Snake Venoms

L. G. Costa, G. Giordano, Michael Aschner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Venomous snakes have in common the ability to inject or inoculate, using modified teeth called fangs, venom secreted by oral glands. Snake venoms contain complex mixtures of hundreds of different pharmacologically active molecules, including low-molecular mass compounds (e.g., histamine and alkaloids), small peptides, and proteins. Snake venoms are usually classified as hemotoxic or neurotoxic. Snakes of the Viperidae (vipers and rattlesnakes) family have venoms containing proteins that can disrupt the coagulation cascade, the hemostatic system, and tissue integrity. In contrast, neurotoxic venoms, which are typical of the Elapidae snakes (mambas, cobras, and corals), contain a number of toxins that primarily affect the peripheral nervous system, in particular the neuromuscular junction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9780123851574
ISBN (Print)9780123851581
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Antivenom
  • Elapidae snakes
  • Hemotoxic venoms
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Neurotoxic venoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Costa, L. G., Giordano, G., & Aschner, M. (2014). Snake Venoms. In Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-385157-4.00275-X