E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Bee and Wasp Venoms: Biological Characteristics and Therapeutic Application"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Venoms".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2015)

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sokcheon Pak

School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia
E-Mail
Fax: +61 (02) 6338 4993
Interests: Honeybee venom; Pharmaceutical; Signaling pathway; Therapeutics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bee or wasp venom therapy is the therapeutic application of honeybee venom or wasp venom to the treatment of various diseases. Venoms from either honeybees or wasps are known to possess a wide variety of pharmaceutical properties. Recent studies using these venoms have demonstrated diverse mechanisms on a range of conditions. However identification of a single constituent out of the venom, the possible mechanisms, and a justification of the route of application and formulation are essential in the future. Understanding of signalling pathways associated with the compound-mediated in vivo dynamics and further communication between cells at the molecular level will facilitate the development of new therapeutics.

Dr. Sokcheon Pak
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • honeybee venom
  • wasp venom
  • pharmaceutical
  • signaling pathway
  • therapeutics

Published Papers (17 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-17
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
An Introduction to the Toxins Special Issue on “Bee and Wasp Venoms: Biological Characteristics and Therapeutic Application”
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins8110315
Received: 14 October 2016 / Accepted: 19 October 2016 / Published: 28 October 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Venoms, especially bee venom, have been used since ancient times as a healing treatment for various disorders[...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Bee Venom Protects against Rotenone-Induced Cell Death in NSC34 Motor Neuron Cells
Toxins 2015, 7(9), 3715-3726; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7093715
Received: 8 July 2015 / Revised: 20 August 2015 / Accepted: 31 August 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rotenone, an inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, is known to elevate mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and induce apoptosis via activation of the caspase-3 pathway. Bee venom (BV) extracted from honey bees has been widely used in oriental medicine [...] Read more.
Rotenone, an inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, is known to elevate mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and induce apoptosis via activation of the caspase-3 pathway. Bee venom (BV) extracted from honey bees has been widely used in oriental medicine and contains melittin, apamin, adolapin, mast cell-degranulating peptide, and phospholipase A2. In this study, we tested the effects of BV on neuronal cell death by examining rotenone-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. NSC34 motor neuron cells were pretreated with 2.5 μg/mL BV and stimulated with 10 μM rotenone to induce cell toxicity. We assessed cell death by Western blotting using specific antibodies, such as phospho-ERK1/2, phospho-JNK, and cleaved capase-3 and performed an MTT assay for evaluation of cell death and mitochondria staining. Pretreatment with 2.5 μg/mL BV had a neuroprotective effect against 10 μM rotenone-induced cell death in NSC34 motor neuron cells. Pre-treatment with BV significantly enhanced cell viability and ameliorated mitochondrial impairment in rotenone-treated cellular model. Moreover, BV treatment inhibited the activation of JNK signaling and cleaved caspase-3 related to cell death and increased ERK phosphorylation involved in cell survival in rotenone-treated NSC34 motor neuron cells. Taken together, we suggest that BV treatment can be useful for protection of neurons against oxidative stress or neurotoxin-induced cell death. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Melittin Treatment in Cholangitis and Biliary Fibrosis in a Model of Xenobiotic-Induced Cholestasis in Mice
Toxins 2015, 7(9), 3372-3387; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7093372
Received: 23 June 2015 / Revised: 13 August 2015 / Accepted: 20 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cholangiopathy is a chronic immune-mediated disease of the liver, which is characterized by cholangitis, ductular reaction and biliary-type hepatic fibrosis. There is no proven medical therapy that changes the course of the disease. In previous studies, melittin was known for attenuation of hepatic [...] Read more.
