bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) or proline-rich oligopeptides (PROs) isolated from the venom glands of Bothrops jararaca (Bj) were the first natural inhibitors of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) described. Bj-PRO-5a (

Morais, K L P; Hayashi, M A F; Bruni, F M; Lopes-Ferreira, M; Camargo, A C M; Ulrich, H; Lameu, C

2011-03-15

294

Alpha1-adrenoceptors trigger the snake venom production cycle in secretory cells by activating phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate hydrolysis and ERK signaling pathway.  

PubMed

Loss of venom from the venom gland after biting or manual extraction leads to morphological changes in venom secreting cells and the start of a cycle of production of new venom. We have previously shown that stimulation of both alpha- and beta-adrenoceptors in the secretory cells of the venom gland is essential for the onset of the venom production cycle in Bothrops jararaca. We investigated the signaling pathway by which the alpha-adrenoceptor initiates the venom production cycle. Our results show that the alpha(1)-adrenoceptor subtype is present in venom gland of the snake. In quiescent cells, stimulation of alpha(1)-adrenoceptor with phenylephrine increased the total inositol phosphate concentration, and this effect was blocked by the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122. Phenylephrine mobilized Ca(2+) from thapsigargin-sensitive stores and increased protein kinase C activity. In addition, alpha(1)-adrenoceptor stimulation increased the activity of ERK 1/2, partially via protein kinase C. Using RT-PCR approach we obtained a partial sequence of a snake alpha(1)-adrenoceptor (260 bp) with higher identity with alpha(1D) and alpha(1B)-adrenoceptors from different species. These results suggest that alpha(1)-adrenoceptors in the venom secreting cells are probably coupled to a G(q) protein and trigger the venom production cycle by activating the phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and ERK signaling pathway. PMID:18555716

Kerchove, Celine M; Luna, Milene S A; Zablith, Mariana B; Lazari, Maria F M; Smaili, Soraya S; Yamanouye, Norma

2008-08-01

295

A novel physiological property of snake bradykinin-potentiating peptides-reversion of MK-801 inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.  

PubMed

The first naturally occurring angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors described are pyroglutamyl proline-rich oligopeptides, found in the venom of the viper Bothrops jararaca, and named as bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs). Biochemical and pharmacological properties of these peptides were essential for the development of Captopril, the first active site-directed inhibitor of ACE, currently used for the treatment of human hypertension. However, a number of data have suggested that the pharmacological activity of BPPs could not only be explained by their inhibitory action on enzymatic activity of somatic ACE. In fact, we showed recently that the strong and long-lasting anti-hypertensive effect of BPP-10c [

Nery, Arthur A; Trujillo, Cleber A; Lameu, Claudiana; Konno, Katsuhiro; Oliveira, Vitor; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ulrich, Henning; Hayashi, Mirian A F

2008-10-01

296

Cloning and characterization of a basic phospholipase A2 homologue from Micrurus corallinus (coral snake) venom gland.  

PubMed

During the cloning of abundant cDNAs expressed in the Micrurus corallinus coral snake venom gland, several putative toxins, including a phospholipase A2 homologue cDNA (clone V2), were identified. The V2 cDNA clone codes for a potential coral snake toxin with a signal peptide of 27 amino acid residues plus a predicted mature protein with 119 amino acid residues. The deduced protein is highly similar to known phospholipases A2, with seven deduced S-S bridges at the same conserved positions. This protein was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged protein that allowed the rapid purification of the recombinant protein. This protein was used to generate antibodies, which recognized the recombinant protein in Western blot. This antiserum was used to screen a large number of venoms, showing a ubiquitous distribution of immunorelated proteins in all elapidic venoms but not in the viperidic Bothrops jararaca venom. This is the first description of a complete primary structure of a phospholipase A2 homologue deduced by cDNA cloning from a coral snake. PMID:14559075

de Oliveira, Ursula Castro; Assui, Alessandra; da Silva, Alvaro Rossan de Brandão Prieto; de Oliveira, Jane Silveira; Ho, Paulo Lee

2003-09-01

297

Diagnostic uses of snake venom.  

PubMed

Snake venom toxins are invaluable for the assay of coagulation factors and for the study of haemostasis generally. Thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assays as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Since SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III in samples containing heparin. Snake venom prothrombin activators are utilised in prothrombin assays, whilst Russell's viper venom (RVV) can be used to assay clotting factors V, VII, X and lupus anticoagulants (LA). Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have also been used to assay LA. Protein C (PC) and activated PC (APC) resistance can be measured by means of RVV, Protac (from Southern copperhead snake venom) and STA-Staclot (from Crotalus viridis helleri) whilst von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin (Bothrops jararaca). Finally, snake venom C-type lectins and metalloproteinase disintegrins are being used to study platelet glycoprotein receptors and show great potential for use in the routine coagulation laboratory. PMID:11910187

Marsh, N A

2001-01-01

298

Use of snake venom fractions in the coagulation laboratory.  

PubMed

Snake venom toxins are now regularly used in the coagulation laboratory for assaying haemostatic parameters and as coagulation reagents. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assay as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Significantly, because SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for defibrinating samples that contain the anticoagulant before assay of haemostatic variables. Prothrombin activators are found in many snake venoms and are used in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains a number of compounds useful in the assay of factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and lupus anticoagulants. Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have been used to assay lupus anticoagulants. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. Finally, phospholipase A2 enzymes and the disintegrins, a family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing proteins found in snake venoms, show great potential for the study of haemostasis including, notably, platelet glycoprotein receptors GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. PMID:9712287

Marsh, N A

1998-07-01

299

Effects of Schizolobium parahyba Extract on Experimental Bothrops Venom-Induced Acute Kidney Injury  

PubMed Central

Background Venom-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication of Bothrops snakebite with relevant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of Schizolobium parahyba (SP) extract, a natural medicine with presumed anti-Bothrops venom effects, in an experimental model of Bothrops jararaca venom (BV)-induced AKI. Methodology Groups of 8 to 10 rats received infusions of 0.9% saline (control, C), SP 2 mg/kg, BV 0.25 mg/kg and BV immediately followed by SP (treatment, T) in the doses already described. After the respective infusions, animals were assessed for their glomerular filtration rate (GFR, inulin clearance), renal blood flow (RBF, Doppler), blood pressure (BP, intra-arterial transducer), renal vascular resistance (RVR), urinary osmolality (UO, freezing point), urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, kinetic method), hematocrit (Hct, microhematocrit), fibrinogen (Fi, Klauss modified) and blinded renal histology (acute tubular necrosis score). Principal Findings BV caused significant decreases in GFR, RBF, UO, HcT and Fi; significant increases in RVR, NGAL and LDH; and acute tubular necrosis. SP did not prevent these changes; instead, it caused a significant decrease in GFR when used alone. Conclusion SP administered simultaneously with BV, in an approximate 10?1 concentration, did not prevent BV-induced AKI, hemolysis and fibrinogen consumption. SP used alone caused a decrease in GFR.

Martines, Monique Silva; Mendes, Mirian M.; Shimizu, Maria H. M.; Melo Rodrigues, Veridiana; de Castro, Isac; Filho, Sebastiao R. Ferreira; Malheiros, Denise M. A. C.; Yu, Luis; Burdmann, Emmanuel A.

2014-01-01

300

T'ao-t'ieh, a motif of Chinese funerary art as the iconographic counterpart of Cinnabar, an alchemical drug.  

PubMed

The agency conferring resurrection is soul or its emblem. The earliest conception of soul is blood. Its Redness penetrates subsoil and is taken up by serpent, from whence arises snake-soul, later snake-god. Blood vapours is the other fraction arising upwards. It becomes wraith bird, later soul bird, and finally bird god. Blood as whole gave snake-god plus bird-god. A winged-cobra became snake-god and bird-god or together, one-as-all. Red Cock was its equivalent. As substance came cinnabar, red like blood and sublimable like soul. Dragon was idealized snake-god. Then Dragon-god plus Bird-god became the equal of blood soul, the magical power. T'ao-t'ieh is Dragon-plus-Bird, snake-god plus bird-god, the equivalent of Cosmic soul. Then cinnabar as the equal of blood soul and T'ao-t'ieh, the emblem of Cosmic soul, each were capable of conferring resurrection and have been interred in Chinese graves. PMID:7183206

Mahdihassan, S

1982-01-01

301

Birmingham Conservatoire Historical Instrument Collection  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

If you have ever had a penchant to check out an ancient flageolet or a historic bass horn, this delightful online collection from the Birmingham Conservatoire Historical Instrument Collection is just the ticket. The project was developed by Professor George Caird and his colleagues at Birmingham City University, and funding for the project was provided by Arts & Humanities Research Council. From the homepage, visitors can browse the catalog of instruments by name or by maker, look over a host of images, and listen to some excellent audio samples of the instruments. The instruments are divided into categories that include "Trombones", "Plucked Strings", "Keyboards", and "Serpents, Ophicleides and Bass Horns". Each instrument is accompanied by information about its place of origin, its maker, its overall size, and numerous photographs. Moving on, the "Audio Resources" area is quite a pip, and visitors can listen to expert musicians playing everything from an 1836 piccolo to a folded coach horn making its way through Mozart's Post Horn Serenade.

302

Propagation of Nuclear Data Uncertainties for ELECTRA Burn-up Calculations  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The European Lead-Cooled Training Reactor (ELECTRA) has been proposed as a training reactor for fast systems within the Swedish nuclear program. It is a low-power fast reactor cooled by pure liquid lead. In this work, we propagate the uncertainties in 239Pu transport data to uncertainties in the fuel inventory of ELECTRA during the reactor lifetime using the Total Monte Carlo approach (TMC). Within the TENDL project, nuclear models input parameters were randomized within their uncertainties and 740 239Pu nuclear data libraries were generated. These libraries are used as inputs to reactor codes, in our case SERPENT, to perform uncertainty analysis of nuclear reactor inventory during burn-up. The uncertainty in the inventory determines uncertainties in: the long-term radio-toxicity, the decay heat, the evolution of reactivity parameters, gas pressure and volatile fission product content. In this work, a methodology called fast TMC is utilized, which reduces the overall calculation time. The uncertainty of some minor actinides were observed to be rather large and therefore their impact on multiple recycling should be investigated further. It was also found that, criticality benchmarks can be used to reduce inventory uncertainties due to nuclear data. Further studies are needed to include fission yield uncertainties, more isotopes, and a larger set of benchmarks.

Sjöstrand, H.; Alhassan, E.; Duan, J.; Gustavsson, C.; Koning, A. J.; Pomp, S.; Rochman, D.; Österlund, M.

2014-04-01

303

Lethal envenomation: medicolegal aspects of snakebites and religious snake handlers in Kentucky: a report of three cases with comment on medical, legal, and public policy ramifications.  

PubMed

Ritualistic serpent qua snake handling, which rests upon inveterate religious conviction arising out of literal interpretation of selected passages of the New Testament, is a rare ceremony practiced by a distinct minority of Christians predominantly in rural Appalachian regions of the United States commonly referred to as the Bible belt. The fervent, frenzied pursuit by anointed "sign-followers" of intimate contact with a variety of poisonous snakes, however, puts the handler together with sect members or bystanders at risk for lethal envenomation, particularly when prompt medical attention is held by the congregation of faith to contravene God's will. The authors report three separate cases of death due to envenomation by snakebite during a church service and the handler's faith-based refusal to seek treatment. Postmortem examination of each yielded similar physical findings attributable to various toxic sequelae of the complex venoms. A review of the injurious constituents of these chemical toxins also includes a discussion of complex pathophysiological mechanisms causing death. In addition, the authors review the history of representative legislative and judicial responses to the sensationally mortal phenomenon, all of which ineluctably grapple with fundamental Constitutional issues devolving from such controversial religious practices. We underscore the view that a thoroughly documented medicolegal investigation and autopsy are indispensable to both inform matters of public health and thereby contribute to the formulation of sound public policy. PMID:16302722

Hunsaker, Donna M; Hunsaker, John C; Clayton, Tara; Spiller, Henry A

2005-11-01

304

Consecutive virgin births in the new world boid snake, the Colombian rainbow Boa, Epicrates maurus.  

PubMed

Until recently, facultative automictic parthenogenesis within the squamate reptiles exhibiting ZZ:ZW genetic sex determination has resulted in single reproductive events producing male (ZZ) or female (ZW) offspring. With the recent discovery of viable parthenogenetically produced female (WW) Boa constrictors, the existence of further parthenogenetic events resulting in WW females was questioned. Here, we provide genetic evidence for consecutive virgin births by a female Colombian rainbow boa (Epicrates maurus), resulting in the production of WW females likely through terminal fusion automixis. Samples were screened at 22 microsatellite loci with 12 amplifying unambiguous products. Of these, maternal heterozygosity was observed in 4, with the offspring differentially homozygous at each locus. This study documents the first record of parthenogenesis within the genus Epicrates, a second within the serpent lineage Boidae, and the third genetically confirmed case of consecutive virgin births of viable offspring within any vertebrate lineage. Unlike the recent record in Boa constrictors, the female described here was isolated from conspecifics from birth, demonstrating that males are not required to stimulate parthenogenetic reproduction in this species and possibly other Boas. PMID:21868391

Booth, Warren; Million, Larry; Reynolds, R Graham; Burghardt, Gordon M; Vargo, Edward L; Schal, Coby; Tzika, Athanasia C; Schuett, Gordon W

2011-01-01

305

Commiphora molmol in human welfare (review article).  

