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The bite of a cottonmouth is hemotoxic Hemotoxins are toxins that destroy red blood cells (hemolysis), disrupt blood clotting, and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage. The term 'hemotoxin' is to some degree a misnomer since toxins that damage the blood also damage other tissues. An injury due to a hemotoxic agent is often very painful, and permanent damage, such as loss of an affected limb, causing severe necrosis near the site of the wound and eventual death in the victim if treatment is not received promptly. These snakes are good climbers, and they will frequently sun themselves in the branches of trees
Xi Bao Yu Fen Zi Mian Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2009 Apr;25(4):335-7.
Lethal effect of cytotoxin from Agkitrodon acutus venom on gastric cancer cells and their ultrastructure changes.
Lu J, Xu FP.
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang 524000, China.
AIM: To purify cytotoxin from Agkitrodon acutus venom, and study the lethal effect of cytotoxin on gastric cancer cells and their ultrastructure changes.
METHODS: The cytotoxin was isolated and purified with successive chromatography on DEAE-Sephadex A-50 and TSKgel Pheny columns from Agkitrodon acutus venom. The feasibility of BGC-823 cells assessed using the MTT assay. The ultrastructure of BGC-823 cells treated with the cytotoxin was observed with the scanning and transmission electron microscope.
RESULTS: The purified cytotoxin H1 killed the gastric cancer cells. The cancer cell membrane and nuclear envelope were broken, mitochondria were swollen and intracellular substances were leaked out.
CONCLUSION: The cytotoxin from Agkitrodon acutus venom can kill the gastric cancer cells effectively.