Indexed on: 06 Dec '14Published on: 06 Dec '14Published in: Toxicon
About 1% of scorpion stings in Iran have been reported in cities and more than 5% in rural areas. The genus Hemiscorpous lepturus belongs to the family Hemiscorpiidae that is endemic in the south-western province of Khoozestan and other parts of western Iran. Although this species is responsible for only 10% of the reported stings, it is also responsible for 95% of mortalities. The heavy cytotoxic and neurotoxic venomous effects of scorpion sting may cause serious disorders such as erythema, purpuric changes, bulla, necrosis and ulcer, either alone or in combination. The toxic effects of H. lepturus venom cause vast changes in both primary and secondary metabolites of the victim, which finally lead to death if not treated early enough. Metabolomics is the systematic study of chemical fingerprints resulting from cytotoxic and pathogenic reactions of cells. We studied the toxic mechanism of H. lepturus venom on metabolome profiling of the victims along with biochemical pathways, organs and physiological detectable effects of this venom by the help of (1)H NMR. Our results showed that pyrimidine, histidine and tyrosine metabolisms, and steroid hormone biosynthesis were the most affected pathways. The major action of the crude venom is on the pancreas, and also on the nerve cells, spleen and mitochondria, causing acute seizures, which resemble the early markers of myocardial injury and seizure disorders.