Review of the Mechanisms of Snake Venom Induced Pain: It’s All about Location, Location, Location

Vance G. Nielsen, Michael T. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Pain—acute, chronic and debilitating—is the most feared neurotoxicity resulting from a survivable venomous snake bite. The purpose of this review is to present in a novel paradigm what we know about the molecular mechanisms responsible for pain after envenomation. Progressing from known pain modulating peptides and enzymes, to tissue level interactions with venom resulting in pain, to organ system level pain syndromes, to geographical level distribution of pain syndromes, the present work demonstrates that understanding the mechanisms responsible for pain is dependent on “location, location, location”. It is our hope that this work can serve to inspire the molecular and epidemiologic investigations needed to better understand the neurotoxic mechanisms responsible for these snake venom mediated diverse pain syndromes and ultimately lead to agent specific treatments beyond anti-venom alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2128
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Metalloproteinase
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Phospholipase A
  • Serine protease
  • Snake venom peptides
  • Venomous snake bite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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