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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


NAVARRETE GOMEZ, Patricia et al. Molecular Characterization, Electrophysiological and Contraceptive Effect of Chilean Latrodectus Venom. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp.733-741. ISSN 0717-9502.

Since the 1970s, There have been studies of the venom of Latrodectus sp. spiders, in particular the latrotoxin (LTX) of Latrodectus mactans. Many of the studies were aimed at understanding the action of the venom on the muscular system. Now accepted that LTX is able to generate a calcium-permeable membrane pore and modulate the release of synaptic vesicles that activate a receptor and induce cellular changes. Interestingly, when work began with venom obtained from the Latrodectus sp present in Chile, it generated clinical indications similar to the bite of this spider in another country, with some differences in intensity. The purpose of the first studies was to understand the systemic mechanisms of this venom, and other active compounds were studied for biological interest. It was found that these molecules are capable of causing systemic effects such as changes in muscle contraction; of generating vascular relaxation and synaptic and cellular modulation; and of altering potassium conductance channels. Based on this evidence, we suggested biotechnological applications to characterize low molecular-weight compounds obtained from the Chilean Latrodectus venom and exploring the effects on the electrophysiology in oocytes and neurons, and the contraceptive effect on spermatozoa.

Keywords : Latrodectus venom; Oocytes; Neurons; Spermatozoa; Contraceptive.

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