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Effect of Bitis gabonica and Dendroaspis angusticeps snake venoms on apoptosis-related genes in human thymic epithelial cells

Francisc Boda1, Krisztina Banfai2,3, Kitti Garai2,3, Bela Kovacs1, Attila Almasi4, Dalma Scheffer3,5, Reka Lambertne Sinkler3,5, Robert Csonka3,5, Tamas Czompoly3,5, Krisztian Kvell2,3 [ + show more ]

J Venom Anim Toxins incl Trop Dis, 2020, 26:e20200057
Received: 18 April 2020 | Accepted: 23 September 2020 | Published online: 14 December 2020


Background: Certain environmental toxins permanently damage the thymic epithelium, accelerate immune senescence and trigger secondary immune pathologies. However, the exact underlying cellular mechanisms and pathways of permanent immune intoxication remain unknown. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate gene expressional changes of apoptosis-related cellular pathways in human thymic epithelial cells following exposure to snake venom from Bitis gabonica and Dendroaspis angusticeps. Methods: Snake venoms were characterized by analytical methods including reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography and sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, then applied on human thymic epithelial cells (1889c) for 24 h at 10 μg/mL (as used in previous TaqMan Array study). Gene expressional changes restricted to apoptosis were assayed by TaqMan Array (Human Apoptosis Plate). Results: The most prominent gene expressional changes were shown by CASP5 (≈ 2.5 million-fold, confirmed by dedicated quantitative polymerase chain reaction) and CARD9 (0.016-fold) for B. gabonica, and BIRC7 (6.46-fold) and CASP1 (0.30-fold) for D. angusticeps. Conclusion: The observed apoptotic environment suggests that pyroptosis may be the dominant pathway through which B. gabonica and D. angusticeps snake venoms trigger thymic epithelial apoptosis following envenomation.


Keywords: Snake venoms; Bitis gabonicaDendroaspis angusticeps; Apoptosis; Pyroptosis; Apoptosis mediators; RT-qPCR; Taqman array.

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