Monday, June 24, 2019

Hardy Kiwi and Acorn Bee Pollen Show Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Intracellular Antioxidant Activity and Inhibition of Bee Pollens on the Production of Inflammatory Mediators 

Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun 13;3(Suppl 1). pii: nzz031.P06-081-19

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The purpose of this study is to present scientific evidences for health promotion of bee pollens through the investigation of the antioxidant and the anti-inflammatory effect.


The intracellular antioxidant activity of bee pollen ethanol extracts was investigated by DCFH-DA assay for the oxidative stress induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mitochondria of macrophages. Inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production were confirmed by the addition of bee pollen extracts. Inhibition of transcription/expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and the inflammatory mediators-production were investigated by adding the bee pollen extracts.


Intracellular oxidative stress by LPS was inhibited at approximately 53% by 0.25 and 3 mg/ml of the Darae-bee pollen extract. It was found that the Acorn- and Mixed bee pollen extract (3 mg/ml) reduced the intracellular oxidative stress at approximately 26.3 and 41.3%, respectively. For anti-inflammatory activity, all three bee pollen extracts (3 g/ml) inhibited effectively the production of NO to an equal to or rather lower than basal level in macrophages. Bee pollen extracts decreased the LPS-induced PGE2 production depending on the amount added, regardless of the kind of bee pollen added. Gene transcription and expression of iNOS and COX-2, an enzyme producing NO and PGE2, respectively, was suppressed by bee pollen extracts and confirmed by RT-PCR and western blot. Additionally, the production of IL-1b, IL-6 and TNF-α, which are inflammatory mediators in macrophages, were inhibited by Darae-, Acorn- and Mixed bee pollen extract.


The ethanol extracts of Darae-, Acorn- and Mixed bee pollen were verified to have the intracellular antioxidant activity and the inhibitory activity on the production of several anti-inflammatory mediators in macrophage cells.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Propolis Component May Help Treat Obesity (Diet, Cancer, Inflammation, Diabetes)

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester and Its Fluorinated Derivative as Natural Anti-obesity Agents 

Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun 13;3(Suppl 1). pii: nzz031.P06-089-19

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Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active component of propolis from honeybee hives, is well studied for its beneficial effects on cancer, inflammation and diabetes. There are however limited studies investigating the effects of CAPE on obesity. Currently, several natural products are under investigation for their effects on adipocyte life cycle. A multi-targeted approach for prevention and treatment of obesity includes targeting adipocytes at all the stages of life cycle by decreasing adipocyte differentiation, inducing lipolysis and/or by inducing adipocyte apoptosis. In this study, we examined the effects of CAPE on preadipocyte viability, adipogenesis and lipolysis. Earlier reports on CAPE indicate that CAPE is liable to enzymatic hydrolysis in vivo making this compound unstable for therapeutic applications. In the current study, we compared the anti-adipogenic effects of CAPE with its novel fluorinated derivative (FCAPE), a more stable compound.


3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes were differentiated using a cocktail consisting of insulin, dexamethasone, and isobutyl methyl xanthine in DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS following adipogeneic differentiation. Pre- and mature adipocytes were incubated with CAPE or FCAPE for 24-48 hours and their effects on viability, lipolysis, and adipogenesis was tested using Prestoblue, Lipolysis assay (Zen-Bio) and AdipoRed assay respectively.


Our results indicate that neither CAPE nor FCAPE significantly altered preadipocyte viability within the tested dose range. Although both CAPE and FCAPE significantly decreased adipogenesis compared to control, FCAPE decreased lipid content by 73.6 ± 1.6% while CAPE reduced lipid content by only 36.8 ± 9.1% at 25 μM concentration. In contrast to adipogenesis data, our preliminary results with lipolysis assay indicate that only CAPE, but not FCAPE induces lipolysis in mature adipocytes.


These findings suggest that both CAPE and FCAPE possess anti-adipogenic properties. Further studies are needed to elucidate their differential effects on adipogenesis and lipolysis.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Iranian Honey Fights Infections by Through Interruption of Quorum Sensing System

Low concentrations of local honey modulate Exotoxin A expression, and quorum sensing related virulence in drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa recovered from infected burn wounds

Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2019 May;22(5):568-575

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Honey's ability to kill microorganisms and even eradication of chronic infections with drug-resistant pathogens has been documented by numerous studies. The present study is focused on the action of honey in its sub-inhibitory levels to impact on the pathogens coordinated behaviors rather than killing them.

Materials and Methods:

The impact of local honey on the quorum sensing related virulence of multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa burn isolates was investigated by detection its effect on the virulence, biofilm formation and expression of quorum sensing related and exotoxin A genes.


