Effects on muscle of a toxin from Indian cobra (Naja naja naja) venom

Charles, A. K. ; Gangal, S. V. ; Deshpande, S. S. ; Joshi, A. P. (1982) Effects on muscle of a toxin from Indian cobra (Naja naja naja) venom Toxicon, 20 (6). pp. 1019-1035. ISSN 0041-0101

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Official URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/004101...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0041-0101(82)90104-0


The mode of action of a purified toxin from Naja naja naja (Indian cobra) venom was investigated in frog rectus abdominis muscle, chick biventer cervicis muscle, cat tibialis anterior muscle (close-arterial) and in both innervated and denervated rat diaphragm muscle preparations. The toxin inhibited the acetyl-choline responses of rectus abdominis muscle. The inhibition was antagonized by neostigmine and increasing concentrations of acetylcholine, suggesting a competitive binding of the toxin to cholinergic receptors. The toxin, even at high doses, did not produce depolarizing contractures in chronically denervated diaphragm, biventer cervicis muscle and rectus abdominis muscle preparations. In both cat tibialis anterior and denervated diaphragm muscles, the toxin abolished the acetylcholine sensitivity of the muscles at a faster rate than its effects on muscle contraction, suggesting a preferred action on the motor end-plate. A well-maintained tetanic contraction and very poor post-tetanic potentiation was observed in all preparations treated with toxin, indicating an atypical Wedensky inhibition. Anti-curare agents, such as K+ and Ca2+, were ineffective in antagonizing the curare-like neuromuscular block in phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations. A frequency-independent neuromuscular block observed in these nerve-muscle preparations was suggestive of the absence of a possible presynaptic effect. These results demonstrate that although the neurotoxin in some cases can imitate d-tubocurarine, its neuromuscular blocking activity is different from that of curare in many respects.

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