PubMed

The origins of myrrh and frankincense are traced to the Arabian Peninsula. According to Herodotus (5th century BC): "Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia and cinnamon ... the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors." Diodorus Siculus writes, in the second half of the first century BC, that "all of Arabia exudes a most delicate fragrance; even the seamen passing by Arabia can smell the strong fragrance that gives health and vigor." He also mentioned gold mines so pure that no smelting was necessary. The Magi, carrying myrrh, frankincense, and gold, came from the East: Arabia. The frankincense trade route, with transport by donkeys and later by camel caravans, reached Jerusalem and Egypt from the Dhofar region of what is today Oman, through Yemen, turning north to follow the Red Sea coast. It is likely that the same or similar species of the resin-bearing plants grew across the Red Sea in the area that is now Somalia and Ethiopia, while the collection of the gum resins was initiated in Arabia. Myrrh contributed much in the human welfare. This review selected some but not all of the value application of myrrh (Commiphora molmol). PMID:17985580

Al-Mathal, Ebtsam M

2007-08-01

306

Preparation of nuclear libraries with deterministic and stochastic methods for LWR reflectors  

SciTech Connect

The explicit reflector methodology is used in the system of codes CASMO-5 / SIMULATE-3 to include the reflector around the active core into the computational region and avoid adopting any ad-hoc or experimental albedo coefficients as boundary conditions. However, to complete the core calculation, a set of cross sections and discontinuity factors is needed for the reflector nodes and the accuracy of these nuclear parameters influences the final results, in particular along the peripheral regions of the core. In this paper the explicit reflector methodology of CASMO-5 is adopted to evaluate the few-group cross sections and discontinuity factors of the different reflector cases, based on the design of Generation II and III LWR reactors. In addition, in the perspective of using Monte-Carlo codes as a complementary option for lattice calculations of reflector configurations, the stochastic SERPENT code is also included as part of this benchmark. With the latter, the impact of applying 2-D reflector models with homogenized materials instead of explicit representation of the real geometrical structures is moreover evaluated and shown to be limited. (authors)

Canepa, S.; Hursin, M.; Ferroukhi, H.; Pautz, A. [Paul Scherrer Institut PSI, 5232, Villigen PSI (Switzerland)] [Paul Scherrer Institut PSI, 5232, Villigen PSI (Switzerland)

2013-07-01

307

Maine's MOLLOCKET and METALLAK: Adherents of God's Secret Spirit Signal, SSS, Applied Physicists of the EMF/Manitou, Doctors, Reincarnationists, "Potlachers," Confidants of the Powerful, and, they Did Own the Land.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Northeastern ``Indians,'' reputed to ``make the weather,'' actually, from youth, observed earth phenomena, including SSS. These are subtle and barely detectable visual artifacts of the electromagnetic field, special information that led/leads to their spiritual belief in reincarnation, which came from the EMF/SSS communication, backward and forward, (up to) seven generations. It commands communal, democratic, ``potlatch'' redistribution of accumulated wealth, Mother Earth's bounty, from their land, gifted by ``The Great Spirit,'' Manitou, Peru's Ñari Huallac, ``Serpent God.'' Genetics established the non-Asian origins of 1/3 of North American Indians. Linguistics indicates a major impact westwards to us. MILLInocket is ``Adherent of God (Spirit-signal) monk Cathar.'' Katahdin, with a shared root, has Manitou. After 1820, Gov. E. Lincoln and at least one US senator went westward to MetALLAk; his biography is by a Rumford, ME Knight of Pythias. Why? MOLLOCKET frequently asserted ownership of western Maine. ``Great Council Fires,'' religious ``Law Things,'' were at Merrymeeting Bay in pre-Colonial times. ``Medicine men/priests'' often participated as their applied scientist-statesmen. To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.1

Andrade, Jennifer; Ferreira, Nadja; Mc Leod, Roger D.

2007-04-01

308

Origins of the ancient constellations: II. The Mediterranean traditions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The classical map of the sky, with the 48 Greek constellations, was derived from at least two different pre-Greek traditions. One tradition comprised the 12 signs of the zodiac, with several associated animal constellations, all of which developed over ~3200-500 BC in Mesopotamia in a religious or ritual tradition. These were taken over by the Greeks around 500 BC. However the other Babylonian constellations, their farming-calendar tradition, were not adopted. The other tradition was not Mesopotamian; it comprised large constellations which appear to date from ~2800 BC, probably from the Mediterranean region, devised for the navigators of ships. They include huge bears and serpents which marked the celestial pole and equator at that time, and probably the four anonymous giants which we know as Hercules, Ophiuchus, Bootes, and Auriga, as well as some of the large southern 'marine' constellations. The origins of some other constellations, including the Perseus tableau and various animals, are unknown; they may have been new creations of the Greeks. The Greeks assembled the classical sky-map from these different sources between 540-370 BC, but many of the familiar legends were only applied to the constellations later.

Rogers, J. H.

1998-04-01

309

The life and viper of Dr Patrick Russell MD FRS (1727-1805): physician and naturalist.  

PubMed

It is nearly two hundred years since the publication in 1796 of An Account of Indian Serpents collected on the Coast of Coromandel by Patrick Russell. Within the folio is a drawing and description of the venomous snake called Katuka Rekula Poda in the local Telugu language, whose venom was shown experimentally by Dr Russell to be nearly as lethal as that of Cobra de Capello. The snake is now known as Vipera russelli or Russell's viper. Dr Russell was representative of the naturalistic tendency of British medicine in the late 18th century. He was a keen observer and skilled doctor in clinical practice, particularly in Aleppo, Syria, during an outbreak of the plague, and indefatigable in his study of plant and animal life both in Aleppo and later in the Madras Province of India. As a physician as well as Naturalist to the East India Company in the Carnatic he was concerned with the problem of snakebite. His first aim was to find a means whereby the non-specialist could distinguish between poisonous and harmless snakes and so combat the terrible notion that all bites were mortal. His writing, encompassing social and natural histories and climaxed by a study of snakes, has left a rich legacy. Dr Patrick Russell was a man of the highest integrity and ability, a physician and naturalist par excellence. PMID:7886689

Hawgood, B J

1994-11-01

310

Combining Total Monte Carlo and Benchmarks for Nuclear Data Uncertainty Propagation on a Lead Fast Reactor's Safety Parameters  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Analyses are carried out to assess the impact of nuclear data uncertainties on keff for the European Lead Cooled Training Reactor (ELECTRA) using the Total Monte Carlo method. A large number of 239Pu random ENDF-formatted libraries generated using the TALYS based system were processed into ACE format with NJOY-99.336 code and used as input into the Serpent Monte Carlo neutron transport code to obtain distribution in keff. The mean of the keff distribution obtained was compared with the major nuclear data libraries, JEFF-3.1.1, ENDF/B-VII.1 and JENDL-4.0. A method is proposed for the selection of benchmarks for specific applications using the Total Monte Carlo approach. Finally, an accept/reject criterion was investigated based on ?2 values obtained using the 239Pu Jezebel criticality benchmark. It was observed that nuclear data uncertainties in keff were reduced considerably from 748 to 443 pcm by applying a more rigid acceptance criteria for accepting random files.

Alhassan, E.; Sjöstrand, H.; Duan, J.; Gustavsson, C.; Koning, A. J.; Pomp, S.; Rochman, D.; Österlund, M.

2014-04-01

311

The story of the condom.  

PubMed

Condoms have been a subject of curiosity throughout history. The idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient and modern history, and has been used to prevent venereal diseases. We conducted a historical and medical review of condoms using primary and secondary sources as well as using the RSM library and the internet. These resources show that the first use of a condom was that of King Minos of Crete. Pasiphae, his wife, employed a goat's bladder in the vagina so that King Minos would not be able to harm her as his semen was said to contain "scorpions and serpents" that killed his mistresses. To Egyptians, condom-like glans caps were dyed in different colours to distinguish between different classes of people and to protect themselves against bilharzia. The Ancient Romans used the bladders of animals to protect the woman; they were worn not to prevent pregnancy but to prevent contraction of venereal diseases. Charles Goodyear, the inventor, utilized vulcanization, the process of transforming rubber into malleable structures, to produce latex condoms. The greater use of condoms all over the world in the 20(th) and 21(st) centuries has been related to HIV. This account of the use of condoms demonstrates how a primitive idea turned into an object that is used globally with a forecast estimated at 18 billion condoms to be used in 2015 alone. PMID:23671357

Khan, Fahd; Mukhtar, Saheel; Dickinson, Ian K; Sriprasad, Seshadri

2013-01-01

312

Spirit Digs In  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this navigation camera image on the 72nd martian day, or sol, of its mission (March 15, 2004), after digging its wheel into the drift dubbed 'Serpent.' Creating the commands that would generate this 'scar' was not an easy task for rover controllers. Essentially, they had to choreograph an intricate dance for Spirit, maneuvering it up the side of the dune, shimmying its left front wheel a number of times to create the scuff, and then reversing to attain proper positioning for miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations. Before the task was finished, Spirit moved forward to put the scuff within proper reach of the rover's arm.

This scar allows the rover's instruments to see below the drift surface, to determine the composition of the materials. Initial results indicate that the drift material is similar to the basaltic sands that have been seen throughout Spirit's journey to the large crater dubbed 'Bonneville.' The material does not seem to be the same as that inside the crater.

Scientists are now looking to answer two questions: Why is the dark sand in the crater not the same as the dark sand in the drift? And why are there two different dark soil-type deposits in such a small place?

2004-01-01

313

The Right Scuff  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this image on the 72nd martian day, or sol, of its mission (March 15, 2004) with the left eye of its front hazard-identification camera after digging its wheel into the drift dubbed 'Serpent.' Creating the commands that would generate this scar was not an easy task for rover controllers. Essentially, they had to choreograph an intricate dance for Spirit, maneuvering it up the side of the dune, shimmying its left front wheel a number of times to create the scuff, and then reversing to attain proper positioning for miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations. Before the task was finished, Spirit moved forward to put the scuff within proper reach of the rover's arm.

This scar allows the rover's instruments to see below the drift surface, to determine the composition of its materials. Initial results indicate that the drift material is similar to the basaltic sands that have been seen throughout Spirit's journey to the large crater dubbed 'Bonneville.' The material does not seem to be the same as that inside the crater.

Two questions raised by these results are: Why is the dark sand in the crater not the same as the dark sand in the drift? And why are there two different dark soil-type deposits in such a small place?

2004-01-01

314

[Theriac: medicine and antidote].  

PubMed

Theriac was an ancient multi-ingredient preparation; originating as a cure for the bites of serpents, mad dogs and wild beasts, it later became an antidote to all known poisons. The name theriac (treacle), (Greek theriake, Latin theriaca, French thériaque) was derived from the Greek for wild beast - theriakos. The first formula was created by Mithridates Vl, King of Pontus, a skillful ruler but a monster of cruelty, who, living in such a fear of being poisoned, took a great interest in toxicology. In the 1st century AD, Nero's personal physician Andromachus improved the formula of Antidotum Mithridatium by adding flesh of vipers, which was commonly believed to be the best antidote against snakebite, and by increasing the proportion of opium. It became known as Theriac of Andromachus, and contained 64 ingredients including various minerals, herbals, poisons and animal flesh and blood, all combined with honey in the form of electuarium. Later it became the cure-all medicine which, accumulating all the simples into one form, was supposed to be a universal panacea against all diseases. In the Middle Ages this famous electuarium become a patent medicine and entered official dispensaries and pharmacopoeias. The most famous and expensive Theriac in Europe was that of Venice. It was not until the l8th century that it was excluded from medical use. PMID:15125416

Parojcic, Dusanka; Stupar, Dragan; Mirica, Milica

2003-06-01

315

Micrurus snake venoms activate human complement system and generate anaphylatoxins  

PubMed Central

Background The genus Micrurus, coral snakes (Serpentes, Elapidae), comprises more than 120 species and subspecies distributed from the south United States to the south of South America. Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and further respiratory arrest within a few hours after envenomation. Clinical observations show mainly neurotoxic symptoms, although other biological activities have also been experimentally observed, including cardiotoxicity, hemolysis, edema and myotoxicity. Results In the present study we have investigated the action of venoms from seven species of snakes from the genus Micrurus on the complement system in in vitro studies. Several of the Micrurus species could consume the classical and/or the lectin pathways, but not the alternative pathway, and C3a, C4a and C5a were generated in sera treated with the venoms as result of this complement activation. Micrurus venoms were also able to directly cleave the ? chain of the component C3, but not of the C4, which was inhibited by 1,10 Phenanthroline, suggesting the presence of a C3? chain specific metalloprotease in Micrurus spp venoms. Furthermore, complement activation was in part associated with the cleavage of C1-Inhibitor by protease(s) present in the venoms, which disrupts complement activation control. Conclusion Micrurus venoms can activate the complement system, generating a significant amount of anaphylatoxins, which may assist due to their vasodilatory effects, to enhance the spreading of other venom components during the envenomation process.

2012-01-01

316

Evaluation of the lethal potency of scorpion and snake venoms and comparison between intraperitoneal and intravenous injection routes.  

PubMed

Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD50) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD50 values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD50 values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD50 values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the nature of toxins, might be attributed to the rich composition of high molecular weight enzymes in the case of viper venoms. PMID:24926799

Oukkache, Naoual; El Jaoudi, Rachid; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

2014-06-01

317

Snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic analysis of Brazilian coral snakes, Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus.  

PubMed

The venom proteomes of Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus were analyzed by combining snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic surveys. In both coral snake species, 3FTx and PLA(2) were the most abundant and diversified toxin families. 33 different 3FTxs and 13 PLA(2) proteins, accounting respectively for 79.5% and 13.7% of the total proteins, were identified in the venom of M. altirostris. The venom of M. corallinus comprised 10 3FTx (81.7% of the venom proteome) and 4 (11.9%) PLA(2) molecules. Transcriptomic data provided the full-length amino acid sequences of 18 (M. altirostris) and 10 (M. corallinus) 3FTxs, and 3 (M. altirostris) and 1 (M. corallinus) novel PLA(2) sequences. In addition, venom from each species contained single members of minor toxin families: 3 common (PIII-SVMP, C-type lectin-like, L-amino acid oxidase) and 4 species-specific (CRISP, Kunitz-type inhibitor, lysosomal acid lipase in M. altirostris; serine proteinase in M. corallinus) toxin classes. The finding of a lipase (LIPA) in the venom proteome and in the venom gland transcriptome of M. altirostris supports the view of a recruitment event predating the divergence of Elapidae and Viperidae more than 60 Mya. The toxin profile of both M. altirostris and M. corallinus venoms points to 3FTxs and PLA(2) molecules as the major players of the envenoming process. In M. altirostris venom, all major, and most minor, 3FTxs display highest similarity to type I ?-neurotoxins, suggesting that these postsynaptically acting toxins may play the predominant role in the neurotoxic effect leading to peripheral paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death. M. corallinus venom posesses both, type I ?-neurotoxins and a high-abundance (26% of the venom proteome) protein of subfamily XIX of 3FTxs, exhibiting similarity to bucandin from Malayan krait, Bungarus candidus, venom, which enhances acetylcholine release presynaptically. This finding may explain the presynaptic neurotoxicity of M. corallinus venom and the lack of this effect in M. altirostris venom. The anti-Micrurus (corallinus and frontalis) antivenom produced by Instituto Butantan quantitatively immunodepleted the minor toxins from M. altirostris and M. corallinus venoms but showed impaired crossreactivity towards their major 3FTx and PLA(2) molecules. The structural diversity of 3FTxs among Micrurus sp. may underlay the impaired cross-immunoreactivity of the Butantan antivenom towards M. altirostris and M. corallinus toxins, hampering the possibility to raise an antivenom against a simple venom mixture exhibiting paraspecific neutralization of other Micrurus venoms. PMID:21515432

Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Silva, Débora A; Ho, Paulo L; Leitão-de-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Sanz, Libia; Foguel, Débora; Zingali, Russolina Benedeta; Calvete, Juan J

2011-08-24

318

In vitro neuromuscular activity of snake venoms.  

