Saturday, May 08, 2010

Bee Venom May be Useful in Treating Huntington’s, Parkinsons’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS

The Effect of Bee Venom Against Glutamate Toxicity in Microglial Cells
FASEB J, 2010 24:489.5

Bee venom (BV) extracted from honey bee has been used in a traditional Korean medical therapy. Several research groups demonstrated the anti-inflammation effects of BV in immune-related diseases in vivo and in vitro.

Glutamate is predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Prolonged exposure of glutamate receptors to high or persistently increased concentrations of glutamate leads the cell death. In addition, changes in glutamate release, uptake and activity of glutamate transporters have been reported in many neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinsons’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

However, BV is not clear whether BV has a protective effect against glutamate-mediated cell death. To assess whether BV affords protection against glutamate mediated cell death, we examined the cell viability and signal transduction regarding cell survival with glutamate-treated microglial cells in either the presence or absence of BV.

First of all, we confirmed glutamatergic toxicity on microglial cells. Then, we found that BV had an inhibitory effect against the glutamatergic toxicity.

As a result of it, our results showed that BV inhibited significantly the cell toxicity against glutamate and activation of proteins such as Akt, JNK, Erk and p38 were altered by exposure of glutamate time dependent manner.

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