Cholangiopathy is a chronic immune-mediated disease of the liver, which is characterized by cholangitis, ductular reaction and biliary-type hepatic fibrosis. There is no proven medical therapy that changes the course of the disease. In previous studies, melittin was known for attenuation of hepatic injury, inflammation and hepatic fibrosis. This study investigated whether melittin provides inhibition on cholangitis and biliary fibrosis in vivo. Feeding 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC) to mice is a well-established animal model to study cholangitis and biliary fibrosis. To investigate the effects of melittin on cholangiopathy, mice were fed with a 0.1% DDC-containing diet with or without melittin treatment for four weeks. Liver morphology, serum markers of liver injury, cholestasis markers for inflammation of liver, the degree of ductular reaction and the degree of liver fibrosis were compared between with or without melittin treatment DDC-fed mice. DDC feeding led to increased serum markers of hepatic injury, ductular reaction, induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and biliary fibrosis. Interestingly, melittin treatment attenuated hepatic function markers, ductular reaction, the reactive phenotype of cholangiocytes and cholangitis and biliary fibrosis. Our data suggest that melittin treatment can be protective against chronic cholestatic disease in DDC-fed mice. Further studies on the anti-inflammatory capacity of melittin are warranted for targeted therapy in cholangiopathy. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Molecular Cloning and Functional Studies of Two Kazal-Type Serine Protease Inhibitors Specifically Expressed by Nasonia vitripennis Venom Apparatus
Toxins 2015, 7(8), 2888-2905; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7082888
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 4 August 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2021 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two cDNA sequences of Kazal-type serine protease inhibitors (KSPIs) in Nasonia vitripennis, NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2, were characterized and their open reading frames (ORFs) were 198 and 264 bp, respectively. Both NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2 contained a typical Kazal-type domain. Real-time quantitative PCR [...] Read more.
Two cDNA sequences of Kazal-type serine protease inhibitors (KSPIs) in Nasonia vitripennis, NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2, were characterized and their open reading frames (ORFs) were 198 and 264 bp, respectively. Both NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2 contained a typical Kazal-type domain. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) results revealed that NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2 mRNAs were mostly detected specifically in the venom apparatus, while they were expressed at lower levels in the ovary and much lower levels in other tissues tested. In the venom apparatus, both NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2 transcripts were highly expressed on the fourth day post eclosion and then declined gradually. The NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2 genes were recombinantly expressed utilizing a pGEX-4T-2 vector, and the recombinant products fused with glutathione S-transferase were purified. Inhibition of recombinant GST-NvKSPI-1 and GST-NvKSPI-2 to three serine protease inhibitors (trypsin, chymotrypsin, and proteinase K) were tested and results showed that only NvKSPI-1 could inhibit the activity of trypsin. Meanwhile, we evaluated the influence of the recombinant GST-NvKSPI-1 and GST-NvKSPI-2 on the phenoloxidase (PO) activity and prophenoloxidase (PPO) activation of hemolymph from a host pupa, Musca domestica. Results showed PPO activation in host hemolymph was inhibited by both recombinant proteins; however, there was no significant inhibition on the PO activity. Our results suggested that NvKSPI-1 and NvKSPI-2 could inhibit PPO activation in host hemolymph and trypsin activity in vitro. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Bee Venom Acupuncture Augments Anti-Inflammation in the Peripheral Organs of hSOD1G93A Transgenic Mice
Toxins 2015, 7(8), 2835-2844; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7082835
Received: 24 February 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 29 July 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1642 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) includes progressively degenerated motor neurons in the brainstem, motor cortex, and spinal cord. Recent reports demonstrate the dysfunction of multiple organs, including the lungs, spleen, and liver, in ALS animals and patients. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) has been used [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) includes progressively degenerated motor neurons in the brainstem, motor cortex, and spinal cord. Recent reports demonstrate the dysfunction of multiple organs, including the lungs, spleen, and liver, in ALS animals and patients. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) has been used for treating inflammatory diseases in Oriental Medicine. In a previous study, we demonstrated that BV prevented motor neuron death and increased anti-inflammation in the spinal cord of symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. In this study, we examined whether BVA’s effects depend on acupuncture point (ST36) in the organs, including the liver, spleen and kidney, of hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. We found that BV treatment at ST36 reduces inflammation in the liver, spleen, and kidney compared with saline-treatment at ST36 and BV injected intraperitoneally in symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. Those findings suggest that BV treatment combined with acupuncture stimulation is more effective at reducing inflammation and increasing immune responses compared with only BV treatment, at least in an ALS animal model. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Repetitive Treatment with Diluted Bee Venom Attenuates the Induction of Below-Level Neuropathic Pain Behaviors in a Rat Spinal Cord Injury Model
Toxins 2015, 7(7), 2571-2585; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7072571
Received: 11 May 2015 / Revised: 24 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 10 July 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The administration of diluted bee venom (DBV) into an acupuncture point has been utilized traditionally in Eastern medicine to treat chronic pain. We demonstrated previously that DBV has a potent anti-nociceptive efficacy in several rodent pain models. The present study was designed to [...] Read more.