PubMed

1. Snake venoms consist of a multitude of pharmacologically active components used for the capture of prey. Neurotoxins are particularly important in this regard, producing paralysis of skeletal muscles. These neurotoxins can be classified according to their site of action (i.e. pre- or post-synaptic). 2. Presynaptic neurotoxins, which display varying phospholipase A2 activities, have been identified in the venoms of the four major families of venomous snakes (i.e. Crotalidae, Elapidae, Hydrophiidae and Viperidae). The blockade of transmission produced by these toxins is usually characterized by a triphasic effect on acetylcholine release. Considerable work has been directed at identifying the binding site(s) on the presynaptic nerve terminal for these toxins, although their mechanism of action remains unclear. 3. Post-synaptic neurotoxins are antagonists of the nicotinic receptor on the skeletal muscle. Depending on their sequence, post-synaptic toxins are subdivided into short- and long-chain toxins. These toxins display different binding kinetics and different affinity for subtypes of nicotinic receptors. Post-synaptic neurotoxins have only been identified in venoms from the families Elapidae and Hydrophiidae. 4. Due to the high cost of developing new antivenoms and the reluctance of many companies to engage in this area of research, new methodologies are required to test the efficacy of existing antivenoms to ensure their optimal use. While chicken eggs have proven useful for the examination of haemorrhagic venoms, this procedure is not suited to venoms that primarily display neurotoxic activity. The chick biventer cervicis muscle has proven useful for this procedure, enabling the rapid screening of antivenoms against a range of venoms. 5. Historically, the lethality of snake venoms has been based on murine LD50 studies. Due to ethical reasons, these studies are being superseded by in vitro studies. Instead, the time taken to produce 90% inhibition of nerve-mediated twitches (i.e. t90) in skeletal muscle preparations can be determined. However, these two procedures result in different rank orders because they are measuring two different parameters. While murine LD50 determinations are based on "quantity", t90 values are based on how "quick" a venom acts. Therefore, knowledge of both parameters is still desirable. 6. In vitro neuromuscular preparations have proven to be invaluable tools in the examination of snake venoms and isolated neurotoxins. They will continue to play a role in further elucidating the mechanism of action of these highly potent toxins. Further study of these toxins may provide more highly specific research tools or lead compounds for pharmaceutical agents. PMID:12165047

Hodgson, Wayne C; Wickramaratna, Janith C

2002-09-01

319

Role of cyclooxygenases in oedema-forming activity of bothropic venoms.  

PubMed

The venoms of Bothrops asper (BaV) and Bothrops jararaca (BjV), two of the most medically important poisonous snakes of Latin America, cause pronounced oedema in the victims through poorly understood mechanisms. In the present study, we examined the possible role of cyclooxygenases (COX) in the genesis of mouse paw oedema caused by BaV and BjV injections. BaV at 2.5 microg/paw and BjV at 0.75 microg/paw induced significant oedema that persisted for up to 6h following subplantar injection. Treatment with indomethacin (2 mg/kg), rofecoxib, (10 mg/kg), or dexamethasone (2 mg/kg) significantly reduced the BaV- and BjV-induced oedema formation. Treatment with SC-560 (30 mg/kg) significantly reduced the oedema formation induced by BjV but had no effect on that induced by BaV. Both venoms induced significant increases in the levels of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and the expression of COX-1 and COX-2 in paw tissue. The peak of oedema formation and PGE(2) release correlated with marked expression of COX-2 in the paw tissue. These results demonstrate that injection of BaV and BjV results in a rapid increase in oedema formation that is, at least partially, mediated by arachidonic acid metabolites formed by COX-2. In the case of BjV, COX-1-derived prostanoids also appear to contribute significantly to the inflammatory changes. PMID:17204299

Olivo, Renata do A; Teixeira, Catarina F P; Wallace, John L; Gutierrez, Jose M; Zamuner, Stella R

2007-04-01

320

Argininosuccinate synthetase is a functional target for a snake venom anti-hypertensive peptide: role in arginine and nitric oxide production.  

PubMed

Bj-BPP-10c is a bioactive proline-rich decapeptide, part of the C-type natriuretic peptide precursor, expressed in the brain and in the venom gland of Bothrops jararaca. We recently showed that Bj-BPP-10c displays a strong, sustained anti-hypertensive effect in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR), without causing any effect in normotensive rats, by a pharmacological effect independent of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition. Therefore, we hypothesized that another mechanism should be involved in the peptide activity. Here we used affinity chromatography to search for kidney cytosolic proteins with affinity for Bj-BPP-10c and demonstrate that argininosuccinate synthetase (AsS) is the major protein binding to the peptide. More importantly, this interaction activates the catalytic activity of AsS in a dose-de pend ent manner. AsS is recognized as an important player of the citrulline-NO cycle that represents a potential limiting step in NO synthesis. Accordingly, the functional interaction of Bj-BPP-10c and AsS was evidenced by the following effects promoted by the peptide: (i) increase of NO metabolite production in human umbilical vein endothelial cell culture and of arginine in human embryonic kidney cells and (ii) increase of arginine plasma concentration in SHR. Moreover, alpha-methyl-dl-aspartic acid, a specific AsS inhibitor, significantly reduced the anti-hypertensive activity of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR. Taken together, these results suggest that AsS plays a role in the anti-hypertensive action of Bj-BPP-10c. Therefore, we propose the activation of AsS as a new mechanism for the anti-hypertensive effect of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR and AsS as a novel target for the therapy of hypertension-related diseases. PMID:19491403

Guerreiro, Juliano R; Lameu, Claudiana; Oliveira, Eduardo F; Klitzke, Clécio F; Melo, Robson L; Linares, Edlaine; Augusto, Ohara; Fox, Jay W; Lebrun, Ivo; Serrano, Solange M T; Camargo, Antonio C M

2009-07-24

321

Disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich domains of the reprolysin HF3: Site-directed mutagenesis reveals essential role of specific residues.  

PubMed

Little is known about the biochemical properties of the non-catalytic domains of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The ECD sequence of the disintegrin-like domain (D-domain) has been assigned as the disintegrin motif and, recently, the hyper-variable region (HVR) of the cysteine-rich domain (C-domain) was suggested to constitute a potential protein-protein adhesive interface. Here we show that the recombinant C-domain of HF3, a hemorrhagic SVMP from Bothrops jararaca, as well as three peptides resembling its HVR, inhibit collagen-induced platelet aggregation, which indicates a role for the C-domain and its HVR in targeting HF3 to platelets. Site-directed mutagenesis was used for the first time to identify charged residues essential for the functionality of the disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich domains (DC-domains). Residues of the disintegrin loop (E467 and D469), and of the HVR (K568, K569 and K575) of HF3 were individually mutated to Ala. Interestingly, only the mutant D469A was obtained in soluble form in Escherichia coli and this single mutation caused loss of two functional activities of the DC-domains: inhibition of platelet aggregation and increase of leukocyte rolling in the microcirculation. In summary we demonstrate that the C-domain and its HVR are critical for HF3 to affect platelets and leukocytes, however, the disintegrin loop may be important for the functionality of the D-domain in the context of the C-domain. PMID:20955756

Menezes, Milene C; de Oliveira, Ana Karina; Melo, Robson L; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Rioli, Vanessa; Balan, Andrea; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Serrano, Solange M T

2011-02-01

322

The interaction of the antitoxin DM43 with a snake venom metalloproteinase analyzed by mass spectrometry and surface plasmon resonance.  

PubMed

DM43 is a circulating dimeric antitoxin isolated from Didelphis aurita, a South American marsupial naturally immune to snake envenomation. This endogenous inhibitor binds non-covalently to jararhagin, the main hemorrhagic metalloproteinase from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, and efficiently neutralizes its toxicity. The aim of this study was to apply mass spectrometry (MS) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to improve the molecular characterization of this heterocomplex. The stoichiometry of the interaction was confirmed by nanoelectrospray ionization-quadrupole-time-of-flight MS; from native solution conditions, the complex showed a molecular mass of ~94 kDa, indicating that one molecule of jararhagin (50 kDa) interacts with one monomer of DM43 (43 kDa). Although readily observed in solution, the dimeric structure of the inhibitor was barely preserved in the gas phase. This result suggests that, in contrast to the toxin-antitoxin complex, hydrophobic interactions are the primary driving force for the inhibitor dimerization. For the real-time interaction analysis, the toxin was captured on a sensor chip derivatized with the anti-jararhagin monoclonal antibody MAJar 2. The sensorgrams obtained after successive injections of DM43 in a concentration series were globally fitted to a simple bimolecular interaction, yielding the following kinetic rates for the DM43/jararhagin interaction: k(a) = 3.54 ± 0.03 × 10(4) M(-1) s(-1) and k(d) = 1.16 ± 0.07 × 10(-5) s(-1), resulting in an equilibrium dissociation constant (K(D) ) of 0.33 ± 0.06 nM. Taken together, MS and SPR results show that DM43 binds to its target toxin with high affinity and constitute the first accurate quantitative study on the extent of the interaction between a natural inhibitor and a metalloproteinase toxin, with unequivocal implications for the use of this kind of molecule as template for the rational development of novel antivenom therapies. PMID:22549991

Brand, Guilherme D; Salbo, Rune; Jørgensen, Thomas J D; Bloch, Carlos; Boeri Erba, Elisabetta; Robinson, Carol V; Tanjoni, Isabelle; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M; Roepstorff, Peter; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas; Valente, Richard H; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C

2012-05-01

323

Immunome and venome of Bothrops jararacussu: a proteomic approach to study the molecular immunology of snake toxins.  

PubMed

A combination of anti-bothropic and anti-crotalic sera has been reported to be more effective in neutralizing the effects of Bothrops jararacussu venom than anti-bothropic serum alone. The role of proteins from B. jararacussu venom in the horse immune response was evaluated via the analysis of cross-reactivity with homologous and heterologous sera. Many of the proteins in B. jararacussu venom were identified via 2D gel electrophoresis. Western blots revealed that anti-jararacussu showed higher reactivity to l-aminoxidase (LAOs) and snake venom metalloproteinase, (SVMPs) and weaker reactivity towards Snake venom serine proteases (SVSPs), PLA(2), C-type lectin and cysteine-rich proteins. Anti-jararaca preferentially recognized LAOs, SVMPs and SVSPs. Both of these sera failed to recognize low-molecular weight proteins. Anti-crotalic serum clearly recognized LAOs, C-type lectin, SVSP, cysteine-rich proteins, SVMP and Asp49-PLA(2). The cross-reactivity with anti-PLA(2) revealed the immunoreactivity of these antibodies to proteins with molecular masses in a range that is poorly recognized by other studied anti-sera. Our results suggest that the contribution of anti-crotalic serum to the neutralization of B. jararacussu by may be due to its cross-reactivity with proteins such as C-type lectins, SVSPs, Asp49-PLA(2). These results also reinforce the importance of neutralizing the highly toxic proteins inclusive those with low immunogenicity in commercial antivenom production to obtain a highly protective serum against snake venoms. PMID:20060013

Correa-Netto, Carlos; Teixeira-Araujo, Ricardo; Aguiar, Aniesse Silva; Melgarejo, Aníbal Rafael; De-Simone, Salvatore Giovanni; Soares, Márcia Regina; Foguel, Debora; Zingali, Russolina Benedeta

2010-06-15

324

Microbiological evaluation of different strategies for management of snakes in captivity.  

PubMed

Keeping snakes in captivity to produce venom for scientific research and production of inputs is now a worldwide practice. Maintaining snakes in captivity involves capture, infrastructure investments, management techniques, and appropriate qualified personnel. Further, the success of the project requires knowledge of habitat, nutrition, and reproduction, and control of opportunistic infections. This study evaluated the management of snakes in three types of captivity (quarantine, intensive, and semiextensive) and diagnosed bacterial and fungal contaminants. A bacteriological profile was obtained by swabbing the oral and cloacal cavities, scales, and venoms of healthy adult snakes from Bothrops jararaca (Bj) and Crotalus durissus terrificus (Cdt). There was predominance of Enterobacteriaceae, especially non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli excluding Pseudomonas spp and Gram- positive bacteria. Statistically, intensive captivity resulted in the highest number of bacterial isolates, followed by recent capture (quarantine) and by semiextensive captivity. No statistical difference was found between Bj and Cdt bacterial frequency. In vitro bacterial susceptibility testing found the highest resistance against the semisynthetic penicillins (amoxicillin and ampicillin) and highest sensitivity to amicacin and tobramycin aminoglycosides. To evaluate mycological profile of snakes from intensive captivity, samples were obtained from two healthy Bj and one B. moojeni, one B. pauloensis, and one Cdt showing whitish lesions on the scales suggestive of ringworm. Using conventional methods and DNA-based molecular procedures, five samples of Trichosporon asahii were identified. Despite the traditional role of intense captivity in ophidian venom production, semiextensive captivity was more effective in the present study by virtue of presenting superior control of bacterial and fungal transmission, easier management, lowest cost, and decreased rate of mortality; therefore, it should be considered as a good alternative for tropical countries. PMID:22852856

Campagner, M V; Bosco, S M G; Bagagli, E; Cunha, M L R S; Jeronimo, B C; Saad, E; Biscola, N P; Ferreira, R S; Barraviera, B

2012-01-01

325

Proline rich-oligopeptides: diverse mechanisms for antihypertensive action.  

