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Toxins 2017, 9(2), 67; doi:10.3390/toxins9020067

The Cardiovascular and Neurotoxic Effects of the Venoms of Six Bony and Cartilaginous Fish Species

Department of Pharmacology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
Venom Evolution Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Alistair Reid Venom Research Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
Marine Parisitology Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, 75 Commercial Road, Prahran 3181, Australia
Department of Physiology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
The Aquarium Vet, P.O. Box 2327, Moorabbin, VIC 3189, Australia
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Monash, VIC 3800, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2240 KB, uploaded 19 February 2017]   |  


Fish venoms are often poorly studied, in part due to the difficulty in obtaining, extracting, and storing them. In this study, we characterize the cardiovascular and neurotoxic effects of the venoms from the following six species of fish: the cartilaginous stingrays Neotrygon kuhlii and Himantura toshi, and the bony fish Platycephalus fucus, Girella tricuspidata, Mugil cephalus, and Dentex tumifrons. All venoms (10–100 μg/kg, i.v.), except G. tricuspidata and P. fuscus, induced a biphasic response on mean arterial pressure (MAP) in the anesthetised rat. P. fucus venom exhibited a hypotensive response, while venom from G. tricuspidata displayed a single depressor response. All venoms induced cardiovascular collapse at 200 μg/kg, i.v. The in vitro neurotoxic effects of venom were examined using the chick biventer cervicis nerve‐muscle (CBCNM) preparation. N. kuhlii, H. toshi, and P. fucus venoms caused concentration‐dependent inhibition of indirect twitches in the CBCNM preparation. These three venoms also inhibited responses to exogenous acetylcholine (ACh) and carbachol (CCh), but not potassium chloride (KCl), indicating a post‐synaptic mode of action. Venom from G. tricuspidata, M. cephalus, and D. tumifrons had no significant effect on indirect twitches or agonist responses in the CBCNM. Our results demonstrate that envenoming by these species of fish may result in moderate cardiovascular and/or neurotoxic effects. Future studies aimed at identifying the molecules responsible for these effects could uncover potentially novel lead compounds for future pharmaceuticals, in addition to generating new knowledge about the evolutionary relationships between venomous animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: venom; fish; cardiovascular; neuromuscular; toxin venom; fish; cardiovascular; neuromuscular; toxin

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Han, H.; Baumann, K.; Casewell, N.R.; Ali, S.A.; Dobson, J.; Koludarov, I.; Debono, J.; Cutmore, S.C.; Rajapakse, N.W.; Jackson, T.N.W.; Jones, R.; Hodgson, W.C.; Fry, B.G.; Kuruppu, S. The Cardiovascular and Neurotoxic Effects of the Venoms of Six Bony and Cartilaginous Fish Species. Toxins 2017, 9, 67.

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