Experiments to characterise and quantify the impact of honey on the P. aeruginosa quorum sensing networks showed that the expression of exotoxin A ( ETA), las and rhl glucons reduced by low concentrations of honey including the associated virulence factors.


Our results indicated that honey fights infections either by its bactericidal components which vigorously kill cells or by weakening bacterial coordination and virulence through interruption of quorum sensing system.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Effect of Honey on Diabetic Patients Varies Widely Based on Nectar Source

The effect of different types of honey on the lipid profile of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Arch Med Sci Atheroscler Dis. 2019 May 28;4:e113-e118

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The effect of honey consumption in diabetic patients has been contradictory. The aim of the present animal study was to compare the effect of different types of honey on the lipid profile in diabetic rats.

Material and methods:

Sixty-four male Wistar rats were divided into two main groups: a streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus (DM) group (including four subgroups) and a healthy group (including four subgroups), based on random allocation. Three subgroups of each main group were given 1 mg/kg of three different types of honey (acacia, astragalus, and artificial honey) by oral gavage for 10 weeks. The control groups were given distilled water. Blood samples were collected, and the lipid profile was measured and compared between the eight groups after the intervention.


The levels of LDL, triglycerides (TG), and total cholesterol (Tchol) in DM rats treated with astragalus honey were significantly lower and the HDL level was significantly higher compared to the other DM and healthy groups (all p-values < 0.05). LDL, TG, and Tchol levels in DM rats treated with artificial honey were significantly higher, and HDL levels were significantly lower than for other types of honey and for the control groups (all p-values < 0.05). LDL, HDL, TG, and Tchol levels in healthy rats were not significantly different between the groups (p-value > 0.05).


Different types of honey (acacia, astragalus, and artificial honey) had various effects on serum lipid profiles in diabetic rats. The results of this study indicated that the effect of honey on diabetic patients can vary widely based on its source.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Brazilian Green Propolis May Help Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

p-Coumaric Acid Has Protective Effects against Mutant Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase 1 via the Activation of Autophagy in N2a Cells

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jun 16;20(12). pii: E2942

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective death of motor neurons. In previous our study, an ethanol extract of Brazilian green propolis (EBGP) prevented mutant copper-zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1mut)-induced neurotoxicity. This paper aims to reveal the effects of p-coumaric acid (p-CA), an active ingredient contained in EBGP, against SOD1mut-induced neurotoxicity.

We found that p-CA reduced the accumulation of SOD1mut subcellular aggregation and prevented SOD1mut-associated neurotoxicity. Moreover, p-CA attenuated SOD1mut-induced oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress, which are significant features in ALS pathology. To examine the mechanism of neuroprotective effects, we focused on autophagy, and we found that p-CA induced autophagy. Additionally, the neuroprotective effects of p-CA were inhibited by chloroquine, an autophagy inhibiter.

Therefore, these results obtained in this paper suggest that p-CA prevents SOD1mut-induced neurotoxicity through the activation of autophagy and provides a potential therapeutic approach for ALS.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bee Pollen Supplementation Boosts Growth

Effect of bee pollen on growth performance, carcass traits, blood parameters, and the levels of metabolic hormones in New Zealand White and Rex rabbits

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2019 Jun 11

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The aim was to evaluate the effect of bee pollen (BP) on performance, blood parameters, and metabolic hormones in New Zealand White (NZW) and Rex (RX) rabbits. A total of 60 six-week-old rabbits were allotted into a completely randomized design in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (two breeds and three levels of BP: 0, 250, and 350 mg/kg body weight).

The effects of breed × BP supplementation level were non-significant for all growth performance and carcass traits, as well as the concentrations of metabolic hormones in the plasma. Meanwhile, some blood parameters (hemoglobin, packed cell volume, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and urea) were significantly affected (P < 0.05). Regardless of the effect of breed, the supplementation of BP at a dose of 350 mg/kg BW increased the final body weight (P = 0.008), average daily gain (P < 0.001), and net profits (P = 0.006). However, the rabbits treated with BP at a dose of 250 mg/kg BW showed lower average daily feed intake (- 14.45 g/d; P = 0.049) and feed to gain ratio (- 0.48; P = 0.039).

In both rabbit breeds, BP at a dose of 350 mg/kg increased the concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1 (302.62 ng/ml, P < 0.001), insulin (16.63 ng/ml, P = 0.050), and triiodothyronine (158.50 ng/dl, P < 0.001) in plasma compared with other groups.

