Hemotoxins


Also found in: Medical.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hemotoxins

 

substances of plant, animal, or microbial origin that injure the membranes of red blood cells and cause them to undergo hemolysis. Hemotoxins are mainly enzymes like lecithinases or phospholipases, which split phospholipids in the membranes of red blood cells, or saponin-like substances that act on another component of the membrane, cholesterol. Hemotoxins may be of microbial origin (from staphylococci, streptococci, and so forth), plant origin (tox-albumins, ricin, crotin, saponin, and abrin), or animal origin. The latter include arachnolysins of certain spiders (such as Latrodectus, Atrax, and Lycosa), hemotoxins of parasitic worms (Dibothriocephalus), and snake venoms, especially those of snakes from the families Viperidae and Crotalidae. The red blood cells of different animal species vary in sensitivity to the same hemotoxin. For example, snake venoms (like cobra venom) lyse the red blood cells of guinea pigs, dogs, and man but not those of cattle, sheep, and goats. Lecithins and cholesterol in large doses block the action of hemotoxins.

KH. KH. PLANEL’ES

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(5) Hemotoxins may disrupt blood clotting and cause generalized tissue damage, and they are associated with myonecrosis and gangrene in humans.
Broadly there are two types of toxins namely neurotoxins which attack the central nervous system and hemotoxins which target the circulatory system (Markland 1998).
Main Concept: (Please see Levels B-D.) Additionally, students learn about numerous different types of toxins, such as neurotoxins, hemotoxins and necrotoxins, and how each affects different organs in the body.