Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bee Venom Has Both Anti-Inflammatory, Inflammatory Properties

Study of the Molecular Mechanism of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Bee Venom in Lipopolysaccharide Stimulated RAW 264.7 Macrophages
Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, February 2010; 9(1): 19-26

Purpose: Bee venom (BV) is traditionally used in many inflammatory chronic conditions but its mechanism of action at molecular level is not fully understood. This study was undertaken to elucidate the mechanism of action of bee venom at the molecular level

Methods: We used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in Raw 264.7 macrophage (RM) cells and studied the effect of BV on cell proliferation, inflammation related protein expression by western blotting and RNA expression by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Results: Bee venom was toxic to RM cells above10 µg/ml but reduced the production of nitric oxide (NO) at 2–10 µg/ml in LPS stimulated RM cells by inhibiting the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxigenase (COX)-2 via nuclear factor (NF)-κB. However, bee venom also induced the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-1β via p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) which is known to stimulate inflammatory activity.

Conclusion: It seems that NFκB and p38 MAPK signal pathways are involved in triggering the functional activation of LPS-stimulated macrophage. We suggest that some components of bee venom can cause inflammation by inducing IL-1β via p38 MAPK while others act as anti-inflammatory by suppressing iNOS and COX2 via NFκB.

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