Studying the Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurotransmissions with Spider Venoms

  • José Luiz LiberatoEmail author
  • Wagner Ferreira dos Santos
Living reference work entry
Part of the Toxinology book series (TOXI)


Spider venoms are a complex cocktail containing hundreds of biologically active compounds resulting in a potent weapon to subdue their prey and for predator deterrence. Some spider toxins are valuable instruments for studying the physiological, pharmacological, and molecular mechanisms of nervous system of invertebrates and vertebrates. Neuroactive compounds from spider venoms have become valuable as therapeutic tools due to their extremely high specificity and potency for interaction with ion channels, receptors for neurotransmitters, and/or transporters of neurotransmitters. The study of these molecules allowed the identification and characterization of new receptors and ionic channels and also established the three-dimensional structure of receptors. It has been used in the development of new bioinsecticides as well as for drugs and therapeutic methods for the disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system.


Spider venom Neurotransmission Excitatory Inhibitory Nervous tissue 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Luiz Liberato
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wagner Ferreira dos Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobiology and Venoms Laboratory, Biology Department, College of Philosophy, Sciences and LiteratureUniversity of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil

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