Cobra venom is composed of various proteins, peptides, and enzymes with different biological and pharmacological functions. Several previous studies have reported that Naja venom exerts potent analgesic effects on various animal models of pain. The clinical studies using whole venom or active components have confirmed that Naja venom is an effective and safe medicine for the treatment of chronic pain. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that it has immune regulatory and anti-inflammatory actions in vivo and in vitro. In this review article, we summarize recent studies on the role of Naja venom and its components in inflammation, oxidative stress, and immunity. The main new findings in Naja venom research show that it may enhance innate and humoral immune responses while suppressing T lymphocyte-mediated cellular immunity (several cellular-immune reactions), thus suggesting that Naja active components may have therapeutic values in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
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