Analysis of nociceptive effects of neurotoxic phospholipase A2 from Vipera nikolskii venom in mice

Research Report


J Venom Res (2013), Vol 4, 1-4


Published online: 15 March 2013

Full Text: (PDF ~170kb) (HTML PMC3616638) (PubMed)

Igor A Dyachenko †, Arkadii N Murashev †, Tatyana V Andreeva ‡, Victor I Tsetlin ‡, Yuri N Utkin ‡*

† Branch of the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow region, Russia

‡ Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, Moscow, 117997, Russia

*Correspondence to: Yuri Utkin, Email:, Tel: + 007 495 3366522 , Fax: + 007 495 3366522

Received: 18 November 2012, Revised: 07 March 2013, Accepted: 15 March 2013

© Copyright The Authors


Phospholipases A2 are represented in snake venoms by several types and possess diverse biological activities including neurotoxicity. Earlier we have isolated and characterized two neurotoxic phospholipases A2 (HDP-1 and HDP-2) from the venom of Nikolski’s viper (Vipera nikolskii). They are heterodimers composed of two non-covalently bound subunits. Each heterodimer consists of an enzymatically active basic subunit and an inactive acidic subunit. In this work, we studied the in vivo biological activity of HDP-2 in mice. The acute toxicity (LD50=0.38μg/gm) and maximal tolerated dose (0.1μg/gm) were determined. In the hot plate test HDP-2, at the maximal tolerated dose, reliably prolonged the time of the mouse staying on the plate. However, taking into account the neurotoxicity of HDP-2, we believe that this effect may be explained by a general intoxication rather than specific decrease of pain sensitivity. In this respect HDP-2 differs from other heterodimeric phospholipases A2 like crotoxin which possess analgesic activity. This difference can be explained by a dissimilarity in the structure of the acidic subunits, suggesting an important role of this subunit in analgesic activity.

KEYWORDS: phospholipase A2, toxicity, venom, snake, nociception