The administration of diluted bee venom (DBV) into an acupuncture point has been utilized traditionally in Eastern medicine to treat chronic pain. We demonstrated previously that DBV has a potent anti-nociceptive efficacy in several rodent pain models. The present study was designed to examine the potential anti-nociceptive effect of repetitive DBV treatment in the development of below-level neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury (SCI) rats. DBV was applied into the Joksamli acupoint during the induction and maintenance phase following thoracic 13 (T13) spinal hemisection. We examined the effect of repetitive DBV stimulation on SCI-induced bilateral pain behaviors, glia expression and motor function recovery. Repetitive DBV stimulation during the induction period, but not the maintenance, suppressed pain behavior in the ipsilateral hind paw. Moreover, SCI-induced increase in spinal glia expression was also suppressed by repetitive DBV treatment in the ipsilateral dorsal spinal cord. Finally, DBV injection facilitated motor function recovery as indicated by the Basso–Beattie–Bresnahan rating score. These results indicate that the repetitive application of DBV during the induction phase not only decreased neuropathic pain behavior and glia expression, but also enhanced locomotor functional recovery after SCI. This study suggests that DBV acupuncture can be a potential clinical therapy for SCI management. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Analgesic Effects of Bee Venom Derived Phospholipase A2 in a Mouse Model of Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Pain
Toxins 2015, 7(7), 2422-2434; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7072422
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 23 June 2015 / Published: 29 June 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A single infusion of oxaliplatin, which is widely used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, induces specific sensory neurotoxicity signs that are triggered or aggravated when exposed to cold or mechanical stimuli. Bee Venom (BV) has been traditionally used in Korea to treat various [...] Read more.
A single infusion of oxaliplatin, which is widely used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, induces specific sensory neurotoxicity signs that are triggered or aggravated when exposed to cold or mechanical stimuli. Bee Venom (BV) has been traditionally used in Korea to treat various pain symptoms. Our recent study demonstrated that BV alleviates oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats, via noradrenergic and serotonergic analgesic pathways. In this study, we have further investigated whether BV derived phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) attenuates oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical allodynia in mice and its mechanism. The behavioral signs of cold and mechanical allodynia were evaluated by acetone and a von Frey hair test on the hind paw, respectively. The significant allodynia signs were observed from one day after an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.). Daily administration of bvPLA2 (0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) for five consecutive days markedly attenuated cold and mechanical allodynia, which was more potent than the effect of BV (1 mg/kg, i.p.). The depletion of noradrenaline by an injection of N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP4, 50 mg/kg, i.p.) blocked the analgesic effect of bvPLA2, whereas the depletion of serotonin by injecting DL-p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, 150 mg/kg, i.p.) for three successive days did not. Furthermore, idazoxan (α2-adrenegic receptor antagonist, 1 mg/kg, i.p.) completely blocked bvPLA2-induced anti-allodynic action, whereas prazosin (α1-adrenegic antagonist, 10 mg/kg, i.p.) did not. These results suggest that bvPLA2 treatment strongly alleviates oxaliplatin-induced acute cold and mechanical allodynia in mice through the activation of the noradrenergic system, via α2-adrenegic receptors, but not via the serotonergic system. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Potential of Venom from Nasonia vitripennis as Therapeutic Agent with High-Throughput Screening Tools
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2051-2070; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7062051
Received: 17 April 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The venom from the ectoparasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) contains at least 80 different proteins and possibly even more peptides or other small chemical compounds, demonstrating its appealing therapeutic application. To better understand the dynamics of the venom in mammalian cells, two [...] Read more.
