Scientific reports 2018 03 228(1) 5057 doi 10.1038/s41598-018-22988-1
Crotamine, originally isolated from rattlesnake venom, has been extensively studied due to its pleiotropic biological properties, and special attention has been paid to its antitumor activity. However, long-term treatment with crotamine was accompanied by a reduction in animal body weight gain and by increases in glucose tolerance. As cancer is commonly associated with cachexia, to preclude the possible cancer cachexia-like effect of crotamine, herein this polypeptide was administered in healthy wild-type C57/BL6 mice by the oral route daily, for 21 days. Reduced body weight gain, in addition to decreased white adipose tissue (WAT) and increased brown adipose tissue (BAT) mass were observed in healthy animals in the absence of tumor. In addition, we observed improved glucose tolerance and increased insulin sensitivity, accompanied by a reduction of plasma lipid levels and decreased levels of biomarkers of liver damage and kidney disfunctions. Importantly, long-term treatment with crotamine increased the basal metabolic rate in vivo, which was consistent with the increased expression of thermogenic markers in BAT and WAT. Interestingly, cultured brown adipocyte cells induced to differentiation in the presence of crotamine also showed increases in some of these markers and in lipid droplets number and size, indicating increased brown adipocyte maturation.