Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bee Venom May Help Reduce Fatty Deposits in Arteries

Bee Venom Reduces Atherosclerotic Lesion Formation via Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism
Am J Chin Med, 2010;38(6):1077-92

The components of bee venom (BV) utilized in the current study were carefully scrutinized with chromatography. Despite its well documented anti-inflammatory property, there are no reports regarding the influence of BV on the expression of cellular adhesion molecules in the vascular endothelium.

A great amount of information exists concerning the effects of an atherogenic diet on atherosclerotic changes in the aorta, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms and the levels of gene regulation involved in the anti-inflammatory process induced by BV.

The experimental atherosclerosis was induced in mice by a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection and an atherogenic diet. The animals were divided into three groups, the NC groups of animals that were fed with a normal diet, the LPS/fat group was fed with the atherogenic diet and received intraperitoneal injections of LPS, and the LPS/fat + BV group was given LPS, an atherogenic diet and intraperitoneal BV injections. At the end of each treatment period, the LPS/fat + BV group had decreased levels of total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) in their serum, compared to the LPS/fat group.

The LPS/fat group had significant expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β in the serum, compared with the NC group (p < 0.05). The amount of cytokines reduced consistently in the BV treatment groups compared with those in LPS/fat group.

BV significantly reduced the amount of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and fibronectin in the aorta, compared with the LPS/fat group (p < 0.05). A similar pattern was also observed in the heart.

In conclusion, BV has anti-atherogenic properties via its lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

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