Painkillers Can Be Produced From Rattlesnake Snake Poison!
After scientists found a way to reduce poison while enhancing the analgesic properties of the compound, a whole new hope arose that a poison compound from the South American rattlesnake could be used to relieve chronic pain.
The crotoxin found in the venom of this rattlesnake (Crotalusdurissusssp. Terrificus) is known to be an anti-inflammatory pain reliever and a muscle paralyzer.
But it is also extremely toxic. The new study shows that crotoxin can be less lethal by packing it in an SBA-15 silica nanostructure.
Based on animal testing, this silica-containing crotoxin can give some hope for millions of people living with damaged nerves or neuropathic pain caused by a faulty nervous system stinging or burning sensation.
Common painkillers often have no effect on this type of nerve pain.
The two molecules are combined for the first time
In an interview with pharmacologist GiselePicolo news agency Agência FAPESP,
“I have been working on crotoxin since 2011. The results are positive in terms of analgesic effect, but toxicity is always a restriction for us, ” he added. “Using silica was a great idea. The two molecules were combined for the first time. ”
SBA-15 silica is a kind of porous nanomaterial originally developed for vaccine production and can help slow down the chemical reaction triggered by a vaccine so that enough antibodies are produced. Here it protects against toxins.
Other tests have shown the pain-killing effects of crotoxin, which lasts longer with the addition of SBA-15 silica. In one test, a single dose was sufficient to reverse hypernoception (increased sensitivity to painful stimuli) for 48 hours.
By examining individual pain receptors in mice, scientists were able to determine that the addition of the SBA-15 nanostructure did not alter the mechanisms that crotoxin uses to relieve pain. Moreover, silica prevents the compound from breaking down in the stomach, which means it can be administered orally.
The initial findings are very promising, but still, despite some progress in this area, we’re still on a long way from a crotoxin-inspired painkiller, as we don’t have an easy way to synthesize in the lab in bulk.
“Crotoxin is a large molecule with a complex structure that is difficult to copy in the lab, so there are many ways to go for scaled use,” Picolo.
Studies continue to try to be available as a suitable drug for humans with all therapeutic benefits of crotoxin and as little toxicity as possible, and this latest development is definitely an encouraging step.