PubMed

Bradykinin-potentiating peptides from Bothrops jararaca (Bj) discovered in the early 1960s, were the first natural inhibitors of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). These peptides belong to a large family of snake venom proline-rich oligopeptides (PROs). One of these peptides, Bj-PRO-9a, was essential for defining ACE as effective drug target and development of captopril, an active site-directed inhibitor of ACE used worldwide for the treatment of human arterial hypertension. Recent experimental evidences demonstrated that cardiovascular effects exerted by different Bj-PROs are due to distinct mechanisms besides of ACE inhibition. In the present work, we have investigated the cardiovascular actions of four Bj-PROs, namely Bj-PRO-9a, -11e, -12b and -13a. Bj-PRO-9a acts upon ACE and BK activities to promote blood pressure reduction. Although the others Bj-PROs are also able to inhibit the ACE activity and to potentiate the BK effects, our results indicate that antihypertensive effect evoked by them involve new mechanisms. Bj-PRO-11e and Bj-PRO-12b involves induction of [Ca(2+)]i transients by so far unknown receptor proteins. Moreover, we have suggested argininosuccinate synthetase and M3 muscarinic receptor as targets for cardiovascular effects elicited by Bj-PRO-13a. In summary, the herein reported results provide evidence that Bj-PRO-mediated effects are not restricted to ACE inhibition or potentiation of BK-induced effects and suggest different actions for each peptide for promoting arterial pressure reduction. The present study reveals the complexity of the effects exerted by Bj-PROs for cardiovascular control, opening avenues for the better understanding of blood pressure regulation and for the development of novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:23933300

Morais, Katia L P; Ianzer, Danielle; Miranda, José Rodolfo R; Melo, Robson L; Guerreiro, Juliano R; Santos, Robson A S; Ulrich, Henning; Lameu, Claudiana

2013-10-01

326

Neuromuscular action of venom from the South American colubrid snake Philodryas patagoniensis.  

PubMed

Snakes of the opisthoglyphous genus Philodryas are widespread in South America and cause most bites by colubrids in this region. In this study, we examined the neurotoxic and myotoxic effects of venom from Philodryas patagoniensis in biventer cervicis and phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations and we compared the biochemical activities of venoms from P. patagoniensis and Philodryas olfersii. Philodryas patagoniensis venom (40 microg/mL) had no effect on mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations but caused time-dependent neuromuscular blockade of chick biventer cervicis preparations. This blockade was not reversed by washing. The highest concentration of venom tested (40 microg/mL) significantly reduced (p<0.05) the contractures to exogenous acetylcholine (55 microM and 110 microM) and K(+) (13.4 mM) after 120 min; lower concentrations of venom had no consistent or significant effect on these responses. Venom caused a concentration- and time-dependent release of creatine kinase (CK) from biventer cervicis preparations. Histological analysis showed contracted muscle fibers at low venom concentrations and myonecrosis at high concentrations. Philodryas venoms had low esterase and phospholipase A(2) but high proteolytic activities compared to the pitviper Bothrops jararaca. SDS-PAGE showed that the Philodryas venoms had similar electrophoretic profiles, with most proteins having a molecular mass of 25-80 kDa. Both of the Philodryas venoms cross-reacted with bothropic antivenom in ELISA, indicating the presence of proteins immunologically related to Bothrops venoms. RP-HPLC of P. patagoniensis venom yielded four major peaks, each of which contained several proteins, as shown by SDS-PAGE. These results indicate that P. patagoniensis venom has neurotoxic and myotoxic components that may contribute to the effects of envenoming by this species. PMID:18455482

Carreiro da Costa, Roberta S; Prudêncio, Luiz; Ferrari, Erika Fonseca; Souza, Gustavo H M F; de Mello, Sueli Moreira; Prianti Júnior, Antonio Carlos Guimarães; Ribeiro, Wellington; Zamunér, Stella Regina; Hyslop, Stephen; Cogo, José Carlos

2008-07-01

327

Triacontyl p-coumarate: an inhibitor of snake venom metalloproteinases.  

PubMed

Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) participate in a number of important biological, physiological and pathophysiological processes and are primarily responsible for the local tissue damage characteristic of viperid snake envenomations. The use of medicinal plant extracts as antidotes against animal venoms is an old practice, especially against snake envenomations. Such plants are sources of many pharmacologically active compounds and have been shown to antagonize the effects of some venoms and toxins. The present study explores the activity of triacontyl p-coumarate (PCT), an active compound isolated from root bark of Bombacopsis glabra vegetal extract (Bg), against harmful effects of Bothropoides pauloensis snake venom and isolated toxins (SVMPs or phospholipase A(2)). Before inhibition assays, Bg or PCT was incubated with venom or toxins at ratios of 1:1 and 1:5 (w/w; venom or isolated toxins/PCT) for 30 min at 37°C. Treatment conditions were also assayed to simulate snakebite with PCT inoculated at either the same venom or toxin site. PCT neutralized fibrinogenolytic activity and plasmatic fibrinogen depletion induced by B. pauloensis venom or isolated toxin. PCT also efficiently inhibited the hemorrhagic (3MDH - minimum hemorrhagic dose injected i.d into mice) and myotoxic activities induced by Jararhagin, a metalloproteinase from B. jararaca at 1:5 ratio (toxin: inhibitor, w/w) when it was previously incubated with PCT and injected into mice or when PCT was administered after toxin injection. Docking simulations using data on a metalloproteinase (Neuwiedase) structure suggest that the binding between the protein and the inhibitor occurs mainly in the active site region causing blockade of the enzymatic reaction by displacement of catalytic water. Steric hindrance may also play a role in the mechanism since the PCT hydrophobic tail was found to interact with the loop associated with substrate anchorage. Thus, PCT may provide a alternative to complement ophidian envenomation treatments. PMID:23141056

Mendes, M M; Vieira, S A P B; Gomes, M S R; Paula, V F; Alcântara, T M; Homsi-Brandeburgo, M I; dos Santos, J I; Magro, A J; Fontes, M R M; Rodrigues, V M

2013-02-01

328

Crotalid snake venom subproteomes unraveled by the antiophidic protein DM43.  

PubMed

Snake venoms are mixtures of proteins and peptides with different biological activities, many of which are very toxic. Several animals, including the opossum Didelphis aurita, are resistant to snake venoms due to the presence of neutralizing factors in their blood. An antihemorrhagic protein named DM43 was isolated from opossum serum. It inhibits snake venom metalloproteinases through noncovalent complex formation with these enzymes. In this study, we have used DM43 and proteomic techniques to explore snake venom subproteomes. Four crotalid venoms were chromatographed through an affinity column containing immobilized DM43. Bound fractions were analyzed by one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, followed by identification by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. With this approach, we could easily visualize and compare the metalloproteinase compositions of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops insularis, and Crotalus atrox snake venoms. The important contribution of proteolytic processing to the complexity of this particular subproteome was demonstrated. Fractions not bound to DM43 column were similarly analyzed and were composed mainly of serine proteinases, C-type lectins, C-type lectin-like proteins, l-amino acid oxidases, nerve growth factor, cysteine-rich secretory protein, a few metalloproteinases (and their fragments), and some unidentified spots. Although very few toxin families were represented in the crotalid venoms analyzed, the number of protein spots detected was in the hundreds, indicating an important protein variability in these natural secretions. DM43 affinity chromatography and associated proteomic techniques proved to be useful tools to separate and identify proteins from snake venoms, contributing to a better comprehension of venom heterogeneity. PMID:19267469

Rocha, Surza L G; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Trugilho, Monique R O; Chapeaurouge, Alex; León, Ileana R; Valente, Richard H; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas

2009-05-01

329

The snake venom peptide Bj-PRO-7a is a M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor agonist.  

PubMed

Proline-rich peptides from Bothrops jararaca venom (Bj-PRO) were characterized based on the capability to inhibit the somatic angiotensin-converting enzyme. The pharmacological action of these peptides resulted in the development of Captopril, one of the best examples of a target-driven drug discovery for treatment of hypertension. However, biochemical and biological properties of Bj-PROs were not completely elucidated yet, and many recent studies have suggested that their activity relies on angiotensin-converting enzyme-independent mechanisms. Here, we show that Bj-PRO-7a (

Negraes, Priscilla D; Lameu, Claudiana; Hayashi, Mirian A F; Melo, Robson L; Camargo, Antônio C M; Ulrich, Henning

2011-01-01

330

Gene expression in SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells treated with the snake venom jararhagin.  

PubMed

Alternative approaches to improve the treatment of advanced melanomas are highly needed. The disintegrin domain of metalloproteinases binds integrin receptors on tumor cells, blocking migration, invasion, and metastatization. Previous studies showed that jararhagin, from the Bothrops jararaca snake venom, induces changes in the morphology and viability of SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells, and decreases the number of metastases in mice injected with pre-treated cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the molecular effects of jararhagin on SK-Mel-28 cells and fibroblasts, concerning the expression of integrins, cadherins, caspases, and TP53 genes. Sub-toxic doses of jararhagin were administered to confluent cells. RT-PCR was performed following extraction of total RNA. Jararhagin treatments induced similar morphological alterations in both normal and tumor cells, with higher IC50 values for fibroblasts. Integrin genes were downregulated in untreated cells, except for ITGA6a,b, ITGAv, and ITGB3 which were highly expressed in SK-Mel-28. The integrin expression profiles were not affected by the toxin. However, jararhagin 30ng/?l upregulated genes TP53, CDKN1A, CDKN2A, CASP3, CASP5, CASP6, CASP8, and E-CDH in SK-Mel-28, and genes ITGB6, ITGB7, CASP3, TP53, and CDKN1B in fibroblasts. Appropriate jararhagin concentration can have apoptotic and suppressant effects on SK-Mel-28 cells, rather than on fibroblasts, and can be used to develop potential anti-cancer drugs. PMID:20851711

Klein, Anelise; Capitanio, Juliana Silva; Maria, Durvanei Augusto; Ruiz, Itamar Romano Garcia

2011-01-01

331

Human antibody fragments specific for Bothrops jararacussu venom reduce the toxicity of other Bothrops sp. venoms.  

PubMed

Approximately 20,000 snakebites are registered each year in Brazil. The classical treatment for venomous snakebite involves the administration of sera obtained from immunized horses. Moreover, the production and care of horses is costly, and the use of heterologous sera can cause hypersensitivity reactions. The production of human antibody fragments by phage display technology is seen as a means of overcoming some of these disadvantages. The studies here attempted to test human monoclonal antibodies specific to Bothrops jararacussu against other Bothrops sp. venoms, using the Griffin.1 library of human single-chain fragment-variable (scFv) phage antibodies. Using the Griffin.1 phage antibody library, this laboratory previously produced scFvs capable of inhibiting the phospholipase and myotoxic activities of Bothrops jararacussu venom. The structural and functional similarities of the various forms of phospholipase A2 (PLA?) in Bothrops venom served as the basis for the present study wherein the effectiveness of those same scFvs were evaluated against B. jararaca, B. neuwiedi, and B. moojeni venoms. Each clone was found to recognize all three Bothrops venoms, and purified scFvs partially inhibited their in vitro phospholipase activity. In vivo assays demonstrated that the scFv clone P2B7 reduced myotoxicity and increased the survival of animals that received the test venoms. The results here indicate that the scFv P2B7 is a candidate for inclusion in a mixture of specific antibodies to produce a human anti-bothropic sera. This data demonstrates that the human scFv P2B7 represents an alternative therapeutic approach to heterologous anti-bothropic sera available today. PMID:22954026

Roncolato, Eduardo Crosara; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Funayama, Jaqueline Carlos; Bertolini, Thaís Barboza; Campos, Lucas Benício; Barbosa, José Elpidio

2013-01-01

332

New insights into the structural elements involved in the skin haemorrhage induced by snake venom metalloproteinases.  

PubMed

Haemorrhage induced by snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) is a complex phenomenon resulting in capillary disruption and extravasation. This study analysed structural elements important for the interaction of four Bothrops jararaca SVMPs of different domain organisation and glycosylation levels with plasma and extracellular matrix proteins: HF3 (P-III class) is highly glycosylated and ~80 times more haemorrhagic than bothropasin (P-III class), which has a minor carbohydrate moiety; BJ-PI (P-I class) is not haemorrhagic and the DC protein is composed of disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich domains of bothropasin. HF3, bothropasin and BJ-PI showed different degradation profiles of fibrinogen, fibronectin, vitronectin, von Willebrand factor, collagens IV and VI, laminin and Matrigel; however, only bothropasin degraded collagen I. In solid-phase binding assays HF3 and bothropasin interacted with fibrinogen, fibronectin, laminin, collagens I and VI; the DC protein bound only to collagens I and VI; however, no binding of BJ-PI to these proteins was detected. N-deglycosylation caused loss of structural stability of bothropasin and BJ-PI but HF3 remained intact, although its haemorrhagic and fibrinogenolytic activities were partially impaired. Nevertheless, N-deglycosylated HF3 bound with higher affinity to collagens I and VI, although its proteolytic activity upon these collagens was not enhanced. This study demonstrates that features of carbohydrate moieties of haemorrhagic SVMPs may play a role in their interaction with substrates of the extracellular matrix, and the ability of SVMPs to degrade proteins in vitro does not correlate to their ability to cause haemorrhage, suggesting that novel, systemic approaches are necessary for understanding the mechanism of haemorrhage generation by SVMPs. PMID:20664911

Oliveira, Ana K; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Asega, Amanda F; Camargo, Antonio C M; Fox, Jay W; Serrano, Solange M T

2010-09-01

333

Practical applications of snake venom toxins in haemostasis.  

PubMed

Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis have facilitated extensively the routine assays of haemostatic parameters in the coagulation laboratory. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen/fibrinogen breakdown product assay and for the detection of fibrinogen dysfunction. SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin and can thus can be used for assaying antithrombin III and other haemostatic variables in heparin-containing samples. Snake venoms are a rich source of prothrombin activators and these are utilised in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and for preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic forms of prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains toxins which have been used to assay blood clotting factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and, importantly, lupus anticoagulants (LA). Other prothrombin activators (from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper) have now been used to assay LA. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. The disintegrins, a large family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing snake venom proteins, show potential for studying platelet glycoprotein receptors, notably, GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis are also used in the therapeutic setting: Ancrod (from the Malayan pit viper, Calloselasma rhodostoma), in particular, has been used as an anticoagulant to achieve 'therapeutic defibrination'. Other snake venom proteins show promise in the treatment of a range of haemostatic disorders. PMID:15922782

Marsh, Neville; Williams, Vaughan

2005-06-15

334

Practical applications of snake venom toxins in haemostasis.  

PubMed

Snake venom toxins have an established role in the coagulation laboratory for the assay of haemostatic parameters and a potential role for therapeutic treatment of thrombotic disorders. In the laboratory, snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLEs) are used for the assay of fibrinogen and detection of fibrinogen breakdown products and dysfibrinogenaemias. Importantly, because SVTLEs are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III and other parameters in samples which contain heparin. Prothrombin activators occur in many snake venoms and these have become established in the assay of prothrombin, in the study of dysprothrombinaemias and in the preparation of meizothrombin and non enzymic forms of prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom contains a number of useful compounds including toxins which can be used to assay blood clotting factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and lupus anticoagulants (LA). More recently, activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have been used to assay LA. Proteins C and S can be measured by means of protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. The disintegrins, a large family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing proteins found in snake venoms, show great potential for the study of platelet glycoprotein receptors, notably, GPIIb/IIIa and Ib, and in the treatment of arterial thrombotic disease. Established SVTLEs used in clinical practice include ancrod and defibrase although success with these agents has been limited. A further group of enzymes under consideration as thrombolytic agents are the fibrinogenases. PMID:9425723

Marsh, N A; Fyffe, T L

1996-01-01

335

Radium-226 levels and concentration ratios between water, vegetation, and tissues of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) from a watershed with uranium tailings near Elliot Lake, Canada.  

