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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 54273, 11 pages
Research Communication

Balance Between Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines in Mice Treated With Centruroides noxius Scorpion Venom

Laboratorio de Toxicología, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Cuernavaca 62210, Mexico

Received 21 June 2006; Revised 10 September 2006; Accepted 11 September 2006

Copyright © 2006 Vera L. Petricevich. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


CSV consists of a very complex of molecules and demonstrates significant cellular activities capable of stimulating immune functions in vivo. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of CSV on sex, weight, route of injection and the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in mice. The susceptibility and route of injection were analyzed by lethal (LD50) determination. The effects of CSV were also analyzed in blood from immunized mice using detection by means of antibodies and mediators production. Several functional bioassays were employed: TNF activity was assayed by measuring its cytotoxic activity in L929 cells, and other cytokines were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, whereas nitric oxide levels were detected by Griess colorimetric reactions in sera from BALB/c mice. After injecting subcutaneously, the LD50 presented an increase of the CSV correlation and similar levels of susceptibility were obtained for female and male from BALB/c mice. Significant differences were observed in the time-course of cytokine levels. The balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines TNF/IL-10 and IL-6/IL-10 ratios were significantly higher in injected mice group when compared with those obtained for non-injected group. The CSV is poor in antigenic composition and it is difficult to get antibodies specific to neutralizing the lethal factor. The effect of immunization with 0.5 LD50 of CSV on the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines was measured. The maximum levels of TNF and IL-6, IFN-γ and NO were observed on days 7 and 21 after immunization, respectively. IL-10 levels peaked between days 21 and 28 after immunization with CSV. With respect, to balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines it was possible to observe that negative correlation between serum levels of IL-6/IL-10 and TNF/IL-10 exists. These ratios may possibly reflect the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in serum, which may by manifested in the inflammatory status during the envenoming processes. In conclusion, an increase in the serum levels of TNF and IL-6 may be a useful marker for scorpion envenomation.