It may be concluded that intake of BP supplementation can improve the feed to gain ratios, blood indices, and metabolic hormones in different rabbit breeds. However, the appropriate dosage and the route of supplementation of BP in broiler rabbits need further research.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Honey an Effective Alternative Treatment for Toddlers with Diarrhea

The Effect of Honey with ORS and a Honey Solution in ORS on Reducing the Frequency of Diarrhea and Length of Stay for Toddlers

Compr Child Adolesc Nurs. 2019;42(sup1):21-28

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This study aims to identify the effect of honey with an oral rehydration solution (ORS) and a honey solution in ORS on the frequency of diarrhea and length of hospital stay for toddlers with diarrhea.

A randomized controlled trial was conducted in Padang and involved 72 toddlers aged 1-5 who were affected by diarrhea; the participants were selected through a probability sampling technique. The intervention group was provided with 5 ml of honey with an ORS and plain ORS at every diarrhea episode while the control group was provided with 10 ml of honey added to an ORS at every diarrhea episode. The findings suggest that there is a significant difference in the frequency of diarrhea between the intervention and control groups prior to and following the provision of honey with an ORS and honey added to an ORS (p < 0.05). T

here was a significant difference in the length of stay between both groups following the intervention and control treatments (p < 0.05). These results show that honey may be provided as an alternative therapy for toddlers with diarrhea.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Propolis May Help Prevent Rot of Agricultural Products

Nanostructured chitosan/propolis formulations: characterization and effect on the growth of Aspergillus flavus and production of aflatoxins

Heliyon. 2019 May 24;5(5):e01776

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A great diversity of agricultural products is susceptible to contamination caused by Aspergillus flavus. To reduce fungal contamination, the application of natural products has been proposed, including chitosan and propolis, due to its broad and recognized antimicrobial activity on several microorganisms.

Currently, the application of nanotechnology allows for a greater activity to be more reactive and efficient. The objectives of this research were to characterize by TEM and Z potential some of the studied nanoparticles and to determine the in vitro antifungal activity of the formulations and the production of aflatoxins of the treated fungus. For this, individual treatments and different nanoformulations were elaborated by varying the percentage of the components such as chitosan solution, chitosan nanoparticles, an extract of propolis, nanoparticles of propolis, glycerol and canola oil.

The final concentrations of the formulations were of 20%, 30% and 40% and the control consisted of Czapeck-dox agar medium. TEM micrographies showed a spherical morphology in a range of 2.3-3.0 nm with values of Z potential from 18.5 to 116.2 nm. Compared to the untreated fungus, the highest effect was seen in the parameter of spore germination, since inhibition was of c. a. 97% corresponding to the formulation containing chitosan + propolis nanoparticles + chitosan nanoparticles + propolis extract at the highest concentration of 40%. At this same concentration, the production of aflatoxins was 100% inhibited with the treatment with chitosan at 1%.

Since these results are under carefully controlled conditions, further research should be extended to different fruit and vegetables affected by this fungus.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Honey Helps Heal Diabetic Foot Wounds (Diabetes)

Impact of olive oil and honey on healing of diabetic foot: a randomized controlled trial

Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2019 May 9;12:347-354

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Background: This study aimed 1) to examine the impact of honey on diabetic foot; 2) to examine the effect of olive oil on diabetic foot; and 3) to compare the impact of honey and olive oil in the healing of diabetic foot.

Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 45 patients took part. Patients were randomly assigned to three groups. In the honey group, the wound was dressed using gauzes with honey daily for 1 month. In the olive oil group, the wound was dressed using gauzes with olive oil (4 mL) daily for 1 month. Patients in the control group received usual dressing. Wounds were assessed before and after intervention using the Wagner scoring system and the checklist of diabetic foot healing (where a higher score indicates better wound healing).

Results: Demographic characteristics of patients in the three groups were similar. Mean scores of tissue around the wound, wound grade, wound drainage, and wound healing were similar before intervention in all three groups. After intervention, means score of tissue around the wound, wound grade, wound drainage, and wound healing were significantly higher in patients in the honey and olive oil groups compared to patients in the control group.

Conclusion: The results of this study reveal that honey is as effective as olive oil in the treatment of diabetic foot. Given the few studies on this topic, further investigation is needed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Egyptian Propolis Has Neuroprotective Effects

Impacts of Egyptian propolis extract on rat cerebellum intoxicated by aluminum silicate: histopathological studies

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 May 29

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Human is exposed to traces of aluminum silicate (AlS), i.e., cosmetics, pesticides. Accumulation of aluminum compounds including AlS is associated with neuropathological diseases, e.g., Alzheimer's disease. The aim of the current study is to investigate the neuroprotective effects of propolis extracts in AlS-induced cerebellum intoxication in rats.