PubMed

Radionuclide levels measured in bone, muscle, kidney and liver tissues, gut contents and diet items of 47 grouse from the Serpent River drainage basin, containing uranium (U) tailings at Elliot Lake, and from control areas in Ontario, showed variation by site and tissue. The mean level of 226radium (Ra) in bones of grouse sampled from Elliot Lake (28.5 mBq g(-1)) was higher than that in bones of birds from a distant control site near Sudbury, Ontario (8.0 mBq g(-1)) but similar to the value in a local control population (28.1 mBq g(-1)). Birds from Mid- and Low-Serpent River basin populations (with 17.1 and 17.7 mBw g(-1), respectively) did not differ from local or distant control populations; muscle, liver and kidney had lower 226Ra concentrations, which did not differ significantly among populations. Levels of 226Ra in the crop contents and intestine did not differ significantly by site and were similar to those of food items consumed by the birds. Stomach content values were higher in birds sampled in Elliot Lake and at the local control site than in those taken at the distant control site; birds sampled downstream from Elliot Lake did not differ from distant controls in this regard. Levels of 232thorium (Th) and 230Th were below detection limits (0.1 microg g(-1) and 5.0 mBq g(-1), respectively) in bone, muscle and liver tissue in two grouse with elevated levels of 226Ra. Other radionuclides were measurable in some tissues: 238U in bone at 0.4 microg g(-1), in muscle to 0.2 microg g(-1), in liver to 1.0 gmg g(-1.), 228Th was found only in muscle (8.0 mBq g(-1)), 210poloniuim (Po) was found in bone, muscle and liver (maxima: 24.0, 7.0, 16.0 mBq g(-1)) with the exception of one muscle sample; 210lead (Pb) was detected in only one liver sample (50.0 mBq g(-1)). Environmental levels fell within ranges previously reported at the sites, or at similar locations elsewhere. Leaves of trembling and largetooth aspen growing in the basin had mean 226Ra levels of 14.8 and 52.7 mBq g(-1) (dry weight) respectively, and fungal material carried up to 215.4 mBq g(-1) (air-dried), with some variation by site. River and lake waters sampled near the U tailings had 118.1 mBq litre(-1) of dissolved 226Ra; at the distant control site the value was 12.1 mBq litre(-1). The concentration ratios (CR) between bone of grouse collected at the Elliot Lake sites and trembling and largetooth aspen leaves were 1.38 and 1.09 (fresh weight basis); from other diet items and to other tissues the values were less than unity. Bone tissue: water ratios, based on dissolved 226Ra levels, ranged to 30.89. People eating grouse from the study area are unlikely to consume radionuclides in excess of limits currently established by Canadian regulatory authorities. PMID:15091976

Clulow, F V; Lim, T P; Davé, N K; Avadhanula, R

1992-01-01

336

Advanced Test Reactor Core Modeling Update Project Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012  

SciTech Connect

Legacy computational reactor physics software tools and protocols currently used for support of Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) core fuel management and safety assurance, and to some extent, experiment management, are inconsistent with the state of modern nuclear engineering practice, and are difficult, if not impossible, to properly verify and validate (V&V) according to modern standards. Furthermore, the legacy staff knowledge required for application of these tools and protocols from the 1960s and 1970s is rapidly being lost due to staff turnover and retirements. In late 2009, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) initiated a focused effort, the ATR Core Modeling Update Project, to address this situation through the introduction of modern high-fidelity computational software and protocols. This aggressive computational and experimental campaign will have a broad strategic impact on the operation of the ATR, both in terms of improved computational efficiency and accuracy for support of ongoing DOE programs as well as in terms of national and international recognition of the ATR National Scientific User Facility (NSUF). The ATR Core Modeling Update Project, targeted for full implementation in phase with the next anticipated ATR Core Internals Changeout (CIC) in the 2014-2015 time frame, began during the last quarter of Fiscal Year 2009, and has just completed its third full year. Key accomplishments so far have encompassed both computational as well as experimental work. A new suite of stochastic and deterministic transport theory based reactor physics codes and their supporting nuclear data libraries (HELIOS, KENO6/SCALE, NEWT/SCALE, ATTILA, and an extended implementation of MCNP5) has been installed at the INL under various licensing arrangements. Corresponding models of the ATR and ATRC are now operational with all five codes, demonstrating the basic feasibility of the new code packages for their intended purpose. Of particular importance, a set of as-run core depletion HELIOS calculations for all ATR cycles since August 2009, Cycle 145A through Cycle 151B, was successfully completed during 2012. This major effort supported a decision late in the year to proceed with the phased incorporation of the HELIOS methodology into the ATR Core Safety Analysis Package (CSAP) preparation process, in parallel with the established PDQ-based methodology, beginning late in Fiscal Year 2012. Acquisition of the advanced SERPENT (VTT-Finland) and MC21 (DOE-NR) Monte Carlo stochastic neutronics simulation codes was also initiated during the year and some initial applications of SERPENT to ATRC experiment analysis were demonstrated. These two new codes will offer significant additional capability, including the possibility of full-3D Monte Carlo fuel management support capabilities for the ATR at some point in the future. Finally, a capability for rigorous sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification based on the TSUNAMI system has been implemented and initial computational results have been obtained. This capability will have many applications as a tool for understanding the margins of uncertainty in the new models as well as for validation experiment design and interpretation.

David W. Nigg, Principal Investigator; Kevin A. Steuhm, Project Manager

2012-09-01

337

Carbon Isotopes of Alkanes in Hydrothermal Abiotic Organic Synthesis Processes at High Temperatures and Pressures: An Experimental Study  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Observation of methane in the Martian atmosphere has been reported by different detection techniques [1-4]. With more evidence showing extensive water-rock interaction in Martian history [5-7], abiotic formation by Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) synthesis during serpentization reactions may be one possible process responsible for methane generation on Mars [8, 9]. While the experimental studies performed to date leave little doubt that chemical reactions exist for the abiotic synthesis of organic compounds by mineral surface-catalyzed reactions [10-12], little is known about the reaction pathways by which CO2 and/or CO are reduced under hydrothermal conditions. Carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements of alkanes have been used as an effective tool to constrain the origin and reaction pathways of hydrocarbon formation. Alkanes generated by thermal breakdown of high molecular weight organic compounds have carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures completely distinct from those formed abiotically [13-15]. Recent experimental studies, however, showed that different abiogenic hydrocarbon formation processes (e.g., polymerization vs. depolymerization) may have different carbon and hydrogen isotopic patterns [16]. Results from previous experiments studying decomposition of higher molecular weight organic compounds (lignite) also suggested that pressure could be a crucial factor affecting fractionation of carbon isotopes [17]. Under high pressure conditions, no experimental data are available describing fractionation of carbon isotope during mineral catalyzed FTT synthesis. Thus, hydrothermal experiments present an excellent opportunity to provide the requisite carbon isotope data. Such data can also be used to identify reaction pathways of abiotic organic synthesis under experimental conditions.

Fu, Qi; Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.

2010-01-01

338

Sun-Earth Day 2005: Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The NASA Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF) annually promotes an event called Sun-Earth Day. For Sun-Earth Day 2005 SECEF has selected a theme called "Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge. This year's Sun-Earth Day theme is your ticket to a fascinating journey through time as we explore centuries of sun watching by a great variety of cultures. From ancient solar motion tracking to modern solar activity monitoring the Sun has always occupied an important spot in mankind's quest to understand the Universe. Sun-Earth Day events usually are centered on the spring equinox around March 21, but this year there has already been a webcast from the San Francisco Exploratorium and the Native American ruins at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico on the day of winter solstice 2004. There will be another webcast on March 20 live from Chichen Itza, Mexico highlighting the solar alignment that makes a serpent appear on one of the ancient pyramids. The website http://sunearthday.nasa.gov has been developed to provide the necessary resources and opportunities for participation by scientists and educators in giving school or general public programs about Sun-Earth Day. The goal is to involve as much of the student population and the public in this event as possible and to help them understand the importance of the Sun for ancient and modern peoples. Through engaging activities available on the website, classrooms and museums can create their own event or participate in one of the opportunities we make available. Scientists, educators, amateur astronomers, and museums are invited to register on the website to receive a free packet of materials about Sun-Earth Day for use in making presentations or programs about the event. Past and future Sun-Earth Days will be discussed as well.

Thieman, J. R.; Cline, T.; Lewis, E.; Hawkins, I.; Odenwald, S.; Mayo, L.

2005-05-01

339

Effect of the Target Motion Sampling Temperature Treatment Method on the Statistics and Performance  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Target Motion Sampling (TMS) is a stochastic on-the-fly temperature treatment technique that is being developed as a part of the Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent. The method provides for modeling of arbitrary temperatures in continuous-energy Monte Carlo tracking routines with only one set of cross sections stored in the computer memory. Previously, only the performance of the TMS method in terms of CPU time per transported neutron has been discussed. Since the effective cross sections are not calculated at any point of a transport simulation with TMS, reaction rate estimators must be scored using sampled cross sections, which is expected to increase the variances and, consequently, to decrease the figures-of-merit. This paper examines the effects of the TMS on the statistics and performance in practical calculations involving reaction rate estimation with collision estimators. Against all expectations it turned out that the usage of sampled response values has no practical effect on the performance of reaction rate estimators when using TMS with elevated basis cross section temperatures (EBT), i.e. the usual way. With 0 Kelvin cross sections a significant increase in the variances of capture rate estimators was observed right below the energy region of unresolved resonances, but at these energies the figures-of-merit could be increased using a simple resampling technique to decrease the variances of the responses. It was, however, noticed that the usage of the TMS method increases the statistical deviances of all estimators, including the flux estimator, by tens of percents in the vicinity of very strong resonances. This effect is actually not related to the usage of sampled responses, but is instead an inherent property of the TMS tracking method and concerns both EBT and 0 K calculations.

Viitanen, Tuomas; Leppänen, Jaakko

2014-06-01

340

CURRENT BUILDUP IN EMERGING SERPENTINE FLUX TUBES  

SciTech Connect

The increase of magnetic flux in the solar atmosphere during active-region formation involves the transport of the magnetic field from the solar convection zone through the lowest layers of the solar atmosphere, through which the plasma {beta} changes from >1 to <1 with altitude. The crossing of this magnetic transition zone requires the magnetic field to adopt a serpentine shape also known as the sea-serpent topology. In the frame of the resistive flux-emergence model, the rising of the magnetic flux is believed to be dynamically driven by a succession of magnetic reconnections which are commonly observed in emerging flux regions as Ellerman bombs. Using a data-driven, three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulation of flux emergence occurring in active region 10191 on 2002 November 16-17, we study the development of 3D electric current sheets. We show that these currents buildup along the 3D serpentine magnetic-field structure as a result of photospheric diverging horizontal line-tied motions that emulate the observed photospheric evolution. We observe that reconnection can not only develop following a pinching evolution of the serpentine field line, as usually assumed in two-dimensional geometry, but can also result from 3D shearing deformation of the magnetic structure. In addition, we report for the first time on the observation in the UV domain with the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) of extremely transient loop-like features, appearing within the emerging flux domain, which link several Ellermam bombs with one another. We argue that these loop transients can be explained as a consequence of the currents that build up along the serpentine magnetic field.

Pariat, E. [Space Weather Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Masson, S.; Aulanier, G. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Universite Paris Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon (France)], E-mail: epariat@helio.gsfc.nasa.gov

2009-08-20

341

Optimizing the implementation of the target motion sampling temperature treatment technique - How fast can it get?  

SciTech Connect

This article discusses the optimization of the target motion sampling (TMS) temperature treatment method, previously implemented in the Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent 2. The TMS method was introduced in [1] and first practical results were presented at the PHYSOR 2012 conference [2]. The method is a stochastic method for taking the effect of thermal motion into account on-the-fly in a Monte Carlo neutron transport calculation. It is based on sampling the target velocities at collision sites and then utilizing the 0 K cross sections at target-at-rest frame for reaction sampling. The fact that the total cross section becomes a distributed quantity is handled using rejection sampling techniques. The original implementation of the TMS requires 2.0 times more CPU time in a PWR pin-cell case than a conventional Monte Carlo calculation relying on pre-broadened effective cross sections. In a HTGR case examined in this paper the overhead factor is as high as 3.6. By first changing from a multi-group to a continuous-energy implementation and then fine-tuning a parameter affecting the conservativity of the majorant cross section, it is possible to decrease the overhead factors to 1.4 and 2.3, respectively. Preliminary calculations are also made using a new and yet incomplete optimization method in which the temperature of the basis cross section is increased above 0 K. It seems that with the new approach it may be possible to decrease the factors even as low as 1.06 and 1.33, respectively, but its functionality has not yet been proven. Therefore, these performance measures should be considered preliminary. (authors)

Tuomas, V.; Jaakko, L. [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland)] [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT (Finland)

2013-07-01

342

Cross-Cultural Astronomy in Informal Education Settings - Collaboration with Integrity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The richness of astronomical knowledge and traditions from diverse cultures can engage participants of all ages and backgrounds. We will present astronomy-focused programs for museums, planetariums, and community centers designed to enhance participation of underserved populations in celebrating the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) in 2009. We will share examples of how the indigenous astronomies from the Southwestern US and Mesoamerica can be juxtaposed with Western astronomy to enhance education efforts and understanding for all audiences. In these examples, the traditional knowledge has been highlighted and incorporated into the realm of innovative and unique multimedia resources that engage students and the public, and which often ignite a deeper and more authentic interest in western astronomy and astrophysics. We will discuss approaches to displaying the Navajo sky in a digital planetarium in a manner that is true to the Navajo worldview and that also presents images and information from Western astronomy. We will share multi-media resources that highlight the importance of solar alignments in architecture and in landscape within the context of the seasons. We will also discuss how we are exploring ways to protect the intellectual property rights of indigenous sky knowledge while making aspects of it available to the general public. Our collaboration upholds the integrity of both Western and Indigenous astronomy knowledge and research protocols, and honors indigenous languages. We will discuss collaborative and relationship-based evaluation strategies emerging from the above efforts and from a new effort, Cosmic Serpent, a professional development program to increase the capacity of museum practitioners to bridge indigenous and western science learning in informal settings. We will provide links and information to access products and programs to engage all audiences in the wonder, complexity, and beauty of our Universe. We acknowledge the generous support of NASA/SMD and NSF DRL/ISE.

