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Investigation of in vivo potential of scorpion venom against skin tumorigenesis in mice via targeting markers associated with cancer development

Authors Al Asmari AK, Khan AQ

Received 19 May 2016

Accepted for publication 30 June 2016

Published 18 October 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 3387—3397

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S113171

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Wei Duan


Abdulrahman K Al Asmari, Abdul Quaiyoom Khan

Research Centre, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: Cancer is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world in spite of the advances made in its management. In this study, we investigated the in vivo antitumorigenic potential of the venom obtained from a medically important scorpion species Leiurus quinquestriatus on chemically induced skin cancer in mice. Animals were divided into five groups, with 13 animals in each group. All the treatments were given topically on the shaved dorsal surface of the skin. Animals in Group 1 received vehicle only (0.2 mL acetone). Moreover, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA, 400 nmol per mouse) was applied to all the animals in the remaining four groups. After 1 week, different concentrations of venom (17.5 µg, 35 µg, and 52.5 µg per animal) were applied to each animal in the Groups III–V. Thirty minutes after the application of venom, croton oil was applied on the same position where venom was administered to the animals of Groups III–V. Animals in Group II were treated as the positive control (without venom) and received croton oil as in Groups III–V. The findings of this study revealed that venom extract of L. quinquestriatus inhibits DMBA + croton oil-induced mouse skin tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity. Venom treatment also decreased the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Immunohistochemistry results showed a downregulation of the expression of molecular markers such as Ki-67, nuclear factor kappa-B, cyclooxygenase-2, B-cell lymphoma-2, and vascular endothelial growth factor, in venom-treated animals. Our findings suggest that the venom of L. quinquestriatus possesses in vivo anticancer potential and may be used in the development of anticancer molecules.

Keywords: Leiurus quinquestriatus, skin cancer, apoptosis, immunosuppression

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