The Effects of Buthotus schach Scorpion Venom on Electrophysiological Properties of Magnocellular Neurons of Rat Supraoptic Nucleus

Document Type: Research article


1 Student Research Committee, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of physiology and pharmacology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Venomous Animals and Antivenom Production, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Karaj, Iran.


Potassium channels are trans-membrane proteins, which selectively transport K+ ions across cell membranes and play a key role in regulating the physiology of excitability cells and signal transduction pathways. Bothutous Schach (BS) scorpion venom consists of several polypeptides that could modulate ion channels. In this study, the effects of BS crude venom on passive and active electrophysiological properties of rat neurons in supraoptic nucleus (SON) of hypothalamus was investigated using whole-cell patch clamp technique. The results showed that bath application of BS venom produced significant change in passive properties of SON neurons, namely a decrease in resting membrane potential and an increase in input resistance of the cells. Also, significant change in active properties of SON neurons was shown after bath application of BS venom; including a decrease in the number of evoked action potential along with an increase in half-width of action potential and a significant decrease in afterhyperpolarization amplitude. Finally, a decreased latency to the first spike accompanied by a lower current threshold to elicit the first spike was shown compared with the values before venom application. These effects are possibly through changes in ion channel kinetics through blocking different ion channels including potassium channels. Further experiments using different fractions of the venom is required to specify venom effects on various ion channels.


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