Maryboy, Nancy; Hawkins, I.; Begay, D.; Sakimoto, P.

2008-05-01

343

Downscaling of Global Climate Model Output with Dynamic Artificial Neural Networks  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The issues of downscaling the outputs of global circulation model (GCM) to a scale appropriate to hydrological impact studies are investigated using functionally different methods. Three types of dynamic artificial neural networks (DANN) with different inherent representations of temporal information are investigated. Time lagged feedforward neural network (TLFN), and two types of globally recurrent neural networks (Elman and Jordan networks) are proposed for downscaling daily precipitation and temperature series for the Serpent watershed in northern Quebec (Canada). The performance of the optimal DANN model is compared to benchmarks from a statistical downscaling model and a stochastic weather generator. Overall, the downscaling results for the current period (1961-2000) suggest that the TLFN is the most efficient of the DANN models tested for downscaling both daily precipitation as well as daily temperature series. The Elman and Jordan networks performed poorly on precipitation downscaling as compared to the TDNN. Furthermore, the different model test results indicate that the optimal DANN model significantly outperforms the statistical and stochastic models for the downscaling of precipitation whatever the season. However, for minimum and maximum temperature, the TLFN and the statistical model are almost equivalent because the inherent physical process is likely less nonlinear. While changes in precipitation between the current and the future scenarios produced by the TLFN are smaller than those produced by the statistical model (except for the winter), they remain significantly larger than those suggested by the stochastic model. Thus suggesting that the TLFN can be a good trade-off alternative to the other models. Changes in streamflows between current and future periods (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) are also compared and discussed with regard to the downscaling methods.

Coulibaly, P.; Dibike, Y.

2004-05-01

344

High conversion Th-U{sup 233} fuel assembly for current generation of PWRs  

SciTech Connect

This paper presents a preliminary design of a high conversion Th-U{sup 233} fuel assembly applicable for current generation of Pressurized Water Reactor (PWRs). The considered fuel assembly has a typical 17 x 17 PWR lattice. However in order to increase the conversion of Th{sup 232} to U{sup 233}, the assembly was subdivided into the two regions called seed and blanket. The central seed region has a higher than blanket U{sup 233} content and acts as a neutron source for the peripheral blanket region. The latest acts as a U{sup 233} breeder. While the seed fuel pins have a standard dimensions the blanket fuel radius was increased in order to reduce the moderation and to facilitate the resonance neutron absorption in blanket Th{sup 232}. The U{sup 233} content in the seed and blanket regions was optimized to achieve maximal initial to discharged fissile inventory ratio (FIR) taking into account the target fuel cycle length of 12 months with 3-batch reloading scheme. In this study the neutronic calculations were performed on the fuel assembly level using Helios deterministic lattice transport code. The fuel cycle length and the core k{sub eff} were estimated by applying the Non Linear Reactivity Model. The applicability of the HELIOS code for the analysis of the Th-based high conversion designs was confirmed with the help of continuous-energy Monte-Carlo code SERPENT. The results of optimization studies show that for the heterogeneous seed and blanket (SB) fuel assembly the FIR of about 0.95 can be achieved. (authors)

Baldova, D.; Fridman, E. [Reactor Safety Div., Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, POB 510119, Dresden, 01314 (Germany)

2012-07-01

345

Isotopic change in the tissues of Bothrops atrox in captivity collected from environments of the eastern Amazon  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Bothrops atrox is little studied because it is sympatric Amazonian animals, and very little is known about the ecology and natural history of this species. It has a generalist diet and the distribution of this species is very wide. The adult animals forage mostly on the ground, while the younger animals prefer to stay on the vegetation. They are easily find in the rainy months in areas near lakes and seasonally flooded and are difficult to find in the driest months, a period where there is less availability of preys in these environments. Due to its aggressiveness, is considered one of the most feared snakes in South America and in the eastern Amazon, being responsible for the largest number of snakebites in the region. Through stable isotope carbon-13 and nitrogen-15, is intended to characterize the variations of the feeding habits of these collected animals in different environments and also when they are kept in captivity, feeding the animal's bioterium. The serpents were collected in environments with different land uses, such as native forest, savannah, pasture and have been brought to the serpentarium Integrated College Tapajos (FIT), being retained in order to Samplings throughout the experiment with feeding mice's own bioterium. When these snakes came from different locations, samples were collected scales and blood (T0), before receiving the new supply (captive), and every time we fed the mice the vivarium, new tissue samples were collected, (T1, T2, T3) to exchange all the nature of food for the food captivity.Based on the results of ?13C and ?15N, the samples collected in the tissues of snakes of different environments (nature and captivity), it was observed that changes in food sources reflect changes in tissues (blood and scales), also reflecting the production of poison different periods of turnover of absorbed material in those tissues, contributing to the study of animal ecology and behavior in relation to habitat.

Martinez, M. G.; Chalkidis, H. D.; Amazonas, D. R.; da Silva, A. M.; De Oliveira, R., Jr.; Camargo, P. B.

2013-12-01

346

Isotopic analysis of Bothrops atrox in Amazonian forest  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The poisoning of snakes is considered a public health problem, especially in populations from rural areas of tropical and subtropical countries. In Brazil, the 26,000 snakebites, 90% are of the genus Bothrops, and Bothrops atrox species predominant in the Amazon region including all the Brazilian Amazon. Research shows that using stable isotopes, we can verify the isotopic composition of tissues of animals that depend mainly on food, water ingested and inhaled gases. For this study, samples taken from Bothrops atrox (B. atrox), in forest using pitfall traps and fall ("Pitt-fall traps with drift fence"). The analyzes were performed by mass spectrometry, where the analytical error is 0.3‰ for carbon and 0.5‰ to nitrogen. The results of the forest animals are significantly different from results of animal vivarium. The average values of the tissues and venoms of snakes of the forest for carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 are: ?13C = -24.68‰ and ?15N = 14.22‰ and mean values of tissue and poisons snakes vivarium (Instituto Butantan) to carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 are ?13C = -20.47‰ and ?15N = 8.36‰, with a significantly different due to different sources of food animals. Based on all results isotopic ?13C and ?15N, we can suggest that changes as the power of the serpent, (nature and captivity), changes occur in relation to diet and environment as the means of the isotopic data are quite distinct, showing that these changes can also cause metabolic changes in the body of the animal itself and the different periods of turnover of each tissue analyzed.

Martinez, M. G.; Silva, A. M.; Chalkidis, H.; de Oliveira Júnior, R. C.; Camargo, P. B.

2012-12-01

347

Tsetse Immune System Maturation Requires the Presence of Obligate Symbionts in Larvae  

PubMed Central

Beneficial microbial symbionts serve important functions within their hosts, including dietary supplementation and maintenance of immune system homeostasis. Little is known about the mechanisms that enable these bacteria to induce specific host phenotypes during development and into adulthood. Here we used the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans, and its obligate mutualist, Wigglesworthia glossinidia, to investigate the co-evolutionary adaptations that influence the development of host physiological processes. Wigglesworthia is maternally transmitted to tsetse's intrauterine larvae through milk gland secretions. We can produce flies that lack Wigglesworthia (GmmWgm?) yet retain their other symbiotic microbes. Such offspring give rise to adults that exhibit a largely normal phenotype, with the exception being that they are reproductively sterile. Our results indicate that when reared under normal environmental conditions GmmWgm? adults are also immuno-compromised and highly susceptible to hemocoelic E. coli infections while age-matched wild-type individuals are refractory. Adults that lack Wigglesworthia during larval development exhibit exceptionally compromised cellular and humoral immune responses following microbial challenge, including reduced expression of genes that encode antimicrobial peptides (cecropin and attacin), hemocyte-mediated processes (thioester-containing proteins 2 and 4 and prophenoloxidase), and signal-mediating molecules (inducible nitric oxide synthase). Furthermore, GmmWgm? adults harbor a reduced population of sessile and circulating hemocytes, a phenomenon that likely results from a significant decrease in larval expression of serpent and lozenge, both of which are associated with the process of early hemocyte differentiation. Our results demonstrate that Wigglesworthia must be present during the development of immature progeny in order for the immune system to function properly in adult tsetse. This phenomenon provides evidence of yet another important physiological adaptation that further anchors the obligate symbiosis between tsetse and Wigglesworthia.

Weiss, Brian L.; Wang, Jingwen; Aksoy, Serap

2011-01-01

348

Organization and operation of the marine ornamental fish and invertebrate export fishery in Puerto Rico.  

PubMed

This fishery was examined utilizing public records, stakeholder interviews, and operational site visits to describe the fishery for the Puerto Rico Coral Reef Advisory Committee as a first step toward development of policies for the effective management of these natural resources. The fishery is not large, including fewer than 20 licensed fishers operating primarily on the west end of the island. Only three operators export product, with the remaining fishers providing specimens to the exporters based upon customer orders. Most collection of coral reef species occurs over hard rubble zones mixed with relic reef structures and rock, or on the sides and frontal areas of active reefs. Other species are collected from among mangrove prop root zones, tidal flats, and seagrass beds. Collections are made using simple barrier and dip nets for fish and motile invertebrates such as shrimp. Invertebrates such as crabs, starfish, and sea cucumbers are commonly collected by overturning small rocks, gathering the specimens, and then replacing the rocks in their original positions. Specimens are carried to the boat and transferred to individual cup holders to maximize survival. Although statements concerning former use of chemicals to assist capture were noted, no evidence of current chemical use was observed. Specimens are held in re-circulating seawater systems onshore until collections are aggregated and shipped. The fishery strives to operate with mortality of<1%, as mortalities of>3% are described as unacceptable to customers. More than 100 fish species are collected in this fishery, but the top ten species account for >70% of the total numbers and >60% of the total value of the fishery, with a single species, Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma), comprising >40% of the numbers. More than 100 species of invertebrates are collected, but this fishery is also dominated by a handful of species, including anemones, hermit crabs, turbo snails, serpent starfish, and feather duster polychaetes. PMID:17465154

Legorel, Richard S; Hardin, Mark P; Ter-Ghazaryan, Diana

2005-05-01

349

Phylogeography of the Mekong mud snake (Enhydris subtaeniata): the biogeographic importance of dynamic river drainages and fluctuating sea levels for semiaquatic taxa in Indochina  

PubMed Central

During the Cenozoic, Southeast Asia was profoundly affected by plate tectonic events, dynamic river systems, fluctuating sea levels, shifting coastlines, and climatic variation, which have influenced the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of the Southeast Asian flora and fauna. We examined the role of these paleogeographic factors on shaping phylogeographic patterns focusing on a species of semiaquatic snake, Enhydris subtaeniata (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) using sequence data from three mitochondrial fragments (cytochrome b, ND4, and ATPase—2785 bp). We sampled E. subtaeniata from seven locations in three river drainage basins that encompassed most of this species’ range. Genetic diversities were typically low within locations but high across locations. Moreover, each location had a unique suite of haplotypes not shared among locations, and pairwise ?ST values (0.713–0.998) were highly significant between all location pairs. Relationships among phylogroups were well resolved and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed strong geographical partitioning of genetic variance among the three river drainage basins surveyed. The genetic differences observed among the populations of E. subtaeniata were likely shaped by the Quaternary landscapes of Indochina and the Sunda Shelf. Historically, the middle and lower Mekong consisted of strongly dissected river valleys separated by low mountain ranges and much of the Sunda Shelf consisted of lowland river valleys that served to connect faunas associated with major regional rivers. It is thus likely that the contemporary genetic patterns observed among populations of E. subtaeniata are the result of their histories in a complex terrain that created abundant opportunities for genetic isolation and divergence yet also provided lowland connections across now drowned river valleys.

Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Osterhage, Jennifer L; Karns, Daryl R; Murphy, John C; Voris, Harold K

2011-01-01

350

Phylogeography of the Mekong mud snake (Enhydris subtaeniata): the biogeographic importance of dynamic river drainages and fluctuating sea levels for semiaquatic taxa in Indochina.  

PubMed

During the Cenozoic, Southeast Asia was profoundly affected by plate tectonic events, dynamic river systems, fluctuating sea levels, shifting coastlines, and climatic variation, which have influenced the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of the Southeast Asian flora and fauna. We examined the role of these paleogeographic factors on shaping phylogeographic patterns focusing on a species of semiaquatic snake, Enhydris subtaeniata (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) using sequence data from three mitochondrial fragments (cytochrome b, ND4, and ATPase-2785 bp). We sampled E. subtaeniata from seven locations in three river drainage basins that encompassed most of this species' range. Genetic diversities were typically low within locations but high across locations. Moreover, each location had a unique suite of haplotypes not shared among locations, and pairwise ?(ST) values (0.713-0.998) were highly significant between all location pairs. Relationships among phylogroups were well resolved and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed strong geographical partitioning of genetic variance among the three river drainage basins surveyed. The genetic differences observed among the populations of E. subtaeniata were likely shaped by the Quaternary landscapes of Indochina and the Sunda Shelf. Historically, the middle and lower Mekong consisted of strongly dissected river valleys separated by low mountain ranges and much of the Sunda Shelf consisted of lowland river valleys that served to connect faunas associated with major regional rivers. It is thus likely that the contemporary genetic patterns observed among populations of E. subtaeniata are the result of their histories in a complex terrain that created abundant opportunities for genetic isolation and divergence yet also provided lowland connections across now drowned river valleys. PMID:22393504

Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Osterhage, Jennifer L; Karns, Daryl R; Murphy, John C; Voris, Harold K

2011-11-01

351

Evolution of the mitochondrial genome in snakes: Gene rearrangements and phylogenetic relationships  

PubMed Central

Background Snakes as a major reptile group display a variety of morphological characteristics pertaining to their diverse behaviours. Despite abundant analyses of morphological characters, molecular studies using mitochondrial and nuclear genes are limited. As a result, the phylogeny of snakes remains controversial. Previous studies on mitochondrial genomes of snakes have demonstrated duplication of the control region and translocation of trnL to be two notable features of the alethinophidian (all serpents except blindsnakes and threadsnakes) mtDNAs. Our purpose is to further investigate the gene organizations, evolution of the snake mitochondrial genome, and phylogenetic relationships among several major snake families. Results The mitochondrial genomes were sequenced for four taxa representing four different families, and each had a different gene arrangement. Comparative analyses with other snake mitochondrial genomes allowed us to summarize six types of mitochondrial gene arrangement in snakes. Phylogenetic reconstruction with commonly used methods of phylogenetic inference (BI, ML, MP, NJ) arrived at a similar topology, which was used to reconstruct the evolution of mitochondrial gene arrangements in snakes. Conclusion The phylogenetic relationships among the major families of snakes are in accordance with the mitochondrial genomes in terms of gene arrangements. The gene arrangement in Ramphotyphlops braminus mtDNA is inferred to be ancestral for snakes. After the divergence of the early Ramphotyphlops lineage, three types of rearrangements occurred. These changes involve translocations within the IQM tRNA gene cluster and the duplication of the CR. All phylogenetic methods support the placement of Enhydris plumbea outside of the (Colubridae + Elapidae) cluster, providing mitochondrial genomic evidence for the familial rank of Homalopsidae.