Forty adult rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 10). The first group served as a control; the second group treated with 200 ml propolis/kg bwt. every other day by stomach gavage tube, third group was intraperitoneally injected with AIS (20 mg/kg) twice a week for 8 weeks, and the fourth group received propolis extract and AIS. At the end of 8 weeks, the cerebellum was harvested for further ultrastructure, histological, and histochemical investigations.

Using electron microscopy, the ultrastructure of the cerebellar cortex of AlS intoxicated rats showed Purkinje cells with an irregular euchromatic nucleus and extremely increased invagination of the nuclear envelope. In addition, the cytoplasm revealed numerous damaged mitochondria (> 20%) as well as swollen lysosomes (> 40%) compared to controls. These AlS-related ultrastructure changes were to some extent normalized to < 10% and < 30% in case of mitochondria and lysosomes, respectively, if rats were co-treated with propolis extract.

Further, histopathological examination showed that AlS-exposed rats revealed abnormal Purkinje cells with irregular size and shrank shape, evidence of pre-necrotic stage in the form of nuclear pyknosis, and condensed and frequent darkly stained cells in cerebellar layers. However, propolis extract co-administration reversed from 35 to 25% (p < 0.05) these alterations. The carbohydrate and protein contents were reduced in case of AlS treatment and surprisingly propolis co-treatment was able to rescue these neurotoxic effects.

Propolis extract might have neuroprotective effects against AIS-induced toxicity. Further studies are required to identify the mechanism of the pharmacological action and optimal settings for medical testing of propolis extract.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Propolis May Help Treat Sensitive Teeth

Treatment of dentinal hypersensitivity using propolis varnish: A scanning electron microscope study

Indian J Dent Res. 2019 Mar-Apr;30(2):249-253

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Dentin hypersensitivity (DH) affects all age groups in a population and is perceived as pain to any stimuli. From time immemorial, researchers have sought herbal or natural solutions to treat hypersensitivity. Propolis is one such natural, nontoxic resinous substance produced by honey bees, which is useful in various applications in dentistry and effective in treating dentinal hypersensitivity.


The aim of this in vitro study is to assess the effect of propolis varnish on occlusion of dentinal tubules thus aiding in the treatment of dentinal hypersensitivity. The objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed treatment using scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging.

Materials and Methods:

Twenty naturally extracted teeth were collected and stored until in vitro assessment. Discs obtained from each tooth were divided into two groups of 20 each - I (test) and II (control), with each tooth acting as its own control. Propolis varnish was applied only to the acid-etched surface of the exposed dentin of discs in the test group, whereas all the discs were subjected to SEM imaging.


Statistical analysis showed a significant reduction in open tubules (P < 0.001) from 160 ± 6.97 before treatment to 61.20 ± 9.10 after propolis varnish application in the test group.


This study showed the promise of propolis varnish as a natural treatment modality for DH.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Propolis May Help Treat High Cholesterol and Obesity, Protect Heart (Hyperlipidemia, Dyslipidemia, Glucose Intolerance, Hypertension, Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular, Antioxidants)

Effect of Propolis on Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemia and Atherogenic Indices in Mice

Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Jun 3;8(6). pii: E156

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Obesity, a major health problem worldwide, is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors, such as dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, and hypertension.

We investigated the antioxidative capacity of the ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) and its effect on the lipid profile, the hepatorenal function, and the atherogenic indices in mice fed with a high-fat diet (HFD). EEP (50 mg/kg) was given orally to mice for 30 days. After the treatments, levels of the serum total triglyceride and cholesterol, the high density lipoprotein (HDL-c) and low density lipoprotein (LDL-c) cholesterols, the serum enzymes, and the metabolites were measured, and atherogenic indices [atherogenic index of plasma (AIP); cardiac risk ratio (CRR); cardioprotective index (CPI); atherogenic coefficient (AC)] were calculated and compared with the antioxidant, the reducing power, the radical-scavenging, and the chelating activity of EEP.

The HFD diet with EEP significantly reduced the negative lipid profile and lowered AIP, CRR, and AC and increased CPI in animals on a HFD. In addition, EEP reduced the weight of mice and lipid accumulation in the liver, and it had significant in vitro antioxidative activities. The EEP possesses anti-hyperlipidemic and antioxidant activity and exhibits protective action on the cardiovascular system and hepatorenal functions.

