• Welcome to TONMO, the premier cephalopod interest community. Founded in 2000, we have built a large community of experts, hobbyists and enthusiasts, some of whom come together when we host our biennial conference. To join in on the fun, sign up - it's free! You can also become a Supporter for just $50/year to remove all ads and gain access to our Supporters forum. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more cephy goodness.

blue ring octo venom

Jean

Colossal Squid
Registered
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Messages
4,218
BR toxin is deadly and related to tetrodotoxin (like a puffer fish). The saliva contains maculotoxin (the tetrodotoxin look alike!), 5-hydroxytryptamine, hyaluronidase, tyramine, histamine, tryptamine, octopamine, taurine, acetylcholine, and dopamine.

The maculotoxin blocks sodium channels, causing motor paralysis and sometimes respiratory arrest leading to cardiac arrest due to a lack of oxygen. The toxin is created by bacteria in the salivary glands of the octopus.

There is no anti venom and treatment requires that the patient be placed on a respirator until the venom is flushed from the body. Tetrodotoxin poisoning can result in the victim being fully aware of his/her surrounds but unable to breathe. So you need to carry out CPR even if the victim is not responding..........they could still be alive!

The blue-ringed octopus is currently the most toxic known sea creature, it carries enough poison to kill 26 adult humans within minutes.

Nasty stuff!!

J
 

monty

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
4,884
I don't have time for a big post, but a few pointers that may help:

The part of blue ring venom that is toxic to humans (there may be other components) is commonly called TTX (tetrodotoxin.) It's the same toxin that is found in puffer fish and in a species of newt (? or is it salamander?), but in all these animals, it's actually produced by symbiotic bacteria. It's method of action is to bind to the voltage-gated sodium channels in nerve axons that are an important part of the system to send "action potentials" or "spikes" down the long part of the nerve (unlike wires, nerves actively propagate the signals). The TTX blocks these channels and essentially shuts down the animal's nervous system. In humans, the heart survives this, and the brain and spinal cord are protected by the blood-brain barrier, which TTX doesn't cross, but all of the peripheral nervous system can be shut down by TTX in the bloodstream (where the octo bit and injected it into the blood, or from the stomach for someone who ate Fugu or something.) In particular, that means that the nerves can't tell the muscles to breathe, so respiration stops. Fortunately, TTX only binds to these channels for around 12-24 hours, so if the person is put on a respirator, they can be kept alive for a while and recover. Unfortunately for that person, the brain is still working fine (because of the blood-brain barrier) so they're often conscious, aware, and alert, but can't breathe, talk, or move.

I'd suggest googling for TTX to find more information (including the full name). There are good articles on blue-rings on the cephalopod page, too, including this one: http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/bluering1.php

another good google search might be "hapalochlaena"
 

monty

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
4,884
Jean;88681 said:
BR toxin is deadly and related to tetrodotoxin (like a puffer fish). The saliva contains maculotoxin (the tetrodotoxin look alike!), 5-hydroxytryptamine, hyaluronidase, tyramine, histamine, tryptamine, octopamine, taurine, acetylcholine, and dopamine.
Wikipedia says "Tarichatoxin and maculotoxin were shown to be identical to tetrodotoxin in 1964 and 1978, respectively." -- but it's wikipedia, so who knows if it's right, but I'm pretty sure I'd read that elsewhere. Did that turn out to be wrong, and maculotoxin is a bit different chemically? I know the mechanism of action is the same...
 

cthulhu77

TONMO Supporter
Registered
Joined
Mar 15, 2003
Messages
6,638
Half of the problem is that many researchers are still using gas chromatographic analysis, which is spotty at best...and getting different results with testing. Once they can nail down some of the more fluid components, there might be some cohesive ideas coming out of the venom labs.
 

Reptiboy

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
16
no no no it doesnt, tho maybe id get extra credit for "demonstrating" the capabilities of the venom on a particular student i dont like jk jk...
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Registered
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Messages
4,218
monty;88689 said:
Wikipedia says "Tarichatoxin and maculotoxin were shown to be identical to tetrodotoxin in 1964 and 1978, respectively." -- but it's wikipedia, so who knows if it's right, but I'm pretty sure I'd read that elsewhere. Did that turn out to be wrong, and maculotoxin is a bit different chemically? I know the mechanism of action is the same...
Quite likely! Chemistry was never my strong suit, so I was hedging my bets by calling it a TTX look alike :biggrin2:

J
 

Latest Posts

Forum statistics

Threads
20,850
Messages
206,741
Members
8,457
Latest member
DaneMom6800

Monty Awards

TONMOCON IV (2011): Terri
TONMOCON V (2013): Jean
TONMOCON VI (2015): Taollan
TONMOCON VII (2018): ekocak


Top