Yan, Jie; Li, Hongdan; Zhou, Kaiya

2008-01-01

352

Transcriptomic analysis of the venom gland of the red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps) using expressed sequence tags  

PubMed Central

Background The Red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps, Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae) is a medically important venomous snake that inhabits South-East Asia. Although the venoms of most species of the snake genus Bungarus have been well characterized, a detailed compositional analysis of B. flaviceps is currently lacking. Results Here, we have sequenced 845 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the venom gland of a B. flaviceps. Of the transcripts, 74.8% were putative toxins; 20.6% were cellular; and 4.6% were unknown. The main venom protein families identified were three-finger toxins (3FTxs), Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors (including chain B of ?-bungarotoxin), phospholipase A2 (including chain A of ?-bungarotoxin), natriuretic peptide (NP), CRISPs, and C-type lectin. Conclusion The 3FTxs were found to be the major component of the venom (39%). We found eight groups of unique 3FTxs and most of them were different from the well-characterized 3FTxs. We found three groups of Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors (SPIs); one group was comparable to the classical SPIs and the other two groups to chain B of ?-bungarotoxins (with or without the extra cysteine) based on sequence identity. The latter group may be functional equivalents of dendrotoxins in Bungarus venoms. The natriuretic peptide (NP) found is the first NP for any Asian elapid, and distantly related to Australian elapid NPs. Our study identifies several unique toxins in B. flaviceps venom, which may help in understanding the evolution of venom toxins and the pathophysiological symptoms induced after envenomation.

2010-01-01

353

Stellar  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

This eerie, dark structure, resembling an imaginary sea serpent's head, is a column of cool molecular hydrogen gas (two atoms of hydrogen in each molecule) and dust that is an incubator for new stars. The stars are embedded inside finger-like protrusions extending from the top of the nebula. Each 'fingertip' is somewhat larger than our own solar system. The pillar is slowly eroding away by the ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars, a process called 'photoevaporation.' As it does, small globules of especially dense gas buried within the cloud is uncovered. These globules have been dubbed 'EGGs' -- an acronym for 'Evaporating Gaseous Globules.' The shadows of the EGGs protect gas behind them, resulting in the finger-like structures at the top of the cloud. Forming inside at least some of the EGGs are embryonic stars -- stars that abruptly stop growing when the EGGs are uncovered and they are separated from the larger reservoir of gas from which they were drawing mass. Eventually the stars emerge, as the EGGs themselves succumb to photoevaporation. The stellar EGGS are found, appropriately enough, in the 'Eagle Nebula' (also called M16 -- the 16th object in Charles Messier's 18th century catalog of 'fuzzy' permanent objects in the sky), a nearby star-forming region 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. The picture was taken on April 1, 1995 with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The color image is constructed from three separate images taken in the light of emission from different types of atoms. Red shows emission from singly-ionized sulfur atoms. Green shows emission from hydrogen. Blue shows light emitted by doubly-ionized oxygen atoms.

1995-01-01

354

Chemical and isotopic constraints on water/rock interactions at the Lost City hydrothermal field, 30°N Mid-Atlantic Ridge  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Low temperature vent fluids (<91 °C) issuing from the ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal system at Lost City, 30°N Mid-Atlantic Ridge, are enriched in dissolved volatiles (H 2,CH 4) while attaining elevated pH values, indicative of the serpentization processes that govern water/rock interactions deep in the oceanic crust. Here, we present a series of theoretical models to evaluate the extent of hydrothermal alteration and assess the effect of cooling on the systematics of pH-controlled B aqueous species. Peridotite-seawater equilibria calculations indicate that the mineral assemblage composed of diopside, brucite and chrysotile likely dictates fluid pH at moderate temperature serpentinization processes (<300 °C), by imposing constraints on the aCa ++/ a2H + ratios and the activity of dissolved SiO 2. Based on Sr abundances and the 87Sr/ 86Sr isotope ratios of vent fluids reported from Lost City, estimated water/rock mass ratios (w/r = 2-4) are consistent with published models involving dissolved CO 2 and alkane concentrations. Combining the reported ? 18O values of vent fluids (0.7‰) with such w/r mass ratios, allows us to bracket subseafloor reaction temperatures in the vicinity of 250 °C. These estimates are in agreement with previous theoretical studies supporting extensive conductive heat loss within the upflow zones. Experimental studies on peridotite-seawater alteration suggest that fluid pH increases during cooling which then rapidly enhances boron removal from solution and incorporation into secondary phases, providing an explanation for the highly depleted dissolved boron concentrations measured in the low temperature but alkaline Lost City vent fluids. Finally, to account for the depleted 11B composition (? 11B ˜25-30‰) of vent fluids relative to seawater, isotopic fractionation between tetrahedrally coordinated aqueous boron species with BO 3-bearing mineral sites (e.g. in calcite, brucite) is proposed.

Foustoukos, Dionysis I.; Savov, Ivan P.; Janecky, David R.

2008-11-01

355

Peptidomics of three Bothrops snake venoms: insights into the molecular diversification of proteomes and peptidomes.  

PubMed

Snake venom proteomes/peptidomes are highly complex and maintenance of their integrity within the gland lumen is crucial for the expression of toxin activities. There has been considerable progress in the field of venom proteomics, however, peptidomics does not progress as fast, because of the lack of comprehensive venom sequence databases for analysis of MS data. Therefore, in many cases venom peptides have to be sequenced manually by MS/MS analysis or Edman degradation. This is critical for rare snake species, as is the case of Bothrops cotiara (BC) and B. fonsecai (BF), which are regarded as near threatened with extinction. In this study we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the venom peptidomes of BC, BF, and B. jararaca (BJ) using a combination of solid-phase extraction and reversed-phase HPLC to fractionate the peptides, followed by nano-liquid chromatography-tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) or direct infusion electrospray ionization-(ESI)-MS/MS or MALDI-MS/MS analyses. We detected marked differences in the venom peptidomes and identified peptides ranging from 7 to 39 residues in length by de novo sequencing. Forty-four unique sequences were manually identified, out of which 30 are new peptides, including 17 bradykinin-potentiating peptides, three poly-histidine-poly-glycine peptides and interestingly, 10 L-amino acid oxidase fragments. Some of the new bradykinin-potentiating peptides display significant bradykinin potentiating activity. Automated database search revealed fragments from several toxins in the peptidomes, mainly from l-amino acid oxidase, and allowed the determination of the peptide bond specificity of proteinases and amino acid occurrences for the P4-P4' sites. We also demonstrate that the venom lyophilization/resolubilization process greatly increases the complexity of the peptidome because of the imbalance caused to the venom proteome and the consequent activity of proteinases on venom components. The use of proteinase inhibitors clearly showed different outcomes in the peptidome characterization and suggested that degradomic-peptidomic analysis of snake venoms is highly sensitive to the conditions of sampling procedures. PMID:22869554

Tashima, Alexandre K; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S; Ianzer, Danielle; Melo, Robson L; Rioli, Vanessa; Sant'anna, Sávio S; Schenberg, Ana C G; Camargo, Antônio C M; Serrano, Solange M T

2012-11-01

356

Insights into cardiovascular effects of proline-rich oligopeptide (Bj-PRO-10c) revealed by structure-activity analyses: dissociation of antihypertensive and bradycardic effects.  

PubMed

We have previously reported that the proline-rich decapeptide from Bothrops jararaca (Bj-PRO-10c) causes potent and sustained antihypertensive and bradycardic effects in SHR. These activities are independent of ACE inhibition. In the present study, we used the Ala-scan approach to evaluate the importance of each amino acid within the sequence of Bj-PRO-10c (Pyr(1)-Asn(2)-Trp(3)-Pro(4)-His(5)-Pro(6)-Gln(7)-Ile(8)-Pro(9)-Pro(10)). The antihypertensive and bradycardic effects of the analogues Bj-PRO-10c Ala(3), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(7), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(8) were similar to those of Bj-PRO-10c, whereas the analogues Bj-PRO-10c Ala(2), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(4), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(5), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(9), and Bj-PRO-10c Ala(10) kept the antihypertensive activity and lost bradycardic activity considerably. In contrast, Bj-PRO-10c Ala(1) and Bj-PRO-10c Ala(6) were unable to provoke any cardiovascular activity. In summary, we demonstrated that (1) the Pyr(1) and Pro(6) residues are essential for both, the antihypertensive and bradycardic effects of Bj-PRO-10c; (2) Ala-scan approach allowed dissociating blood pressure reduction and bradycardic effects. Conformational properties of the peptides were examined by means of circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The different Ala-scan analogues caused either an increase or decrease in the type II polyproline helix content compared to Bj-PRO-10c. The complete loss of activity of the Pro(6) ? Ala(6) mutant is probably due to the fact that in the parent peptide the His(5)-Pro(6) bond can exist in the cis configuration, which could correspond to the conformation of this bond in the bound state. Current data support the Bj-PRO-10c as a promising leader prototype to develop new agents to treat cardiovascular diseases and its co-morbidities. PMID:24337901

Paschoal, Juliana F B; Yamaguchi, Juliana; Miranda, José R R; Carretero, Gustavo; Melo, Robson L; Santos, Robson A S; Xavier, Carlos H; Schreier, Shirley; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ianzer, Danielle

2014-02-01

357

Peptidomics of Three Bothrops Snake Venoms: Insights Into the Molecular Diversification of Proteomes and Peptidomes*  

PubMed Central

Snake venom proteomes/peptidomes are highly complex and maintenance of their integrity within the gland lumen is crucial for the expression of toxin activities. There has been considerable progress in the field of venom proteomics, however, peptidomics does not progress as fast, because of the lack of comprehensive venom sequence databases for analysis of MS data. Therefore, in many cases venom peptides have to be sequenced manually by MS/MS analysis or Edman degradation. This is critical for rare snake species, as is the case of Bothrops cotiara (BC) and B. fonsecai (BF), which are regarded as near threatened with extinction. In this study we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the venom peptidomes of BC, BF, and B. jararaca (BJ) using a combination of solid-phase extraction and reversed-phase HPLC to fractionate the peptides, followed by nano-liquid chromatography-tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) or direct infusion electrospray ionization-(ESI)-MS/MS or MALDI-MS/MS analyses. We detected marked differences in the venom peptidomes and identified peptides ranging from 7 to 39 residues in length by de novo sequencing. Forty-four unique sequences were manually identified, out of which 30 are new peptides, including 17 bradykinin-potentiating peptides, three poly-histidine-poly-glycine peptides and interestingly, 10 l-amino acid oxidase fragments. Some of the new bradykinin-potentiating peptides display significant bradykinin potentiating activity. Automated database search revealed fragments from several toxins in the peptidomes, mainly from l-amino acid oxidase, and allowed the determination of the peptide bond specificity of proteinases and amino acid occurrences for the P4-P4? sites. We also demonstrate that the venom lyophilization/resolubilization process greatly increases the complexity of the peptidome because of the imbalance caused to the venom proteome and the consequent activity of proteinases on venom components. The use of proteinase inhibitors clearly showed different outcomes in the peptidome characterization and suggested that degradomic-peptidomic analysis of snake venoms is highly sensitive to the conditions of sampling procedures.

Tashima, Alexandre K.; Zelanis, Andre; Kitano, Eduardo S.; Ianzer, Danielle; Melo, Robson L.; Rioli, Vanessa; Sant'anna, Savio S.; Schenberg, Ana C. G.; Camargo, Antonio C. M.; Serrano, Solange M. T.

2012-01-01

358

Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of Costa Rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing  

PubMed Central

Background A long term research goal of venomics, of applied importance for improving current antivenom therapy, but also for drug discovery, is to understand the pharmacological potential of venoms. Individually or combined, proteomic and transcriptomic studies have demonstrated their feasibility to explore in depth the molecular diversity of venoms. In the absence of genome sequence, transcriptomes represent also valuable searchable databases for proteomic projects. Results The venom gland transcriptomes of 8 Costa Rican taxa from 5 genera (Crotalus, Bothrops, Atropoides, Cerrophidion, and Bothriechis) of pitvipers were investigated using high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing. 100,394 out of 330,010 masked reads produced significant hits in the available databases. 5.165,220 nucleotides (8.27%) were masked by RepeatMasker, the vast majority of which corresponding to class I (retroelements) and class II (DNA transposons) mobile elements. BLAST hits included 79,991 matches to entries of the taxonomic suborder Serpentes, of which 62,433 displayed similarity to documented venom proteins. Strong discrepancies between the transcriptome-computed and the proteome-gathered toxin compositions were obvious at first sight. Although the reasons underlaying this discrepancy are elusive, since no clear trend within or between species is apparent, the data indicate that individual mRNA species may be translationally controlled in a species-dependent manner. The minimum number of genes from each toxin family transcribed into the venom gland transcriptome of each species was calculated from multiple alignments of reads matched to a full-length reference sequence of each toxin family. Reads encoding ORF regions of Kazal-type inhibitor-like proteins were uniquely found in Bothriechis schlegelii and B. lateralis transcriptomes, suggesting a genus-specific recruitment event during the early-Middle Miocene. A transcriptome-based cladogram supports the large divergence between A. mexicanus and A. picadoi, and a closer kinship between A. mexicanus and C. godmani. Conclusions Our comparative next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis reveals taxon-specific trends governing the formulation of the venom arsenal. Knowledge of the venom proteome provides hints on the translation efficiency of toxin-coding transcripts, contributing thereby to a more accurate interpretation of the transcriptome. The application of NGS to the analysis of snake venom transcriptomes, may represent the tool for opening the door to systems venomics.

