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Homogenates of skeletal muscle injected with snake venom inhibit myogenic differentiation in cell culture



Introduction: Viperid snakebite envenomings are characterized by muscle necrosis and a deficient regenerative response. Methods: Homogenates from gastrocnemius muscles of mice injected with the venom of the snake Bothrops asper or with 2 tissue-damaging toxins were added to cultures of C2C12 myogenic cells. Myoblasts proliferation and fusion were assessed. Venom was detected by immunoassay in mouse muscle during the first week after injection. Results: Homogenates from venom-injected muscle induced a drop in the number of proliferating myoblasts and a complete elimination of myotube formation. The inhibitory effect induced by homogenates from venom-injected mice was abrogated by preincubation of the homogenate with antivenom antibodies but not with control antibodies. This finding provides evidence that the effect is due to the action of venom in the tissue. Conclusions: Our observations suggest that traces of venom in muscle tissue might inhibit myotube formation and preclude a successful regenerative response. Muscle Nerve, 2013