Brazilian researchers who study a native venomous fish have confirmed a route to drug development for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis and asthma.
The venomous toadfish Thalassophryne nattereri contains a peptide (TnP) with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic potential. Confirmation of this potential has now come via the zebrafish Danio rerio, a popular aquarium species native to South Asia that shares 70% of its genome with humans and is widely used as a model for in vivo trials in drug development.
The researchers tested TnP in D. rerio to measure its toxicity. In a little over a year, their research showed that the peptide is safe. It did not cause cardiac dysfunction or neurological problems in the toxicity tests they performed.