Sunday, January 27, 2008

Study Investigates Anti-Arthritic Effect of Bee Venom

Effects of Melittin on the Production of Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 and -3 in Rheumatoid Arthritic Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes
Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, Vol. 106 (2008) , No. 1 pp.162-166

Bee venom (BV) has been used in patients with arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, to reduce pain and edema . In the arthritic rat model, BV has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory adjuvant and to reduce LPS-induced inflammatory edema and polyarthritis. The hydrophilic peptide melittin, the major active ingredient of BV, may retain anti-RA activity in rabbit models of immune-mediated arthritis.

We have previously shown that melittin downregulates MMP-3 expression in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Here, we examined the effects of melittin on MMP1 and MMP3 production in human FLS obtained from RA patients…

Taken together, these results suggest that melittin inhibits LPS-mediated FLS activation by acting on a signaling pathway that LPS does not share with IL-1β or TNF-α. Alternatively, melittin may mediate its anti-inflammatory action through enhanced cortisol secretion, as suggested by a recent report showing stimulation of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and beta-endorphin release from the corticotropic cells of the rat adenohypophysis by melittin (16).

In summary, the present study establishes that inhibition of MMP3 production is an integral component of the anti-arthritic effects of melittin, which acts, at least in part, through inhibition of NF-κB.

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