What is it about?

Bothrops snakes are responsible for most of snakebite envenoming in Latin America. Clinically, their venoms are characterized by local inflammatory effects and severe systemic effects, including haemorrhage. In this context, the adipose tissue is an endocrine organ that regulates homeostasis and immune responses, but can also contribute to inflammatory processes in distant tissues and organs. In this study, we investigated the effects of B. moojeni snake venom, which is of particular medical importance in Brazil, on preadipocytes, focusing on the release of inflammatory mediators and mechanisms involved in the synthesis of the lipid mediator prostaglandin E2.

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Why is it important?

Snakebites are an important public health issue in tropical regions of the world and are considered a neglected disease by the World Health Organization. Despite significant advances in the study of the pathogenesis of the effects induced by Bothrops venoms, the target tissues and their responses to the envenomation are poorly known. In this study, we demonstrated that B. moojeni snake venom can activate an inflammatory response in adipose tissue cells. We found that this venom induces the release of the inflammatory mediators IL-6, IL-8, and PGE2 by preadipocytes and that PGE2 release is mediated by the cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 and NF-κB pathways. These findings highlight the adipose tissue as another target for B. moojeni venom and suggest that the adipose tissue may have an impact on the systemic and local effects of Bothrops venoms by producing inflammatory mediators.


This article represents a further step towards the knowledge of physiopathology of Bothrops snake envenomation by pointing out the adipose tissue as a target of these venoms. We believe that this research brings insights into future studies on the role of the adipose tissue cells in snakebite envenomation.

Catarina Teixeira
Instituto Butantan

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This page is a summary of: Bothrops moojeni snake venom induces an inflammatory response in preadipocytes: Insights into a new aspect of envenomation, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, August 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010658.
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