Animal toxins play a singular role in the biomedical sciences. During the evolutionary process, animal toxins suffered a complexification of their chemical structures in response to specific targets of their prey. Thereby, the toxins purified from snake venoms have been used as critical scientific tools to studies of physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms and processes, among other purposes. Snake venoms from the Viperidae family contain high levels of lipolytic enzymes named phospholipases A2 (PLA2s). MT-III, a PLA2 isolated from Bothrops asper snake venom, presents potent inflammatory activity and activates different functions of immunecompetent cells. Moreover, MT-III presents structural and functional homology with mammalian group IIA PLA2s, found in high levels in patients with inflammatory disorders. Thus, MT-III constitutes a relevant scientific tool to understand the roles played by group IIA PLA2s in pathophysiological processes associated with inflammation. Obesity is a metabolic disorder associated to inflammation. The incidence of this disease has increased dramatically in recent decades, representing a risk factor for loss of health in contemporary society. Group IIA PLA2s, are found in high levels in the serum of obese patients and in inflamed adipose tissue, suggesting an important role for this group of enzymes in initiation and/or development of obesity. However, the effects of Group IIA PLA2s in adipose tissue are still unknown. Thus, this study aims to investigate the effects and mechanisms triggered by MT-III in cells isolated from adipose tissue, such as mesenchymal stem cells and adipocytes, with focus on cell differentiation, adipogênese and activation of the inflammatory process, aiming a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in obesity. In addition, considering that obesity is a risk factor for the development of many chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, this study may highlight new therapeutic targets and development of new strategies for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity and associated diseases.
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