Morphological changes in the venom gland of V. ammodytes were studied after the removal of the venom from the gland lumina (milking) It was found that the height of the secretory cells was changed during the secretory cycle. The patterns of the rough endoplasmic reticulum and of the Golgi complex were changed as well Milking induced an increased incorporation of [14C]amino acids into total and venom proteins In V ammodytes, during the first day after milking, 25% of the total counts in protein were precipitable by anti-venom serum, while at 8 days, 80% of the proteins synthesized were venom proteins At this stage, the incorporation was 10- and 20-fold that of unmilked glands for total and venom proteins, respectively. Venom was accumulated (secreted) in the gland lumina of V. ammodytes at a relatively high rate up to 2 wk after milking and leveled off afterwards. Intact glands and gland slices of V ammodytes and V palaestinae, taken from snakes a few days after milking, incorporated [14C]amino acids into proteins in vitro at a rate higher than that of unmilked glands. The activity of two exportable enzymes (phosphodiesterase and benzoyl arginyl ethyl esterase) was assayed in gland homogenates of V. ammodytes. It was found that 2–3 wk after milking, the intracellular level of these enzymes was up to 2-fold that of unmilked glands.

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