Carbon monoxide inhibits the anticoagulant activity of Mojave rattlesnake venoms type A and B.


Department of Anesthesiology, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, P.O. Box 245114, 1501 North Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ, 85724-5114, USA. [Email]


The Mojave rattlesnake is a unique species of pit viper that expresses either a highly potent phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-dependent neurotoxin containing venom nearly devoid of fibrinogenolytic metalloproteinases (venom type A) or a hemotoxic venom with a high percentage of metalloproteinases and PLA2 without any neurotoxin present (venom type B) depending on its geographical location in the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Given that PLA2 have been demonstrated to affect coagulation, it was hypothesized that the anticoagulant effects of both type A and B venoms could be assessed by thrombelastography, and determination made if these venoms were heme modulated. Both venom types were exposed to carbon monoxide releasing molecule-2 or its inactivated molecule (0 or 100 µM) in isolation and then placed in human plasma with consequent coagulation kinetics assessed by thrombelastography. It was determined that type A venom was twice as potent as an anticoagulant compared to type B venom, and that both venoms were inhibited by carbon monoxide releasing molecule-2 but not its inactivated molecule. Given the lack of proteolytic activity of type A venom and the dependence of neurotoxicity on PLA2 activity, it may be possible that carbon monoxide could inhibit neurotoxicity based on inhibition of PLA2 anticoagulant activity. These data may serve as the rationale for extension of these observations into animal models to determine if CO may inhibit not just hemotoxic venom, but also PLA2-dependent neurotoxic venom.


Carbon monoxide,Hemotoxin,Metalloproteinase,Neurotoxin,Phospholipase A2,Thrombelastography,