Biological and immunological properties of the venom of Bothrops alcatraz, an endemic species of pitviper from Brazil.Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2005 Jun; 141(2):117-23.CB
Bothrops alcatraz is a new pitviper species derived from the Bothrops jararaca group, whose natural habitat is situated in Alcatrazes Archipelago, a group of marine islands near São Paulo State coast in Brazil. Herein, the biological and biochemical properties of venoms of four adult specimens of B. alcatraz were examined comparatively to a reference pool of Bothrops jararaca venom. Both venoms showed similar activities and electrophoretic patterns, but B. alcatraz venom showed three protein bands of molecular masses of 97, 80 and 38 kDa that were not present in B. jararaca reference venom. The i.p. median lethal dose of B. alcatraz venom ranged from 5.1 to 6.6 mg/kg, while it was 1.5 mg/kg for B. jararaca venom. The minimum hemorrhagic dose of B. jararaca venom was 0.63, whereas 2.28 mug/mouse for B. alcatraz venom. In contrast, B. alcatraz venom was more potent in regard to procoagulant and proteolytic activities. These differences were supported by western blotting and neutralization tests, employing commercial bothropic antivenom, which showed that hemorrhagic and lethal activities of B. alcatraz venom were less effectively inhibited than B. jararaca venom. Such results evidence that B. alcatraz shows quantitative and qualitative differences in venom composition in comparison with its B. jararaca relatives, which might represent an optimization of venom towards a specialized diet.