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Insights needed...

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by nerdy spider, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. nerdy spider

    nerdy spider Arachnopeon

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    Hi everyone,
    I'm a researcher who is interested in finding out more about the targets in the human body and the function of toxins in the venom of tarantulas (also non-tarantulas and scorpions). However, I'm not a biologist but I found the posts on this board to be very interesting and helpful. So I thought to ask you for advice. For many years, several scientific groups have been focusing on identifying toxins that can be used as tools to figure out how certain molecules in the human body function. These toxins may even potentially serve as lead molecules for drug design one day or can be used to produce anti-venom. However, most research groups have limited experience with the great diversity within the invertebrate kingdom and focus on just a handful of spider species that are thought to be dangerous to human health (e.g. grammostola, latrodectus, loxosceles, psalmopoeus). I was wondering if there are other spider species (or scorpions)out there that may be just as, or even more, exciting to explore (they don't have to be lethal). So here's my question (fill in the question marks): Venom from the ????? spider (or scorpion) species is worth exploring because a bite (or sting) causes ????? in humans.
    Looking forward to the replies!
    Thanks...
     
  2. Chris_Skeleton

    Chris_Skeleton Arachnoprince

    Where did you get that Grammostola and Psalmopoeus venom is comparable to that of Latrodectus and Loxosceles?
     
  3. LV-426

    LV-426 Arachnobaron

    Poecilotheria and Phlogius (especially Phlogius) are some of the most venomous i have read
     
  4. Tarac

    Tarac Arachnolord

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    Here:

    http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/102/12/851.full

    There is in fact nothing other than our reports in places like this that characterizes a difference between Old and New World tarantula venom, they are very very similar toxinologically (not distinguishable yet to my knowledge) and the mechanisms by which most of the assorted peptides affect humans are not understood. However they are present in Grammostola just as they are in Poecilotheria. Then you have to consider the nature of the reports and how well or not well controlled that data is.

    Most of the reports for all genera indicate an elevated temperature and arthritic feelings with the rest seemingly variable from individual to individual (biter and bitee) but both of those symptoms are common for simple mechanical injuries to any area with as many tendons as a hand. A simple dirty nail puncture could appear the same to a clinician if the patient did not report the cause.

    Check the section under Tarantula venom and you will see Psalmopoeus and Grammostola lumped with Lampropelma. This is not to say one isn't worse, but as far as research goes they really all could be potentially interesting and since they cannot yet be distinguished you would almost have to pursue both.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
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  5. ijmccollum

    ijmccollum Arachnosquire

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    Well this is a loaded question..... Most studies I know of are done on ion channels so you would need to be specific on channel type, expression system, and data acquisition system. The easy part would be the venom - 2 step HPLC and then ID and ck purity with mass spec for any species. You got to be clear on the question. A quick search on PubMed might help you narrow it down.
     
  6. nerdy spider

    nerdy spider Arachnopeon

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    I didn't mean to imply that these venoms were comparable toxinologically. I just used those an examples of venoms that have been studied extensively.

    ---------- Post added 02-16-2012 at 07:26 PM ----------

    I'm mostly interested in toxins targeting ion channels...

    ---------- Post added 02-16-2012 at 07:31 PM ----------

    Great review, thanks! Your comments are the exact reason why I posted this thread. A lot of researchers are not intimately familiar with spiders and their venoms so they browse the internet in search for infamous stories. This is really helpful! And I certainly agree that they all are potentially very interesting. I am hoping to narrow it down to a handful of venoms that I can obtain and test further...
     
  7. Ciphor

    Ciphor Arachnoprince

    Toxicology... You guys are making baby Romans cry.

    I can't even pronounce toxinologically lol and where the hell are you doing Toxicology work that you would call it that?
     
  8. Theist 17

    Theist 17 Arachnopeon

    Yeah, I'd feel better about this discussion with some verifiable credentials in the thread. Where exactly are you from and for whom, if you are at liberty to say, are you working?
     
  9. nerdy spider

    nerdy spider Arachnopeon

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    So suspicious... Actually, I didn't mention 'toxinologically' first in this tread. Anyway, I work at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland and I have been working with scorpion and spider toxins for over a decade... I'm also a member of the International Society of Toxinology (IST) and I'm genuinely scientifically interested in toxins...
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  10. Tarac

    Tarac Arachnolord

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    Here:

    http://www.mendeley.com/research/mo...nological-research-considerations-concerns-2/

    http://www.mendeley.com/research/co...haracteristics-two-cassiopea-aurelia-species/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11003127

    Toxinological(ly) is indeed a word and is the correct word (v. toxicology) in this context- when I did my residency at the NIH (rheumatology, proteomics) or was finishing my degrees at John's Hopkins it wasn't so alien sounding. I can find you more but why would I waste 2 more seconds of my time finding "use that in sentence please" examples when you should be perfectly capable of doing it yourself. If you want to have a technical discussion, learn the terminology.

    Lol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  11. Someone fed you the wrong info if you have Psalmopoeus and Grammostola in the mix with truly dangerous spiders. A wet bite can cause discomfort but nothing of serious medical concern.

    As a general rule the old world Ts have a more potent venom that the new world Ts. There are of course a few potent new world Ts (Psalmopoeus). The most common effects of a bad bite are localized swelling, muscle cramps, and nausea. The vast majority of bites from even the potent Ts lead to nothing but general mechanical damage as most are dry bites.

    To say that any T is dangerous to human health is absurd. There has never been a proven recorded case of a human suffering serious medical trauma from a T bite.
     
  12. ijmccollum

    ijmccollum Arachnosquire

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    ARS-USDA Poisonous Plants Lab. Currently working in ligand binding channels and spent a near decade at university in electrophysiology working with voltage gated channels. Do I make the cut?
     
  13. SgtSparkles

    SgtSparkles Arachnosquire

    well thats great to know since i have a phlogius.
     
  14. ijmccollum

    ijmccollum Arachnosquire

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    Don't get bit, I hear it really sux.

    'Kay nerdy spider, you might try this paper in open access in pubmed, "Deconstructing voltage sensor function and pharmacology in sodium channels". There also has been work done on Ca+ and K+ channels.

    Catterall's lab used Thrixopelma pruriens in Na+.

    There are also some really wild ethnozoology papers out there.

    Another good one,"Four Novel Tarantula Toxins as Selective Modulators of
    Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Subtypes".
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  15. nerdy spider

    nerdy spider Arachnopeon

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