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Am J Chin Med. 2002;30(1):73-80.

The effect of whole bee venom on arthritis.

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College of Veterinary Medicine and Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.


This study was performed to assess the clincotherapeutic effect of whole venom of honeybee (Apis mellifera) in adjuvant-induced arthritic rat. Ninety Sprague-Dawley male rats were injected with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Adjuvant arthritis was produced by a single subcutaneous injection of I mg Mycobacterium butyricum suspended in 0.1 ml paraffin oil into the right hind paw. Righting reflex was uniformly lost and considered to be the point of arthritis development on day 14 after CFA injection. The experiments were divided into three groups. When arthritis was developed in the rat, tested groups were administered with prednisolone (10 mg/kg, p.o.) or honeybee venom (one bee, s.c.) every other day for another 14 days. Control group was injected with 0.1 ml of physiological saline solution subcutaneously. Clinical and hematological values with histopathological findings were observed during the drug administration. In treatment groups, the development of inflammatory edema and polyarthritis was suppressed. No significant differences of hind paw edema volume and lameness score between prednisolone and honeybee venom groups were observed during treatment. White blood cell counts of control group showed leucocytosis that was significantly different from the two treatment groups (p < 0.01). Erosions of articular cartilage and inflammatory cell infiltrations into interphalangeal joint were effectively suppressed in treated groups. In conclusion, whole honeybee venom was found to suppress arthritic inflammation in the rat. This may be an alternative treatment of arthritic agony in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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