Background Snakebite is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. In Brazil, about 70% of the envenomation cases are caused by Bothrops snakes. Its venom may provoke hemorrhage, pain, necrosis, hemolysis, renal or cardiac failure and even death in victims. Since commercial antivenom does not efficiently neutralize the local toxic effects of venoms, natural products have been tested in order to provide alternative or complementary treatment to serum therapy. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the ability of the seaweed Plocamium brasiliense and its active derivatives to neutralize hemorrhagic, edematogenic, hemolytic, coagulant and proteolytic activities of B. jararaca venom. Methods Specimens of P. brasiliense were collected in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, dried and submitted to oil extraction using four solvents of increasing polarities, n-hexane (HEX), dichloromethane (DCM), ethyl acetate (ETA) and hydroalcoholic solution (HYD). The solvents were evaporated, yielding HEX, DCM, ETA and HYD extracts. Further, all extracts were dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide. In addition, two monoterpenes (8-bromo-3,4,7-trichloro-3,7-dimethyl-1E, 5E-octadiene and 1,8-dibromo-3,4,7-trichloro-3,7-dimethyl-1E, 5E-octadiene) and a cholesterol fraction were isolated from the extract of P. brasiliense prepared in hexane. Algal samples were incubated for 30 minutes with B. jararaca venom, and then tested for lethality; hemorrhagic, edematogenic, hemolytic, coagulant and proteolytic effects. Results Most of the algal extracts inhibited the toxic effects with different potencies. The DCM extract was the most effective, since it inhibited all types of toxic activity. On the other hand, the HYD extract failed to inhibit any effect. Moreover, the isolated products inhibited proteolysis and protected mice from hemorrhage in 30% of the cases, whereas 8-bromo-3,4,7-trichloro-3,7-dimethyl-1E, 5E-octadiene inhibited 100% and 20% of the hemorrhagic and proteolytic activities, respectively. None of the algal products were toxic to mice. Conclusion Seaweeds may be a promising source of inhibitors against toxic effects caused by B. jararacaenvenomation, which may contribute to antivenom treatment.
The ability of crude extracts of the brown seaweed Spatoglossum schröederi to counteract some of the biological activities of Lachesis muta snake venom was evaluated. In vitro assays showed that only the extract of S. schröederi prepared in ethyl acetate was able to inhibit the clotting of fibrinogen induced by L. muta venom. On the other hand, all extracts were able to inhibit partially the hemolysis caused by venom and those prepared in dichloromethane or ethyl acetate fully neutralized the proteolysis and hemorrhage produced by the venom. Moreover, the dichloromethane or ethyl acetate extracts inhibited the hemolysis induced by an isolated phospholipase A2 from L. muta venom, called LM-PLA2-I. In contrast, the hexane extract failed to protect mice from hemorrhage or to inhibit proteolysis and clotting. These results show that the polarity of the solvent used to prepare the extracts of S. schröederi algae influenced the potency of the inhibitory effect of the biological activities induced by L. muta venom. Thus, the seaweed S. schröederi may be a promising source of natural inhibitors of the enzymes involved in biological activities of L. muta venom.