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Fraction of C. d. collilineatus venom containing crotapotin protects PC12 cells against MPP+ toxicity by activating the NGF-signaling pathway

Carolina Petri Bernardes1, Ernesto Lopes Pinheiro-Junior2, Isabela Gobbo Ferreira2, Isadora Sousa de Oliveira2, Neife Aparecida Guinaim dos Santos1, Suely Vilela Sampaio1, Eliane Candiani Arantes2, Antonio Cardozo dos Santos1 [ + show more ]

J Venom Anim Toxins incl Trop Dis, 2024, 30:e20230056
Received: 23 August 2023 | Accepted: 08 May 2024 | Published online: 14 June 2024
Collection: Spotlighting toxinology: from animal toxins to next-generation technologies and products


Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease. There is no effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Snake venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides with great therapeutic potential and might be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Crotapotin is the acid chain of crotoxin, the major component of Crotalus durissus collilineatus venom. PD is characterized by low levels of neurotrophins, and synaptic and axonal degeneration; therefore, neurotrophic compounds might delay the progression of PD. The neurotrophic potential of crotapotin has not been studied yet. Methods: We evaluated the neurotrophic potential of crotapotin in untreated PC12 cells, by assessing the induction of neurite outgrowth. The activation of the NGF signaling pathway was investigated through pharmacological inhibition of its main modulators. Additionally, its neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects were evaluated by assessing neurite outgrowth and cell viability in PC12 cells treated with the dopaminergic neurotoxin MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium), known to induce Parkinsonism in humans and animal models. Results: Crotapotin induced neuritogenesis in PC12 cells through the NGF-signaling pathway, more specifically, by activating the NGF-selective receptor trkA, and the PI3K/Akt and the MAPK/ERK cascades, which are involved in neuronal survival and differentiation. In addition, crotapotin had no cytotoxic effect and protected PC12 cells against the inhibitory effects of MPP+ on cell viability and differentiation. Conclusion: These findings show, for the first time, that crotapotin has neurotrophic/neuroprotective/neurorestorative potential and might be beneficial in Parkinson's disease. Additional studies are necessary to evaluate the toxicity of crotapotin in other cell models.


Keywords: Crotapotin; Snake venom; Neuroprotection; Neuritogenesis; MPP+; Parkinson's disease.

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