The Effects of Androctonus crassicauda Venom on Pregnant Rats and Their Offsprings

Ozel S., DEMİREL M. A., Gokay N. E., Ozkan O.

KAFKAS UNIVERSITESI VETERINER FAKULTESI DERGISI, vol.25, no.6, pp.835-840, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Incidents of scorpion stings are common in Turkey. These cases can cause severe envenomation and so represent an important public health problem. In Turkey, the most venomous species are Leiurus abdullahbayrami and Androctonus crassicauda. There has been no study on the effects of A. crassicauda stings on pregnant rats. Consequently, we investigated the effects of the scorpion venom on pregnant rats and their offspring. The supernatant of the A. crassicauda venom obtained after the venom extraction was dissolved in 7 mL of sterile saline before the experiment, in this way the injection volume was standardized as 1 mL/rat. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into two groups with six animals in each. A. crassicauda venom in 1 mL physiological saline solution (NaCl 0.9%) was subcutaneously injected in rats of the experimental group (EG), while sterile saline solution (1 mL) was subcutaneously administered to the rats of the control group (CG). All injections were applied to each group from the 7th to the 13th days of pregnancy, which correspond to the critical organogenesis period. Based on these results, it was shown that the scorpion venom affects the body weight of pregnant rats, the weights of placental tissues and fetuses in the rat model during pregnancy. A. crassicauda venom can induce abortion and cause restrictions in placenta and fetal growth. Therefore, medical professionals should be informed about possible adverse effects and risks in pregnancy.