Brazilian Pit Viper
Regarding the brazilian pit vip and its venom:
(1) which compound derived from the Brazilian pit viper is used in heart medications?
(2) how does that compound work as a poison?
1)Let me try to answer your question with great pleasure
since i am myself Brazilian and i knew some of the people
involved with that research.
See, one of the hypertension causes is the conversion
of Angiotensin I, a substance present on the human blood.
Bradykinin is one substance that avoids the conversion
of Angiotensin I to Angiotensin II, preventing high
OK... some Brazilian researches discovered that the
venom from a pit viper native at Brazil, the
"jararaca" or "Bothrops Jararaca" has a family of
peptides that strongly potentiates the effects of
Bradykinin in vitro and in vivo. That factor was named
BPF, that is Bradykinin Potentiating Factor, and it
helps to keep the blood pressure at its normal level.
The research was extended and similar and more potent
synthetic substances were made and produced at
2) Most snakes venom injure man and other animals
when introduced into the organism by a bite.Local effects
include wheals, blisters, and violent inflammation followed
by death of tissue,muscle spasm,hemorrage and other
conditions that can be fatal: tetany (caused by abnormal
calcium metabolism) marked by cramps ans convulsions, and
depressive symptoms as clouding of senses, paralysis,
weakening or arrest of respiration and heartbeat.
Thanks for asking NEWTON!
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
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Update: June 2012