Stress and the Toxicity of Venoms

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Science  10 Dec 1965:
Vol. 150, Issue 3702, pp. 1456-1457
DOI: 10.1126/science.150.3702.1456


Animals injected with venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing or venom of the rattlesnake Crotalus atrox Baird and Girard were subjected to high-and low-temperature stress. Unconditioned animals transferred to a modified temperature were less refractory to the venoms than those conditioned for 48 hours, but all animals stressed were less refractory than unstressed animals. Animals receiving a series of small doses of epinephrine were similarly affected. This apparent change in toxicity of the venoms seems to be due to the physiological effects of stress rather than to the temperature per se.