Background: Eastern Russell’s viper (Daboia siamensis) is one of the most medically significant snakes responsible for the development of acute renal failure. However, variation of the clinical picture and renal pathophysiology following bites by young and adult D. siamensis have not been elucidated. Methods: In this study, we analyzed the venomic profiles of D. siamensis at different maturation stages of juvenile, subadult and adult groups. The same pooled venom from each group was subjected to enzymatic, electrophoretic and proteomic analysis, including sublethal toxicity (0.1 mg/kg iv.) examined on bodily functions by comparing the venom compositional and functional profiles among venom specimens from juvenile, subadult and adult D. siamensis by correlating them with the renal pathophysiology in experimental rabbits. Results: The comparative studies revealed that juvenile venom possessed higher phospholipase A2, metalloproteinase and serine proteinase levels, while subadult and adult venoms contained more L-amino acid oxidase, phosphodiesterase, the Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor, disintegrin families and endothelial growth factor. An in vivo study revealed that the adult and subadult venoms caused persistent hypotension and bradycardia, while thrombocytopenia was a more characteristic effect of juvenile venom. All venom age groups showed significant reductions in renal hemodynamics and electrolyte excretions. The juvenile venom caused a higher tubulonephrosis lesion score than adult and subadult venoms. Conclusions: The D. siamensis venom shows an ontogenetic shift in its compositions and activities. Renal function alterations after envenomation depend on either the synergistic actions of different venom components or the disproportionate expression between the concentrations of enzymatic and non-enzymatic proteins in each age venom group. The high proportion of enzymatic toxin proteins in the juvenile venom results in greater nephrotoxicity.
Keywords: Daboia siamensis; Venomics; Snake age; Renal pathophysiology; Rabbit.