Background: A combination of pharmacological and biomedical assays was applied in this study to examine the bioactivity of Conus virgo crude venom in order to determine the potential pharmacological benefit of this venom, and its in vivo mechanism of action. Methods: Two doses (1/5 and 1/10 of LC50, 9.14 and 4.57 mg/kg) of the venom were used in pharmacological assays (central and peripheral analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic), while 1/2 of LC50 (22.85 mg/kg) was used in cytotoxic assays on experimental animals at different time intervals, and then compared with control and reference drug groups. Results: The tail immersion time was significantly increased in venom-treated mice compared with the control group. Also, a significant reduction in writhing movement was recorded after injection of both venom doses compared with the control group. In addition, only the high venom concentration has a mild anti-inflammatory effect at the late inflammation stage. The induced pyrexia was also decreased significantly after treatment with both venom doses. On the other hand, significant increases were observed in lipid peroxidation (after 4 hours) and reduced glutathione contents and glutathione peroxidase activity, while contents of lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide (after 24 hours) and catalase activity were depleted significantly after venom administration. Conclusion: These results indicated that the crude venom of Conus virgo probably contain bioactive components that have pharmacological activities with low cytotoxic effects. Therefore, it may comprise a potential lead compound for the development of drugs that would control pain and pyrexia.
Keywords: Conus virgo; Pharmacological activity; Analgesic action; Antipyretic agent; Anti-inflammatory effects; Oxidative stress.