Comparative study on extracts from the tissue covering the stingers of freshwater (Potamotrygon falkneri) and marine (Dasyatis guttata) stingrays
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Stingrays are elasmobranchs found along the seacoast and in some rivers of Brazil. Pain is the most conspicuous symptom observed in patients wounded by the bilaterally retroserrate stingers located in the tail, which are covered by glandular and integument tissues. In addition, cutaneous necrosis is commonly observed in injuries caused by freshwater stingrays. The aim of this work was to characterize and compare certain properties of tissue extracts obtained from the glandular tissues covering the stinger apparatus of Potamotrygon falkneri and Dasyatis guttata stingrays. By sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), tissue extracts have similar bands above 80kDa, but most differences were observed below this molecular mass. Lethal, dermonecrotic and myotoxic activities were detected only in P. falkneri tissue extract. Edematogenic activity was similar and dose dependent in both tissue extracts. Nociceptive activity was verified in both tissue extracts, but P. falkneri presented a two-fold higher activity than D. guttata tissue extract. No direct hemolysis, phospholipase A(2) and coagulant activities were observed in both tissue extracts. Antigenic cross-reactivity was noticed by ELISA and Western blotting, using antisera raised in rabbits. Species-specific sera reacted with several components of both tissue extracts, noticeably above 22 kDa. Both tissue extracts presented gelatinolytic, caseinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities, which were not caused by the action of metalloproteinases. Hyaluronidase activity was detected only in P. falkneri tissue extract. Our experimental observations suggest that P. falkneri tissue extract is more toxic than D. guttata tissue extract. These results may explain why injuries caused by freshwater stingrays are more severe in human accidents. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.