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Analysis of gene expression in the lung and heart of mice selected for high or low acute inflammatory response, treated with Tityus serrulatus

Grant number: 13/25797-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2014
Effective date (End): January 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Immunogenetics
Principal Investigator:Mônica Spadafora Ferreira
Grantee:Natália Silva Pimenta
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The scorpionism is a public health problem worldwide, and the number of accidents by scorpion exceeds 1.2 million per year. The epidemiological importance is related to the severity of envenoming and difficulty in immediate treatment. The main species that cause scorpion accidents in Brazil is Tityus serrulatus. The symptoms of envenoming with T. serrulatus range from local pain to severe systemic reactions, neurological effects, cardiac dysfunction and pulmonary edema, this being the main cause of death. Biochemical studies have demonstrated that the main components of T. serrulatus venom are toxins that act on sodium channels, inducing an intense autonomic discharge, leading to a massive release of neurotransmitters, which are associated to some effects such as fever, agitation, salivation, increased mobility of the gastrointestinal tract, heart failure and pulmonary edema. However, other components such as proteases and enzyme activators may also be associated with the inflammatory response and pulmonary edema induced by the venom. Studies have shown that in severe cases of envenoming by scorpion venom there is a significant increase in serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins shortly after the event. The variation in severity and clinical manifestation of envenomed patients by accidents with venomous animals are related both to the different characteristics of the animal that produces the venom and also of the patients. To evaluate the influence of the genetic control of non-specific immunity, strains of mice genetically selected for maximal (AIRmax) or minimal (AIRmin) acute inflammatory response have been used. This study aims to analyze the gene expression of cytokines, chemokines and adhesion molecules in the heart and lungs of animals treated with whole venom and isolated components . The use of the model of mice selected for high and low inflammatory response enables assessment of the influence of genes in the inflammatory response caused by the venom and its components.

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