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Toxins 2013, 5(12), 2420-2433; doi:10.3390/toxins5122420
Article

Preliminary Results of the in Vivo and in Vitro Characterization of a Tentacle Venom Fraction from the Jellyfish Aurelia aurita

1,2,†
,
2,†,* , 3
 and
1,*
1 Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Unidad Académica Puerto Morelos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,77500 Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico 2 Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Coyoacán, Distrito Federal, Mexico 3 Laboratorio de Neurofarmacología Marina, Departamento de Neurobiología Celular y Molecular, Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Juriquilla, Juriquilla 76230, Querétaro, Mexico These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2013 / Revised: 1 November 2013 / Accepted: 4 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Abstract

The neurotoxic effects produced by a tentacle venom extract and a fraction were analyzed and correlated by in vivo and in vitro approaches. The tentacle venom extract exhibited a wide range of protein components (from 24 to >225 kDa) and produced tetanic reactions, flaccid paralysis, and death when injected into crabs. Two chromatography fractions also produced uncontrolled appendix movements and leg stretching. Further electrophysiological characterization demonstrated that one of these fractions potently inhibited ACh-elicited currents mediated by both vertebrate fetal and adult muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) subtypes. Receptor inhibition was concentration-dependent and completely reversible. The calculated IC50 values were 1.77 μg/μL for fetal and 2.28 μg/μL for adult muscle nAChRs. The bioactive fraction was composed of a major protein component at ~90 kDa and lacked phospholipase A activity. This work represents the first insight into the interaction of jellyfish venom components and muscle nicotinic receptors.
Keywords: Aurelia aurita; jellyfish; neurotoxins; nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; Scyphozoa Aurelia aurita; jellyfish; neurotoxins; nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; Scyphozoa
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ponce, D.; López-Vera, E.; Aguilar, M.B.; Sánchez-Rodríguez, J. Preliminary Results of the in Vivo and in Vitro Characterization of a Tentacle Venom Fraction from the Jellyfish Aurelia aurita. Toxins 2013, 5, 2420-2433.

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