Sunday, March 04, 2018

Giant Honey Bee Venom Shows High Antioxidant Activity with Little Irritation

Antioxidant activity and irritation property of venoms from Apis species

Toxicon, 2018 Feb 27. pii: S0041-0101(18)30089-8. doi

Pharmacological effects of bee venom has been reported, however, it has been restricted to the bee venom collected from European honey bee (Apis mellifera). The aim of the present study was to compare the antioxidant activities and irritation properties of venoms collected from four different Apis species in Thailand, which includes Apis cerena (Asian cavity nesting honeybee), Apis florea (dwarf honeybee), Apis dorsata (giant honeybee), and A. mellifera.

Melittin content of each bee venom extracts was investigated by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Ferric reducing antioxidant power, 2, 2'-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), and 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assay were used to determine the antioxidant activity, whereas, hen's egg test chorioallantoic membrane assay was used to determine the irritation property of each bee venom extracts. Melittin was the major constituent in all bee venom extracts.

The melittin content in A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. florea, and A. cerena were 95.8 ± 3.2%, 76.5 ± 1.9%, 66.3 ± 8.6%, and 56.8 ± 1.8%, respectively. Bee venom extract from A. dorsata possessed the highest antioxidant activity with the inhibition of 41.1 ± 2.2% against DPPH, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity of 10.21 ± 0.74 mM Trolox/mg and equivalent concentration (EC1) of 0.35 ± 0.02 mM FeSO4/mg.

Bee venom extract from A. mellifera exhibited the highest irritation, followed by A. cerena, A. dorsata, and A. florea, respectively. Melittin was the compound responsible for the irritation property of bee venom extracts since it could induce severe irritation (irritation score was 13.7 ± 0.5, at the concentration of 2 mg/ml).

The extract from A. dorsata which possessed the highest antioxidant activity showed no irritation up to the concentration of 0.1 mg/ml. Therefore, bee venom extract from A. dorsata at the concentration not more than 0.1 mg/ml would be suggested for using as cosmetic ingredients since it possessed the highest antioxidant activity with no irritation.

This study is the first report to compare the bee venom extracts from different Apis species and display their potential application of bee venom extracts in cosmetic products.

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