Bee Venom Phospholipase A₂: Yesterday's Enemy Becomes Today's Friend
Toxins (Basel). 2016 Feb 22;8(2)
Bee venom therapy has been used to treat immune-related diseases such as arthritis for a long time. Recently, it has revealed that group III secretory phospholipase A₂ from bee venom (bee venom group III sPLA₂) has in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory effects.
A growing number of reports have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA₂. Notably, new experimental data have shown protective immune responses of bee venom group III sPLA₂ against a wide range of diseases including asthma, Parkinson's disease, and drug-induced organ inflammation. It is critical to evaluate the beneficial and adverse effects of bee venom group III sPLA₂ because this enzyme is known to be the major allergen of bee venom that can cause anaphylactic shock.
For many decades, efforts have been made to avoid its adverse effects. At high concentrations, exposure to bee venom group III sPLA₂ can result in damage to cellular membranes and necrotic cell death.
In this review, we summarized the current knowledge about the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA₂ on several immunological diseases and described the detailed mechanisms of bee venom group III sPLA₂ in regulating various immune responses and physiopathological changes.