The venom from the ectoparasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) contains at least 80 different proteins and possibly even more peptides or other small chemical compounds, demonstrating its appealing therapeutic application. To better understand the dynamics of the venom in mammalian cells, two high-throughput screening tools were performed. The venom induced pathways related to an early stress response and activated reporters that suggest the involvement of steroids. Whether these steroids reside from the venom itself or show an induced release/production caused by the venom, still remains unsolved. The proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β was found to be down-regulated after venom and LPS co-treatment, confirming the anti-inflammatory action of N. vitripennis venom. When analyzing the expression levels of the NF-κB target genes, potentially not only the canonical but also the alternative NF-κB pathway can be affected, possibly explaining some counterintuitive results. It is proposed that next to an NF-κB binding site, the promoter of the genes tested by the PCR array may also contain binding sites for other transcription factors, resulting in a complex puzzle to connect the induced target gene with its respective transcription factor. Interestingly, Nasonia venom altered the expression of some drug targets, presenting the venom with an exciting therapeutical potential. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Anti-Fibrotic Effect of Natural Toxin Bee Venom on Animal Model of Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction
Toxins 2015, 7(6), 1917-1928; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7061917
Received: 22 December 2014 / Revised: 27 April 2015 / Accepted: 1 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Progressive renal fibrosis is the final common pathway for all kidney diseases leading to chronic renal failure. Bee venom (BV) has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases. However, the precise mechanism of BV in ameliorating the renal fibrosis is [...] Read more.
Progressive renal fibrosis is the final common pathway for all kidney diseases leading to chronic renal failure. Bee venom (BV) has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases. However, the precise mechanism of BV in ameliorating the renal fibrosis is not fully understood. To investigate the therapeutic effects of BV against unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced renal fibrosis, BV was given intraperitoneally after ureteral ligation. At seven days after UUO surgery, the kidney tissues were collected for protein analysis and histologic examination. Histological observation revealed that UUO induced a considerable increase in the number of infiltrated inflammatory cells. However, BV treatment markedly reduced these reactions compared with untreated UUO mice. The expression levels of TNF-α and IL-1β were significantly reduced in BV treated mice compared with UUO mice. In addition, treatment with BV significantly inhibited TGF-β1 and fibronectin expression in UUO mice. Moreover, the expression of α-SMA was markedly withdrawn after treatment with BV. These findings suggest that BV attenuates renal fibrosis and reduces inflammatory responses by suppression of multiple growth factor-mediated pro-fibrotic genes. In conclusion, BV may be a useful therapeutic agent for the prevention of fibrosis that characterizes progression of chronic kidney disease. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Venom Reinforces Viral Clearance during the Early Stage of Infection with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus through the Up-Regulation of Th1-Specific Immune Responses
Toxins 2015, 7(5), 1837-1853; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7051837
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1648 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a chronic and immunosuppressive viral disease that is responsible for substantial economic losses for the swine industry. Honeybee venom (HBV) is known to possess several beneficial biological properties, particularly, immunomodulatory effects. Therefore, this study aimed at [...] Read more.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a chronic and immunosuppressive viral disease that is responsible for substantial economic losses for the swine industry. Honeybee venom (HBV) is known to possess several beneficial biological properties, particularly, immunomodulatory effects. Therefore, this study aimed at evaluating the effects of HBV on the immune response and viral clearance during the early stage of infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in pigs. HBV was administered via three routes of nasal, neck, and rectal and then the pigs were inoculated with PRRSV intranasally. The CD4+/CD8+ cell ratio and levels of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-12 were significantly increased in the HBV-administered healthy pigs via nasal and rectal administration. In experimentally PRRSV-challenged pigs with virus, the viral genome load in the serum, lung, bronchial lymph nodes and tonsil was significantly decreased, as was the severity of interstitial pneumonia, in the nasal and rectal administration group. Furthermore, the levels of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-12) were significantly increased, along with up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) with HBV administration. Thus, HBV administration—especially via the nasal or rectal route—could be a suitable strategy for immune enhancement and prevention of PRRSV infection in pigs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Influence of Honeybee Sting on Peptidome Profile in Human Serum
