Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Bee Venom Component May Help Prevent Hardening of Arteries

The Protective Effect of Apamin on LPS/Fat-Induced Atherosclerotic Mice
Apamin, a peptide component of bee venom (BV), has anti-inflammatory properties. However, the molecular mechanisms by which apamin prevents atherosclerosis are not fully understood.
We examined the effect of apamin on atherosclerotic mice.
Atherosclerotic mice received intraperitoneal (ip) injections of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 2 mg/kg) to induce atherosclerotic change and were fed an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks.
Apamin (0.05 mg/kg) was administered by ip injection. LPS-induced THP-1-derived macrophage inflammation treated with apamin reduced expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, and intracellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, as well as the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway.
Apamin decreased the formation of atherosclerotic lesions as assessed by hematoxylin and elastic staining. Treatment with apamin reduced lipids, Ca(2+) levels, and TNF-α in the serum from atherosclerotic mice. Further, apamin significantly attenuated expression of VCAM-1, ICAM-1, TGF-β1, and fibronectin in the descending aorta from atherosclerotic mice.
These results indicate that apamin plays an important role in monocyte/macrophage inflammatory processing and may be of potential value for preventing atherosclerosis.

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