Research Highlight

Scorpion venom for better bones

doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.327 Published online 28 November 2008

The Indian black scorpion.

Scorpion venom could reverse the changes brought about by osteoporosis, new research has found1.

Working on venom from the Indian black scorpion (Heterometrus bengalensis) on female albino rats with osteoporosis, a team from Kolkata found that it may influence the bone remodeling process by stimulating bone formation and reducing bone resorption process during formation of new bone cells.

The osteoporosis changes of urine, serum and bone in the osteoporosis rats were significantly restored when the scorpion venom was used in them. The bone dimensions, morphology and histological changes observed in these rats were also restored.

The find could help produce drugs to treat osteoporosis, the researchers say.

The authors of this work were from: Laboratory of Toxicology and Experimental Pharmacodynamics, Department of Physiology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India and Drug Development Division, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India.


  1. Gomes, A. et al. Experimental osteoporosis induced in female albino rats and its antagonism by Indian black scorpion (Heterometrus bengalensis C.L.Koch) venom. Toxicon. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2008.10.011 (2008)