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Arch Pharm Res. 2010 Feb;33(2):215-23. doi: 10.1007/s12272-010-0205-6. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

Bee venom protects hepatocytes from tumor necrosis factor-alpha and actinomycin D.

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Department of Pathology, Catholic University of Daegu, College of Medicine, Daegu 705-718, Korea.


Honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom (BV) has a broad array of therapeutic applications in traditional medicine to treat variety of diseases. It is also known that BV possesses anti-inflammatory and anticancer effect and that it can inhibit proliferation and induces apoptosis in cancer cells, but there is no evidence of information regarding anti-apoptosis of BV on hepatocytes. In the present study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic effect of BV on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha with actinomycin (Act) D induces apoptosis in hepatocytes. TNF-alpha/Act D-treated hepatocytes were exposed to different low concentration (1, 10 and 100 ng/mL) of BV. Our results showed statistically significant inhibition in DNA damage caused by BV treatment compared to corresponding TNF-alpha/Act D-treated hepatocytes. BV suppressed TNF-alpha/Act Dtreated activation of bcl-2 family and caspase family, which resulted in inhibition of cytochrome c release and PARP cleavage. These results demonstrate that low concentration BV possess a potent suppressive effect on anti-apoptotic responses of TNF-alpha/Act D-treated hepatocytes and suggest that these compounds may contribute substantial therapeutic potential for the treatment of liver diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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