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Mutagenesis. 2017 Oct 17;32(5):525-531. doi: 10.1093/mutage/gex020.

Molecular and cytogenetic effects of Thai royal jelly: modulation through c-MYC, h-TERT, NRF2, HO-1, BCL2, BAX and cyclins in human lymphocytes in vitro.

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PhD Graduate Program, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Division of Anatomy, Department of Preclinical Sciences.
Research Center.
Division of Biochemistry, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, 95 Paholyothin Road, A. Klongluang, Pathumthani 12121, Thailand.


Royal jelly (RJ) is widely used as a food supplement for anti-aging and beauty. However, its use has been linked to asthma and hemorrhagic colitis. Since its mechanisms of toxicity have not been fully identified, we conducted an investigation to elucidate its molecular and cytogenetic effects. Using human lymphocytes in vitro, treatments with RJ (0.0005-5 mg/ml) for 3 h did not induce sister chromatid exchanges until 5 mg/ml was used. Treatments for 24 h showed a dose-dependent reduction in BCL2/BAX, c-MYC/BAX and HO-1/BAX ratios. The exception was the NRF2/BAX ratio, showing a dose-dependent reduction at low doses, but a marked increase at the highest dose. The hTERT/BAX ratio was maintained at approximately a 1.2-fold increase but decreased to nearly normal at the highest dose. Our findings indicated that the lowest dose of RJ treatment provided maximum benefits, mainly through hTERT activation relating to prolonged lifespan. The highest dose of RJ inhibited cell survival, cell proliferation and an antioxidative enzyme; nevertheless, it still activated an antioxidative response through NRF2 and maintained telomeres during cell crisis. RJ treatment at 0.05 mg/ml increased cyclin E, BCL2 and BAX to maximum levels indicating that throughout the active cell cycle, both cell survival and cell apoptosis increased. Using the gene expression ratios over BAX, similar to BCL2/BAX, provided more informative data than using individual protein levels alone. With these informative ratios, our results confirm the potential benefits of RJ in enhancing lifespan and activation antioxidative power. Further, in vivo mechanistic studies will be useful in validating these results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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