An in vivo examination of the stability of venom from the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri

Winter, K.L., Isbister, G.K., Seymour, J.E., and Hodgson, W.C. (2007) An in vivo examination of the stability of venom from the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri. Toxicon, 49 (6). pp. 804-809.

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We have previously characterised the pharmacological activity of a number of jellyfish venoms with a particular emphasis on the profound cardiovascular effects. It has been suggested that jellyfish venoms are difficult to work with and are sensitive to pH, temperature and chemical changes. The current study aimed to examine the working parameters of the venom of the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri to enable fractionation and isolation of the toxins with cardiovascular activity. C. fleckeri venom was made up fresh each day and subjected to a number of different environments (i.e. a pH range of 5–9 and a temperature range of 4–30 °C). In addition, the effect of freeze drying and reconstituting the venom was investigated. Venom (50 μg/kg, i.v.) produced a transient hypertensive response followed by cardiovascular collapse in anaesthetised rats. This biphasic response was not significantly effected by preparation of the venom at a pH of 5, 7 or 9. Similarly, venom (50 μg/kg, i.v.) did not display a loss of activity when exposed to temperatures of 4, 20 or 30 °C for 1.5 h. However, the cardiovascular activity was abolished by boiling the venom. Freeze drying, and then reconstituting, the venom did not significantly affect its cardiovascular activity. However, repeated freeze drying and reconstituting of extracted venom resulted in a significantly loss of activity. This study provides a more detailed knowledge of the parameters in which C. fleckeri venom can be used and, while supporting some previous studies, contradicts some of the perceived problems of working with the venom.

Item ID: 2755
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3150
Keywords: jellyfish; venom; chironex fleckeri; stability; cardiovascular
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Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2009 03:48
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960407 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Marine Environments @ 100%
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