2011-01-01

359

Polarimetry of sunspot penumbrae with high spatial resolution  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We present two-dimensional high-spatial-resolution spectropolarimetric observations of sunspot penumbrae. They were obtained in April 2002 and May 2003 with the "Göttingen" Fabry-Pérot spectrometer at the Vacuum Tower Telescope at the Observatorio del Teide (Tenerife). Speckle methods were applied for image reconstruction which resulted in a spatial resolution of 0.5 arcsec in the magnetograms of the penumbrae. We analysed Stokes I and V profiles of the Fe II 6149 Å line, which exhibits no instrumental Stokes Q/U? V crosstalk, and of the Fe I line pair at 6302 Å. The main results are the following: 1) on scales larger than 0.5 arcsec, the intensity pattern of penumbrae stays the same in the continuum and core images of the 6301.5 Å line, which stem from 0 km and 300 km (above ?_5=1), respectively. Yet at scales of 0.5 arcsec and smaller the pattern in the two spectral features is clearly different. 2) On the limb side of sunspots the Evershed flow is carried by dark filaments and on the centre side by bright features and their somewhat weakened tails. We explain this with a picture in which the velocity of hot rising gas is best seen on the centre side, while on the limb side the horizontal outward and possibly downward flows are seen when the gas has cooled down. 3) The un-combed structure of the magnetic field is confirmed. On the limb side, the more horizontal fields coincide with dark fibrils or with diffuse intensity structures. Generally, the more horizontal fields are located at the positions of strong outflows. 4) Strong line-of-sight components of the magnetic fields are not found in bright filaments but in dark structures, somewhat displaced from the darkest parts. Their positions do not coincide with those of the strongest velocity fields. In general, our results are compatible with the picture of low lying flow channels coincident with the horizontal magnetic field, or possibly emerging and diving down into sub-photospheric layers, like a "sea serpent". Some further dynamic phenomena are discussed, which demonstrate the richness of processes in penumbrae, and reveal unexpected properties.

Bello González, N.; Okunev, O. V.; Domínguez Cerdeña, I.; Kneer, F.; Puschmann, K. G.

2005-04-01

360

Snake Venom  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The following collection of Web sites explores the properties and novel medical uses of snake venom. The first Web site (1), a ThinkQuest prizewinner, is one part of a well-crafted and informative guide to the earth's poisonous plants and animals. This particular Web page offers a good introduction to snake venom, including a table detailing the effect and concentration of the different proteins found in venom that can kill or paralyze prey. The next Web site comes from The Reptile House, a commercial breeder and supplier of reptiles and amphibians, and presents photos and facts about the ten deadliest snakes on the planet (2). A straightforward description of the three types of venomous snakes (opisthoglyphs, proteroglyphs, and solenoglyphs) and a short overview of the properties of venom is available from www.venomous.com, a privately hosted Web site (3). The next Web site comes from the online companion to the PBS Nature documentary: The Serpent's Tooth (4). The site contains an engaging article about the intrepid Bill Haast, director of the Miami Serpentarium, who "has been bitten by venomous snakes more than 160 times -- and lived to tell the tale." Howard Reinert, another snake biologist and (surprise!) snakebite victim, relates his experiences with a "dry" bite and the real thing in the next Web site from AnimalPlanet.com (5). The site also includes audio segments of experts discussing the physiological effects of snake venom and what to do if bitten by a rattlesnake. Is rattlesnake venom evolving? Research suggests that North American rattlesnake venom has become increasingly potent -- the focus of an interesting article from the American Museum of Natural History (6). The article also provides a detailed introduction to rattlesnakes and their deadly venom. Scientists around the world have been exploring the possible medicinal uses of venom, and not just for antivenin. The last two Web sites relate just some of the work being done in this area. The BBC news article recounts efforts to determine whether certain snake venoms contain chemicals that could prevent heart attacks and strokes (7). Likewise, scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Center (8) have found a protein in snake venom that could offer a way to explore how nicotine and other drugs turn on the "pleasure centers" of the brain.

Sohmer, Rachel.

2003-01-01

361

Clear New View of a Classic Spiral  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

ESO is releasing a beautiful image of the nearby galaxy Messier 83 taken by the HAWK-I instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The picture shows the galaxy in infrared light and demonstrates the impressive power of the camera to create one of the sharpest and most detailed pictures of Messier 83 ever taken from the ground. The galaxy Messier 83 (eso0825) is located about 15 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (the Sea Serpent). It spans over 40 000 light-years, only 40 percent the size of the Milky Way, but in many ways is quite similar to our home galaxy, both in its spiral shape and the presence of a bar of stars across its centre. Messier 83 is famous among astronomers for its many supernovae: vast explosions that end the lives of some stars. Over the last century, six supernovae have been observed in Messier 83 - a record number that is matched by only one other galaxy. Even without supernovae, Messier 83 is one of the brightest nearby galaxies, visible using just binoculars. Messier 83 has been observed in the infrared part of the spectrum using HAWK-I [1], a powerful camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). When viewed in infrared light most of the obscuring dust that hides much of Messier 83 becomes transparent. The brightly lit gas around hot young stars in the spiral arms is also less prominent in infrared pictures. As a result much more of the structure of the galaxy and the vast hordes of its constituent stars can be seen. This clear view is important for astronomers looking for clusters of young stars, especially those hidden in dusty regions of the galaxy. Studying such star clusters was one of the main scientific goals of these observations [2]. When compared to earlier images, the acute vision of HAWK-I reveals far more stars within the galaxy. The combination of the huge mirror of the VLT, the large field of view and great sensitivity of the camera, and the superb observing conditions at ESO's Paranal Observatory makes HAWK-I one of the most powerful near-infrared imagers in the world. Astronomers are eagerly queuing up for the chance to use the camera, which began operation in 2007 (eso0736), and to get some of the best ground-based infrared images ever of the night sky. Notes [1] HAWK-I stands for High-Acuity Wide-field K-band Imager. More technical details about the camera can be found in an earlier press release (eso0736). [2] The data used to prepare this image were acquired by a team led by Mark Gieles (University of Cambridge) and Yuri Beletsky (ESO). Mischa Schirmer (University of Bonn) performed the challenging data processing. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

2010-05-01

362

How to Steal a Million Stars?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Based on observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope, a team of Italian astronomers reports [1] that the stellar cluster Messier 12 must have lost to our Milky Way galaxy close to one million low-mass stars. ESO PR Photo 04a/06 ESO PR Photo 04a/06 The Central Part of Messier 12 "In the solar neighbourhood and in most stellar clusters, the least massive stars are the most common, and by far", said Guido De Marchi (ESA), lead author of the study. "Our observations with ESO's VLT show this is not the case for Messier 12." The team, which also includes Luigi Pulone and Francesco Paresce (INAF, Italy), measured the brightness and colours of more than 16,000 stars within the globular cluster Messier 12 [2] with the FORS1 multi-mode instrument attached to one of the Unit Telescopes of ESO's VLT at Cerro Paranal (Chile). The astronomers could study stars that are 40 million times fainter than what the unaided eye can see (magnitude 25). Located at a distance of 23,000 light years in the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent-holder), Messier 12 got its name by being the 12th entry in the catalogue of nebulous objects compiled in 1774 by French astronomer and comet chaser Charles Messier. It is also known to astronomers as NGC 6218 and contains about 200,000 stars, most of them having a mass between 20 and 80 percent of the mass of the Sun. "It is however clear that Messier 12 is surprisingly devoid of low-mass stars", said De Marchi. "For each solar-like star, we would expect roughly four times as many stars with half that mass. Our VLT observations only show an equal number of stars of different masses." ESO PR Photo 04b/06 ESO PR Photo 04b/06 Loosing Stars in the Milky Way Globular clusters move in extended elliptical orbits that periodically take them through the densely populated regions of our Galaxy, the plane, then high above and below, in the 'halo'. When venturing too close to the innermost and denser regions of the Milky Way, the 'bulge', a globular cluster can be perturbed, the smallest stars being ripped away. "We estimate that Messier 12 lost four times as many stars as it still has", said Francesco Paresce. "That is, roughly one million stars must have been ejected into the halo of our Milky Way." The total remaining lifetime of Messier 12 is predicted to be about 4.5 billion years, i.e. about a third of its present age. This is very short compared to the typical expected globular cluster's lifetime, which is about 20 billion years. The same team of astronomers had found in 1999, another example of a globular cluster that lost a large fraction of its original content (see ESO PR 04/99). The scientists hope to discover and study many more clusters like these, since catching clusters while being disrupted should clarify the dynamics of the process that shaped the halo of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. High resolution images and their captions are available on this page. A press release on this is also issued by INAF in Italian and is available at www.inaf.it/comunicati_stampa/cs070206/Inaf-04-06.html.

2006-02-01

363

Latest climate changes in Romania :tornadoes  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Latest climate changes in Romania :tornadoes As climate change has been considered a research priority in the European Strategy for enduring development , I have done a detailed research with my students of the new climate change that has been going on in Romania for the past decade. More precisely I have studied together with my students the phenomenon of tornadoes that have seriously affected on some occasions some our our country's locations, such as Facaeni, in the county of Ialomita, in August 2002. A quite unusual phenomenon occurred on that location situated at 44.56 degrees northern latitude and at 27.89 degrees eastern longitude, that caused severe damage to the local environment and three persons lost their lives in the process, as well as other thirty people suffering from bad injuries. The magnitude of that strong phenomenon rose on the Fujita scale at level F3 which implied wing gusts between 252-300 km/ hour . A main cause of occurrence of such a severe weather was the difference in temperature of two huge air masses, one of Polar origin, and other coming from tropical latitudes . Their crossroads was on that precise territory of Romania. The duration of the worst part of the tornado path lasted only for two minutes, but the consequences of its passage were colossal : total destruction of 33 households, and other 395 were partially damaged, 1,000 people afflicted by the devastation and 100 acres of acacia tree forest ripped off the ground. The first ever recorded tornado phenomenon in Romania was around 1894-1896, considered at that time " a freak of nature" was seen as a cloud formation abnormality , an uncontrolled force of nature that had a huge impact , and at the same time, it vanished into "thin air " fast. The most affected areas in Romania by tornadoes are the south-eastern planes where the cloud formations can create fast columns of air rotating up to 500 km/hour. The local people compared the cloud funnels created on the planes to "serpents " that eat and spit out roofs, animals, trucks and concrete road poles. I have minutely searched with my students all the data of that tornado, the direction of wind gusts, we have calculated the force of the impact by studying the photos taken on that occasion. I have also done some research on other tornadoes that have taken place In Movilita and Brezoaele the past years. I have studied the increase of the centrifugal force and that of Coriolis in the context of repetition of such dangerous atmospheric phenomena that showed their apparition as ten per year in Romania. Therefore the average Coriolis parameter is 10?4 s?1, for a typical atmospheric speed of 10 m/s (22 mph) the radius is 100 km (62 mi), with a period of about 17 hours. The lowering of the air pressure occurring on such occasions has been one of my concerns as well the the speed of the cloud column rotation. All these phenomena are the effect of the climate change occurring all over our Planet due to pollution. As you can see the devastation produced by such extreme climate lead to spontaneous floods and later desertification on the south-eastern part of our country. References : 1. Craciun, Cristina, Bala, Bogdan, Tornadele din Romania, http://dezechilibrenaturale.blogspot.ro/2013/02/tornadele-din-romania.html 2. Bell, Aurora, Tornadele in Romania, http://vremea.meteoromania.ro/node/33 3. Lemon, R. Leslie, Stan-Sion, Aurora, Soci , Cornel, Corduneanu, Elena, A strong, long -track, Romanian tornado, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169809503000632 Author : Mrs. Elena Pop, Science teacher at "Lucian Blaga" Secondary School, Ocna Mures, Romania

Pop, Elena

2014-05-01

364

First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analysed  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The atmosphere around a super-Earth exoplanet has been analysed for the first time by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope. The planet, which is known as GJ 1214b, was studied as it passed in front of its parent star and some of the starlight passed through the planet's atmosphere. We now know that the atmosphere is either mostly water in the form of steam or is dominated by thick clouds or hazes. The results will appear in the 2 December 2010 issue of the journal Nature. The planet GJ 1214b was confirmed in 2009 using the HARPS instrument on ESO's 3.6-metre telescope in Chile (eso0950) [1]. Initial findings suggested that this planet had an atmosphere, which has now been confirmed and studied in detail by an international team of astronomers, led by Jacob Bean (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), using the FORS instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. "This is the first super-Earth to have its atmosphere analysed. We've reached a real milestone on the road toward characterising these worlds," said Bean. GJ 1214b has a radius of about 2.6 times that of the Earth and is about 6.5 times as massive, putting it squarely into the class of exoplanets known as super-Earths. Its host star lies about 40 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer). It is a faint star [2], but it is also small, which means that the size of the planet is large compared to the stellar disc, making it relatively easy to study [3]. The planet travels across the disc of its parent star once every 38 hours as it orbits at a distance of only two million kilometres: about seventy times closer than the Earth orbits the Sun. To study the atmosphere, the team observed the light coming from the star as the planet passed in front of it [4]. During these transits, some of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere and, depending on the chemical composition and weather on the planet, specific wavelengths of light are absorbed. The team then compared these precise new measurements with what they would expect to see for several possible atmospheric compositions. Before the new observations, astronomers had suggested three possible atmospheres for GJ 1214b. The first was the intriguing possibility that the planet was shrouded by water, which, given the close proximity to the star, would be in the form of steam. The second possibility was that this is a rocky world with an atmosphere consisting mostly of hydrogen, but with high clouds or hazes obscuring the view. The third option was that this exoplanet was like a mini-Neptune, with a small rocky core and a deep hydrogen-rich atmosphere. The new measurements do not show the telltale signs of hydrogen and hence rule out the third option. Therefore, the atmosphere is either rich in steam, or it is blanketed by clouds or hazes, similar to those seen in the atmospheres of Venus and Titan in our Solar System, which hide the signature of hydrogen.. "Although we can't yet say exactly what that atmosphere is made of, it is an exciting step forward to be able to narrow down the options for such a distant world to either steamy or hazy," says Bean. "Follow-up observations in longer wavelength infrared light are now needed to determine which of these atmospheres exists on GJ 1214b." Notes [1] The number of confirmed exoplanets reached 500 on 19 November 2010. Since then, more exoplanets have been confirmed. For the latest count, please visit: http://exoplanet.eu/catalog.php [2] If GJ 1214 were seen at the same distance from us as our Sun, it would appear 300 times fainter. [3] Because the star GJ1214 itself is quite faint - more than 100 times fainter in visible light than the host stars of the two most widely studied hot Jupiter exoplanets - the large collecting area of the Very Large Telescope was critical for acquiring enough signal for these measurements. [4] GJ 1214b's atmospheric composition was studied using the FORS instrument on the Very Large Telescope, which can perform very sensitive spectroscopy of

2010-12-01