Mapping the Immune Cell Microenvironment with Spatial Profiling in Muscle Tissue Injected with the Venom of Daboia russelii

Ana K. de Oliveira, Patcharin Pramoonjago, Alexandra Rucavado, Christopher Moskaluk, Dilza T. Silva, Teresa Escalante, José María Gutiérrez, Jay W. Fox*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Pathological and inflammatory events in muscle after the injection of snake venoms vary in different regions of the affected tissue and at different time intervals. In order to study such heterogeneity in the immune cell microenvironment, a murine model of muscle necrosis based on the injection of the venom of Daboia russelii was used. Histological and immunohistochemical methods were utilized to identify areas in muscle tissue with a different extent of muscle cell damage, based on the presence of hypercontracted muscle cells, a landmark of necrosis, and on the immunostaining for desmin. A gradient of inflammatory cells (neutrophils and macrophages) was observed from heavily necrotic areas to less damaged and non-necrotic areas. GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler (NanoString, Seattle, WA, USA) was used for assessing the presence of markers of various immune cells by comparing high-desmin (nondamaged) and low-desmin (damaged) regions of muscle. Markers of monocytes, macrophages, M2 macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils, leukocyte adhesion and migration markers, and hematopoietic precursor cells showed higher levels in low-desmin regions, especially in samples collected 24 hr after venom injection, whereas several markers of lymphocytes did not. Moreover, apoptosis (BAD) and extracellular matrix (fibronectin) markers were also increased in low-desmin regions. Our findings reveal a hitherto-unknown picture of immune cell microheterogeneity in venom-injected muscle which greatly depends on the extent of muscle cell damage and the time lapse after venom injection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number208
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Daboia russelii venom
  • GeoMx Digital Spacial Profiler
  • desmin
  • inflammatory infiltrate
  • myonecrosis


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