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Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom and its isolated fractions: an electrophysiological and calcium-imaging study on somatic and autonomic nerve-muscle systems

Grant number: 16/23829-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 15, 2017
Effective date (End): March 14, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology
Principal Investigator:Edson Antunes
Grantee:Rita de Cássia de Oliveira Collaço
Supervisor abroad: Edward Gerard Rowan
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Strathclyde, Scotland  
Associated to the scholarship:16/11319-6 - The somatic and autonomic activities of Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom and its isolated fractions, BP.DR


Scorpion envenomation produces local effects at the site of envenomation that can turn into systemic effects predominantly related to massive neurotransmitter release from central and peripheral nervous system. This neurotoxic activity has been attributed to neurotoxic peptides present in theses venoms that have great specificity and affinity for ion channels. Scorpion neurotoxins have been widely used as pharmacological tools to understand ion channel structure and its associated physiological role, as well as to evaluate their contribution to many ion channel related diseases (channelopathies) i.e. epilepsy, facial paralysis, muscular diseases, cardiac arrhythmia and pain syndromes, thus offering an unique insight into underlying cause of the disease and to aid the development of novel strategies for designing new classes of therapeutic drugs. Tityus bahiensis is the second most medically important scorpion specie in Brazil (the most important in the São Paulo State) and is widely distributed in the country with exception of the Northern Region of Brazil. Despite this, its venom and isolated fractions remain scarcely studied, especially with regarding to the peripheral (somatic and autonomic) nervous system and effects on ion channels on excitable tissues. Our preliminary data have shown that T. bahiensis venom is neurotoxic and its pharmacology is more likely due to effects on ion channels on somatic and autonomic nervous systems. This overseas placement's main aim is to improve the understanding of the pharmacology of the venom and associated peptide toxins using electrophysiological techniques i.e membrane potential recordings and patch-clamp recordings in addition to complementary calcium imaging techniques. The results of this research will help provide both physiological data on the pharmacology of the venom/ toxins and data on the isolation of peptides with pharmacological potential as both research tools and therapeutics.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
COLLACO, RITA DE CASSIA O.; HYSLOP, STEPHEN; DORCE, VALQUIRIA A. C.; ANTUNES, EDSON; ROWAN, EDWARD G. Scorpion venom increases acetylcholine release by prolonging the duration of somatic nerve action potentials. Neuropharmacology, v. 153, p. 41-52, JUL 15 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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