Prophylactic effect of Mucuna pruriens Linn (velvet bean) seed extract against experimental Naja sputatrix envenomation: gene expression studies

Indian J Exp Biol. 2014 Sep;52(9):849-59.


Mucuna pruriens is widely used in traditional medicine for treatments of various diseases. In certain region of Nigeria, the seed is used as oral prophylactics for snakebite. Rats pretreated with the aqueous extract from M. pruriens seed (MPE) were protected against the lethal effects of Naja sputatrix (Javan spitting cobra) venom [Tan et al., J Ethnopharmacol, 123 (2009) 356]. The pretreatment also protected against venom-induced histopathological changes in rat heart. To contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of cardio-protective action, the present study examined the effects of MPE-pretreatment on gene expression profile of rat heart as well as effect of MPE-pretreatment on N. sputatrix venom-induced gene expression alterations in rat heart. The gene expression profiles were examined by microarray analysis and verified by real time PCR. The results showed that pretreatment with MPE caused 50 genes in the rat heart substantially up-regulated of which 19 were related to immune responses, 7 were related to energy production and metabolism. The up-regulation of genes related to energy metabolism probably plays a role in maintaining the viability of the heart. Four other genes that were up-regulated (alpha synuclein, natriuretic peptide precursor, calsequestrin and triadin) were involved in the maintenance of homeostasis of the heart or maintaining its viability, thereby contributing to the direct protective action. The results demonstrated that protective effect of MPE pretreatment against snake venom poisoning may involve a direct action on the heart.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Elapid Venoms / toxicity*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mucuna / chemistry*
  • Myocardium / chemistry
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / chemistry
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seeds / chemistry


  • Elapid Venoms
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents