Research on Biomedical Engineering
Research on Biomedical Engineering
Original Article

Low-intensity laser therapy improves tetanic contractions in mouse anterior tibialis muscle injected with Bothrops jararaca snake venom

Giaretta, Vania Maria de Araújo; Santos, Luiz Prudêncio; Barbosa, Ana Maria; Hyslop, Stephen; Corrado, Alexandre Pinto; Galhardo, Milene Sanches; Nicolau, Renata Amadei; Cogo, José Carlos

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Introduction: Envenomation by Bothrops snakes can produce local pain, edema, hemorrhage and myonecrosis. However, standard antivenom therapy is generally ineffective in neutralizing these effects so that alternative methods of treatment have been investigated. In experimental animals, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) attenuates the local effects of Bothrops venoms, but the benefits of LLLT on muscle function after envenomation are unclear. In this study, we examined the influence of LLLT on the contractile activity of mouse skeletal muscle injected with venom from Bothrops jararaca, the principal cause of snakebite in southeastern Brazil. Methods: Twenty-seven male mice were used. Mice were injected with venom (40 μg in 50 μl) in the right anterior tibialis muscle, after which the muscle tendon was exposed, connected to an isometric transducer and subjected to a resting tension of 1 g. A bipolar electrode was attached to the tibial nerve for electrical stimulation. The mice were randomly allocated to five groups: A – Control (n = 3), B – Venom 3 h (n = 6), C – Venom 9 h (n = 6), D – Venom + Laser 3 h (n = 6), E – Venom + Laser 9 h (n = 6). Results: The two groups that received LLLT post-venom showed improved muscle contraction and contracture in relation to muscle treated with venom alone. Conclusion: These results indicate that LLLT can improve muscle function after damage induced by B. jararaca venom.


Bothrops jararaca, Low-level laser therapy, Muscle activity, Muscle fatigue, Snake venom, Tetanus.


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