The crucial role of the MyD88 adaptor protein in the inflammatory response induced by Bothrops atrox venom

Vanessa Moreira, Catarina Teixeira, Henrique Borges da Silva, Maria Regina D'Império Lima, Maria Cristina Dos-Santos

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19 Scopus citations


Most snake accidents in North Brazil are attributed to Bothrops atrox, a snake species of the Viperidae family whose venom simultaneously induces local and systemic effects in the victims. The former are clinically more important than the latter, as they cause severe tissue lesions associated with strong inflammatory responses. Although several studies have shown that inflammatory mediators are produced in response to B. atrox venom (BaV), there is little information concerning the molecular pathways involved in innate immune system signaling. Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) is an adaptor molecule responsible for transmitting intracellular signals from most toll-like receptors (TLRs) after they interact with pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or other stimuli such as endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). The MyD88-dependent pathway leads to activation of transcription factors, which in turn induce synthesis of inflammatory mediators such as eicosanoids, cytokines and chemokines. The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of MyD88 on the acute inflammatory response induced by BaV. Wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice and MyD88 knockout (MyD88-/-) mice were intraperitoneally injected with BaV. Compared to WT mice, MyD88-/- animals showed an impaired inflammatory response to BaV, with lower influx of polymorphonuclear and mononuclear cells to the peritoneal cavity. Furthermore, peritoneal leukocytes from BaV-injected MyD88-/- mice did not induce COX-2 or LTB4 protein expression and released low concentrations of PGE2. These mice also failed to produce Th1 and Th17 cytokines and CCL-2, but IL-10 levels were similar to those of BaV-injected WT mice. Our results indicate that MyD88 signaling is required for activation of the inflammatory response elicited by BaV, raising the possibility of developing new therapeutic targets to treat Bothrops sp. poisoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Renata Hage Amaral for providing technical assistance. This investigation was supported by research grants from FAPESP, Brazil (ref. nos. 07/03336-9 , 09/50896 and 10/51150-4 ). CT is the recipient of a CNPq-PQ grant (ref. no. 306099/2008-0 ); VM is the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from FAPESP-Brazil (ref. nos. 07/03337-5 ); MCS is the recipient of a CNPq-PQ grant (ref. no. 302615/2010-5 ); HBS is the recipient of a PhD fellowship from FAPESP (ref. no. 09/08559-1 ); and MRDL is the recipient of a CNPq-PQ grant (ref. no. 302476/2010-5 ).


  • Bothrops atrox venom
  • Cytokines
  • Eicosanoids
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocytes
  • MyD88


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