Toxins 2015, 7(5), 1808-1820; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7051808
Received: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the serum peptide profiles from honeybee stung and non-stung individuals. Two groups of serum samples obtained from 27 beekeepers were included in our study. The first group of samples was collected within 3 h after [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to explore the serum peptide profiles from honeybee stung and non-stung individuals. Two groups of serum samples obtained from 27 beekeepers were included in our study. The first group of samples was collected within 3 h after a bee sting (stung beekeepers), and the samples were collected from the same person a second time after at least six weeks after the last bee sting (non-stung beekeepers). Peptide profile spectra were determined using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry combined with Omix, ZipTips and magnetic beads based on weak-cation exchange (MB-WCX) enrichment strategies in the mass range of 1–10 kDa. The samples were classified, and discriminative models were established by using the quick classifier, genetic algorithm and supervised neural network algorithms. All of the statistical algorithms used in this study allow distinguishing analyzed groups with high statistical significance, which confirms the influence of honeybee sting on the serum peptidome profile. The results of this study may broaden the understanding of the human organism’s response to honeybee venom. Due to the fact that our pilot study was carried out on relatively small datasets, it is necessary to conduct further proteomic research of the response to honeybee sting on a larger group of samples. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Bee Venom Acupuncture on the Central Nervous System and Muscle in an Animal hSOD1G93A Mutant
Toxins 2015, 7(3), 846-858; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7030846
Received: 26 November 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by the degeneration of lower and upper motor neurons, leading to muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. However, there is no effective drug or therapy to treat ALS. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including acupuncture, pharmacopuncture, herbal medicine, [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by the degeneration of lower and upper motor neurons, leading to muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. However, there is no effective drug or therapy to treat ALS. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including acupuncture, pharmacopuncture, herbal medicine, and massage is popular due to the significant limitations of conventional therapy. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA), also known as one of pharmacopunctures, has been used in Oriental medicine to treat inflammatory diseases. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of BVA on the central nervous system (CNS) and muscle in symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice, an animal model of ALS. Our findings show that BVA at ST36 enhanced motor function and decreased motor neuron death in the spinal cord compared to that observed in hSOD1G93A transgenic mice injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with BV. Furthermore, BV treatment at ST36 eliminated signaling downstream of inflammatory proteins such as TLR4 in the spinal cords of symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. However, i.p. treatment with BV reduced the levels of TNF-α and Bcl-2 expression in the muscle hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. Taken together, our findings suggest that BV pharmacopuncture into certain acupoints may act as a chemical stimulant to activate those acupoints and subsequently engage the endogenous immune modulatory system in the CNS in an animal model of ALS. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview
The Protective Effect of Bee Venom on Fibrosis Causing Inflammatory Diseases
Toxins 2015, 7(11), 4758-4772; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7114758
Received: 14 August 2015 / Revised: 24 October 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 16 November 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bee venom therapy is a treatment modality that may be thousands of years old and involves the application of live bee stings to the patient’s skin or, in more recent years, the injection of bee venom into the skin with a hypodermic needle. [...] Read more.
