Cardiorespiratory alterations in rodents experimentally envenomed with Hadruroides lunatus scorpion venom

Fernanda Costal-Oliveira, Clara Guerra-Duarte, Maira Souza Oliveira, Karen Larissa Pereira de Castro, Leticia Lopes-de-Sousa, Aline Lara, Enéas Ricardo de Morais Gomes, Cesar Bonilla, Sílvia Guatimosim, Marília Martins Melo, Carlos Chávez-Olórtegui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Hadruroides lunatus is the most abundant scorpion species in the Peruvian central coast, where most of the accidents involving humans are registered. In spite of its prevalence, there are only very few studies on H. lunatus envenomation. The aim of the present study was to analyze the cardiorespiratory alterations caused by H. lunatus envenomation in rodents. Methods: Wistar rats injected with H. lunatus scorpion venom were submitted to electrocardiography. After euthanasia, rat lungs were collected and histopathologically analyzed. Mouse cardiomyocytes were used to perform immunofluorescence and calcium transient assays. Data were analyzed by ANOVA or Student's t-test. The significance level was set at p < 0.05. Results: It was observed that H. lunatus venom increased heart rate and caused arrhythmia, thereby impairing the heart functioning. Lungs of envenomed animals showed significant alterations, such as diffuse hemorrhage. In addition, immunofluorescence showed that H. lunatus venom was capable of binding to cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes incubated with H. lunatus venom showed a significant decrease in calcium transient, confirming that H. lunatus venom exerts a toxic effect on heart. Conclusion: Our results showed that H. lunatus venom is capable of inducing cardiorespiratory alterations, a typical systemic effect of scorpionism, stressing the importance of medical monitoring in envenomation cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalJournal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium transient
  • Cardiorespiratory alterations
  • Electrocardiography
  • Hadruroides lunatus venom
  • Immunofluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Toxicology
  • Infectious Diseases


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