Ctenus medius Keyserling, 1891 (Araneae: Ctenidae) co-occurs in various microhabitats of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and can be easily misidentified as the medically important spider Phoneutria nigriventer Keyserling, 1981 (Ctenidae). Despite being phylogenetically close to Phoneutria, no data are available about the toxic potential of Ctenus medius venom. Here we show that, although presenting different profile of protein composition, C. medius venom displays some of the toxic properties exhibited by P. nigriventer venom, including proteolytic, hyaluronidasic and phospholipasic activities, as well as the ability of causing hyperalgesia and edema. Moreover, C. medius venom interferes in the activation of the complement system in concentrations that P. nigriventer venom is inactive. Thus, these data show that venoms of spiders from Ctenidae family share important proinflammatory properties and suggest that the C. medius bite may have an important noxious effect in human accidents.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1