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Animal research

05 - 04 - 2017

Heroin-producing blennies

Blennies are fish with a tapered body and particularly long dorsal and pectoral fins.

The saber-toothed blennie is one of about 2,500 venomous fish, the vast majority of which administer their poison via darts or spiny fins. To escape from its predators, the saber-toothed blennie injects its venom thanks to two grooved teeth connected to glands. The venom attaches to opioid receptors causing dizziness and slowing down the movements of bitten animal.

The venom of the saber-toothed blennie contains opioid peptides with an analgesic activity which could be the starting point for new molecules to treat pain.

Thierry Battmann