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Molecules. 2019 Aug 19;24(16). pii: E2997. doi: 10.3390/molecules24162997.

Bee Venom: Overview of Main Compounds and Bioactivities for Therapeutic Interests.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Applied Biotechnology (LBA3B), Azm Center for Research in Biotechnology and its Applications, EDST, Lebanese University, Tripoli 1300, Lebanon.
2
Mitochondrial and Cardiovascular Pathophysiology-MITOVASC, Team 2, Cardiovascular Mechanotransduction, UMR CNRS 6015, INSERM U1083, Angers University, 49045 Angers, France.
3
Department of Neuroscience, Institut de Biologie Paris Seine (IBPS), INSERM, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, F-75005 Paris, France.
4
Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), INSERM U964, CNRS U7104, Université de Strasbourg, 67400 Illkirch, France.
5
Faculty of Agriculture & Veterinary Sciences, Lebanese University, Dekwaneh, Beirut 2832, Lebanon.
6
Institute of NeuroPhysiopathology, UMR 7051, Faculté de Médecine Secteur Nord, 51, Boulevard Pierre Dramard-CS80011, 13344-Marseille Cedex 15, France.
7
Laboratory of Applied Biotechnology (LBA3B), Azm Center for Research in Biotechnology and its Applications, EDST, Lebanese University, Tripoli 1300, Lebanon. ziad.fajloun@ul.edu.lb.
8
Faculty of Sciences 3, Michel Slayman Tripoli Campus, Lebanese University, Ras Maska 1352, Lebanon. ziad.fajloun@ul.edu.lb.

Abstract

Apitherapy is an alternate therapy that relies on the usage of honeybee products, most importantly bee venom for the treatment of many human diseases. The venom can be introduced into the human body by manual injection or by direct bee stings. Bee venom contains several active molecules such as peptides and enzymes that have advantageous potential in treating inflammation and central nervous system diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Moreover, bee venom has shown promising benefits against different types of cancer as well as anti-viral activity, even against the challenging human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Many studies described biological activities of bee venom components and launched preclinical trials to improve the potential use of apitoxin and its constituents as the next generation of drugs. The aim of this review is to summarize the main compounds of bee venom, their primary biological properties, mechanisms of action, and their therapeutic values in alternative therapy strategies.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s disease; HIV; Parkinson’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; apitherapy; apitoxin; bee venom; cancer

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