Our results contribute towards the validation of the traditional use of propolis as a food supplement in aiding hyperlipidemic disorders.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Spurge Honey and Garlic Combo Boosts Burn Wound Healing

Euphorbia honey and garlic: Biological activity and burn wound recovery

Burns. 2019 Jun 2. pii: S0305-4179(19)30077-4

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Currently, chronic wounds and microbial resistance to antibiotics have led to search new healing agents. Combinations of natural products are widely practiced in traditional medicine and exhibited synergistic activity with increased efficacy in treating several pathologies.

This study assays the antioxidant, synergistic antimicrobial and burn wound healing activities of Euphorbia honey and Allium sativum (garlic). The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of each natural product was determined against microorganisms commonly found in wound infections.

The synergistic antimicrobial effect was assessed by mixing different concentrations of honey and garlic extract below their relative MICs. Subsequently, the antioxidant activity, total phenolic (TPC) and flavonoid (TFC) contents of both natural products and a selected mixture of them were evaluated. Efficacy of that mixture was also evaluated as topical application on male and female Wistar rats skin burn wound, compared to Euphorbia honey and two conventional treatments.

Results showed that the mixture honey-A. sativum has synergistic antimicrobial effect against all tested strains. Besides, A. sativum presented higher antioxidant activity along with higher TPC and TFC compared to honey and their mixture. However, the mixture showed higher wound healing activity reflected by shorter epithelialization and wound contraction time, as well as, better histological recovery of the treated tissues.

Our results also showed that burn wound healing is not affected by gender. Our findings support the idea of combining natural products as an effective therapy.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Propolis, Bee Pollen Have Beneficial Effect on Intestinal Morphology

Intestinal Morphology in Broiler Chickens Supplemented with Propolis and Bee Pollen

Animals (Basel). 2019 May 31;9(6). pii: E301

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The aim of this study was to determine the influence of dietary supplementation with propolis and bee pollen on the intestinal morphology and absorptive surface areas of chickens. Two hundred day-old Ross 308 chickens (100 male and 100 female) were equally allocated into five groups.

Throughout the whole study, the control group of chickens was fed with a basal diet, while the experimental groups of chickens were fed with the same diet supplemented with propolis and bee pollen: P1 = 0.25 g of propolis/kg + 20 g of bee pollen/kg; P2 = 0.5 g of propolis/kg; P3 = 1.0 g of propolis/kg; P4 = 20 g of bee pollen/kg.

The duodenal villi of chickens from all experimental groups were significantly higher and wider (p < 0.001), while their duodenal villi crypts were significantly deeper (p < 0.001) in comparison with these parameters in chickens from the control group. The villus height to crypt depth ratio, as well as the absorptive surface areas of broiler chickens, were significantly increased (p < 0.001) in experimental groups of chickens in comparison with the control group.

These findings suggest that dietary supplementation with propolis and bee pollen has a beneficial effect on broilers chickens' intestinal morphophysiology.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Royal Jelly Component may Help Treat Inflammatory Disorders

Adenosine N1-Oxide Exerts Anti-inflammatory Effects through the PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling Pathway and Promotes Osteogenic and Adipocyte Differentiation

Biol Pharm Bull. 2019;42(6):968-976

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Previously, we reported that adenosine N1-oxide (ANO), which is found in royal jelly, inhibited the secretion of inflammatory mediators by activated macrophages and reduced lethality in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxin shock. Here, we examined the regulatory mechanisms of ANO on the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with a focus on the signaling pathways activated by toll-like receptor (TLR)4 in response to LPS. ANO inhibited both tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 secretion from LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells without affecting cell proliferation.

In this response, phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family members (extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, p38 and SAPK/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 was not affected by treatment with ANO. In contrast, phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473) and its downstream molecule glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) (Ser9) was up-regulated by ANO, suggesting that ANO stimulated GSK-3β phosphorylation via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway. The phosphorylation of GSK-3β on Ser9 has been shown to negatively regulate the LPS-induced inflammatory response. Activation of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway has also been implicated in differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into osteoblasts and adipocytes.

As expected, ANO induced alkaline phosphatase activity and promoted calcium deposition in a mouse pre-osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cell line. The ANO-induced differentiation into osteoblasts was abrogated by coincubation with Wortmannin. Furthermore, ANO promoted insulin/dexamethasone-induced differentiation of mouse 3T3-L1 preadipocytes into adipocytes at much lower concentrations than adenosine. The protective roles of PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β signaling pathway in inflammatory disorders have been well documented.

Our data suggest that ANO may serve as a potential candidate for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Promotion of osteogenic and adipocyte differentiation further suggests its application for regenerative medicine.