Some Effects of Heat-Labile Venom Components on Indirect Hemolysis by Crotalid Venoms

Franklin E. ByrdBox VV, State University, Arkansas 72467

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Bob D. JohnsonBox VV, State University, Arkansas 72467

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The hemolytic activities of the venom of Agkistrodon contortrix mokeson, Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma, Crotalus atrox, and Crotalus scutulatus were studied by using hypotonic solutions. The effects with whole venoms plus lecithin were compared with effects caused by boiled venom supernatant fluids containing phospholipase A and lecithin to gain insight into the role of heat-labile venom components on lysing human red blood cells. Phospholipase A in the supernatant fluids of all venoms with lecithin caused stabilization of red-blood-cell membranes. A. c. mokeson, A. p. leucostoma, and C. scutulatus whole venoms demonstrated a specific lytic behavior, whereas C. atrox whole venom demonstrated a nonspecific lytic behavior. Heparin altered the lytic behavior of C. scutulatus whole venom but did not influence the other venoms.

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