Pharmacokinetics and Biodistribution of Rhopalurus junceus Scorpion Venom in Tumor-Bearing Mice after Intravenous and Oral Administration

Alexis Diaz Garcia


Gilmara Pimentel González

Tais Basaco

Paul Scherrer Institute

Juan C. Rodríguez Aurrecochea

Hermis Rodríguez Sánchez

Iraida Sánchez Monzón

Maikel Hernández Gómez

Caridad Rodríguez Torres

Maria Regla Rodríguez Capote

Irania Guevara Orellanes


Background: Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has shown potential for anticancer treatment. However, there are no scientific evidence about venom pharmacokinetic (PK) and biodistribution (BD) in tumor-bearing mice. Methods: 131I-labeled venom was administrated by intravenous (IV) and oral (PO) routes at the single dose of 12.5 mg/kg. Mice were sacrificed and blood samples, major organs, and tumor were taken at 10, 20, 40, 90, 180, 300, 480, and 1440 min. Results: For IV route, maximum peak concentration (Cmax), elimination half-lives, total body clearance (CL), distribution volume (Vd), mean residence time (MRT), and area under curve (AUC) were 21.77 ± 2.45 %Dosis•h/mL, 12.65 ± 2.1 h, 4.59 ± 0.23 mL/h, 83.80 ± 12 mL, 12.49 ± 2.71 h, and 21.77 ± 2.45 %Dosis•h/mL, respectively. For PO route, they were 0.60 ± 0.07 %Dosis•h/mL, 9.33 ± 1.35 h, 36.94 ± 4.01 mL/h, 497.33 ± 30 mL, 12.40 ± 1.87 h, and 6.89 ± 1.18 %Dosis•h/mL, respectively. PK parameters (Cmax, CL, Vd, and AUC) showed significant differences between IV and PO routes. Bioavailability was 31.6 ± 4% for PO dose. Kidney, stomach, liver, and lung for IV and stomach, kidney, spleen, and lung for PO routes showed the major uptakes for 131I-labeled venom. In tumor tissue, after the maximum uptake for both routes, there was a consistent behavior of radioactivity respect to the major organs during the first 480 min. Conclusion: The PK and BD of R. junceus venom in mice depend on the administration route. These data represent a starting point for future experiments with this scorpion venom in experimental models of cancer.