Cerebrospinal inflammatory response following scorpion envenomation: role of histamine H1 and H3 receptors

  • Amal Megdad-Lamraoui
  • Sonia Adi-Bessalem
  • Fatima Laraba-DjebariEmail author
Original Article



The mechanism of the inflammatory process induced by scorpion venom in the cerebrospinal tissues has not yet been completely elucidated. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the role of histamine through its H1 and H3 receptors in this process.


Histamine H1 and H3 receptor antagonists, Hydroxyzine (10 mg/kg) and Betaserc (20 mg/kg), respectively, were administered by intraperitoneal route to mice 1 h before subcutaneous envenomation with a subletal dose (0.5 mg/kg) of Androctonus australis hector venom. Cerebrospinal inflammation response was assessed 24 h after envenomation by evaluating the vascular permeability changes, inflammatory cell infiltration, oxidative/nitrosative stress marker levels (hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide, malondialdehyde, glutathione and catalase) and by histological examination of cerebrospinal tissue.


Envenomed mice displayed an installation of an inflammatory response marked by increased vascular permeability (76% and 68% in brain and spinal cord, respectively, in comparison to controls), inflammatory cell infiltration, increased pro-oxidant levels and decreased anti-oxidant markers (p  < 0.05 to p  < 0.001). Scorpion venom also induced structural changes in brain and spinal cord tissues. Hydroxyzine seemed to be more efficient than Betaserc in the prevention of the induced cerebrospinal inflammation response, as evidenced by the decreased vascular permeability, inflammatory cell infiltration, pro-oxidant levels, increased anti-oxidant defense (p  < 0.05 to p  < 0.001) and a reduction of the anatomo-pathological alterations.


The results showed that the histamine H1 receptor is more involved in the induced central nervous system inflammatory response during scorpion envenomation.


Scorpion venom Inflammatory response Cerebrospinal tissues Histamine H1-receptor Histamine H3-receptor 



Androctonus australis hector


Cyclic adenosine monophosphate


Hydrogen peroxide




Mitogen-activated protein kinases




Nuclear factor-kappa B


Naval Medical Research Institute


Nitric oxide


Pattern-recognition receptors


Toll-like receptor


Tumor necrosis factor-α



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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USTHBLaboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological SciencesAlgiersAlgeria

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