Physiological Action of Scorpion Venom

Robert A. Patterson Poisonous Animals Research Laboratory, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

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Venom of the scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, caused hypertension, respiratory failure, and skeletal muscle stimulation in anesthetized animals. No significant action of the venom was found on isolated skeletal muscle preparations. Hypertension resulted in part from release of pressor substances from the adrenal gland, although neither direct action nor action mediated by vasopressor centers can be ruled out. Respiration and skeletal muscle stimulation followed a pattern which suggests an initial peripheral action followed by an action dependent on the central nervous system.