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I'm wondering if batrachotoxin can be absorbed directly through the skin, or must it go through breaks in it? Does anyone have a good site on Batrachotoxin? The only one I could find was this one.
 

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batrachotoxin

I don't know of any good sites of hand, but your best bet is to google it. It has been debated for a long time whether or not it can be absorbed through the skin, especially in the case of handling terriblis, but most believe that it cannot. It most likely must come into contact with the bloodstream through a cut or abrasion.


Justin
 

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;1197 said:
I'm wondering if batrachotoxin can be absorbed directly through the skin, or must it go through breaks in it? Does anyone have a good site on Batrachotoxin? The only one I could find was this one.
Yes, batrachotoxin does go through the skin; chickens and dogs have died from contact with a paper towel on which a terribilis had walked.
 

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Can't find a source in my 10 min of web searching. However, it is always less likely to have chemicals that very easily and readily cross or those that don't at all. Most organics have some degree of dermal transport which, of course, can facilitated by skin condition, concentration on skin, mechanical 'rubbing" etc. When I can't find specific studies I have used a combination of 1. doing a quick look at the structure and 2. looking at the octanol/water partition coefficient. These will help to estimate, but will not give the source you are looking for. Sorry and I am interested in seeing what you come up with.

I will say that in looking at dermal studies I have always done so with mucho skepticism. They vary greatly because of the many confounding and contributing aspects that are very difficult to control. The only ones that I have had faith in are those that take some skin (cadaver or rat, etc) apply the chemical to that in a controlled method, and then measure transport over time. I have had less faith in those that rub some on a rat and then keep increasing until they die or have some other reaction.

This is yet another post where I ramble on but don't actually answer the poster's question. Apparently all I am good for, but considering the name of this thread I felt the need to post something anyway.
 

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just did a quick search through some scholarly databases and found this

Batrachotoxin is a potent modulator of voltage-gated sodium channels, leading to irreversible depolarisation of nerves and muscles, fibrillation, arrhythmias and eventually cardiac failure. Since its discovery, field researchers also reported numbness after their skin came into contact with this toxin. Intrigued by this phenomenon, we determined the effect of batrachotoxin on the voltage-gated sodium channel Na<sub>v</sub>1.8, which is considered to be a key player in nociception. As a result, we discovered that batrachotoxin profoundly modulates this channel: the inactivation process is severely altered, the voltage-dependence of activation is shifted towards more hyperpolarised potentials resulting in the opening of Na<sub>v</sub>1.8 at more negative membrane potentials and the ion selectivity is modified. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]

I would say then that you probably will not get the full effect of the toxic by contact with only the skin but you will definitely get some kind of symptom resulting from the contact depending on the amount of toxin you came in contact with.
Hope that helped :)
 

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The chicken and dog thing if I remember correctly is a misquoting of an article published by Daly(I think) that was published (If I remember correctly) in either Scientific American or National Geographic. In short the researchers while staying with the locals had collected terriblis and collected samples of the skin and discarded the materials that could break down into the village's trashhead where it came into contact with some of the chickens that foraged there. The chickens died and the researchers had to repay the locals.

Nice Necromancy on a thread that has been buried for quite a few years.

Ed
 

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Yep, the chicken thing did occur because of discarded material into the rubbish pile which were foraged on.
The original mention of this story was in an work by Myers, Daly, and Malkin in the Bulletin of the American Museum in 1978. There was an article in 1983 in Scientific American by Myers and Daly, which talked about the genus Phyllobates among other things. The chicken story might be mentioned there as well, as Ed mentioned. I have a copy, but don't feel like looking for it in my mess! I decided to post, because I think people should look up the older works by Myers and Daly. Fascinating stuff, full of information and wonderful field notes.
I think it should be required reading for hobbyist interested in dart frogs, even if you skim over the hard to understand stuff like I do :)
 

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When I run across an article on the topic regardless of age by Daly etal, I stop to check it out since he really deserves the respect for his work.

Ed
 
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