Bee venom therapy is a treatment modality that may be thousands of years old and involves the application of live bee stings to the patient’s skin or, in more recent years, the injection of bee venom into the skin with a hypodermic needle. Studies have proven the effectiveness of bee venom in treating pathological conditions such as arthritis, pain and cancerous tumors. However, there has not been sufficient review to fully elucidate the cellular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory effects of bee venom and its components. In this respect, the present study reviews current understanding of the mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory properties of bee venom and its components in the treatment of liver fibrosis, atherosclerosis and skin disease. Full article
Open AccessReview
Pharmacological Alternatives for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Wasp and Bee Venoms and Their Components as New Neuroactive Tools
Toxins 2015, 7(8), 3179-3209; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7083179
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 1 August 2015 / Accepted: 5 August 2015 / Published: 18 August 2015
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases are relentlessly progressive, severely impacting affected patients, families and society as a whole. Increased life expectancy has made these diseases more common worldwide. Unfortunately, available drugs have insufficient therapeutic effects on many subtypes of these intractable diseases, and adverse effects hamper [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative diseases are relentlessly progressive, severely impacting affected patients, families and society as a whole. Increased life expectancy has made these diseases more common worldwide. Unfortunately, available drugs have insufficient therapeutic effects on many subtypes of these intractable diseases, and adverse effects hamper continued treatment. Wasp and bee venoms and their components are potential means of managing or reducing these effects and provide new alternatives for the control of neurodegenerative diseases. These venoms and their components are well-known and irrefutable sources of neuroprotectors or neuromodulators. In this respect, the present study reviews our current understanding of the mechanisms of action and future prospects regarding the use of new drugs derived from wasp and bee venom in the treatment of major neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Effects of Bee Venom on Immunological and Neurological Diseases
Toxins 2015, 7(7), 2413-2421; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7072413
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 16 May 2015 / Accepted: 24 June 2015 / Published: 29 June 2015
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bee Venom (BV) has long been used in Korea to relieve pain symptoms and to treat inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The underlying mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions of BV have been proved to some extent. Additionally, recent clinical and [...] Read more.
Bee Venom (BV) has long been used in Korea to relieve pain symptoms and to treat inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The underlying mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions of BV have been proved to some extent. Additionally, recent clinical and experimental studies have demonstrated that BV and BV-derived active components are applicable to a wide range of immunological and neurodegenerative diseases, including autoimmune diseases and Parkinson’s disease. These effects of BV are known to be mediated by modulating immune cells in the periphery, and glial cells and neurons in the central nervous system. This review will introduce the scientific evidence of the therapeutic effects of BV and its components on several immunological and neurological diseases, and describe their detailed mechanisms involved in regulating various immune responses and pathological changes in glia and neurons. Full article
Open AccessReview
Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions
Toxins 2015, 7(7), 2385-2412; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7072385
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 16 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
Cited by 40 | PDF Full-text (573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Parasitoid wasps are valuable biological control agents that suppress their host populations. Factors introduced by the female wasp at parasitization play significant roles in facilitating successful development of the parasitoid larva either inside (endoparasitoid) or outside (ectoparasitoid) the host. Wasp venoms consist of [...] Read more.
Parasitoid wasps are valuable biological control agents that suppress their host populations. Factors introduced by the female wasp at parasitization play significant roles in facilitating successful development of the parasitoid larva either inside (endoparasitoid) or outside (ectoparasitoid) the host. Wasp venoms consist of a complex cocktail of proteinacious and non-proteinacious components that may offer agrichemicals as well as pharmaceutical components to improve pest management or health related disorders. Undesirably, the constituents of only a small number of wasp venoms are known. In this article, we review the latest research on venom from parasitoid wasps with an emphasis on their biological function, applications and new approaches used in venom studies. Full article
Open AccessReview
Three Valuable Peptides from Bee and Wasp Venoms for Therapeutic and Biotechnological Use: Melittin, Apamin and Mastoparan
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1126-1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7041126
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
Cited by 82 | PDF Full-text (261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While knowledge of the composition and mode of action of bee and wasp venoms dates back 50 years, the therapeutic value of these toxins remains relatively unexploded. The properties of these venoms are now being studied with the aim to design and develop [...] Read more.
While knowledge of the composition and mode of action of bee and wasp venoms dates back 50 years, the therapeutic value of these toxins remains relatively unexploded. The properties of these venoms are now being studied with the aim to design and develop new therapeutic drugs. Far from evaluating the extensive number of monographs, journals and books related to bee and wasp venoms and the therapeutic effect of these toxins in numerous diseases, the following review focuses on the three most characterized peptides, namely melittin, apamin, and mastoparan. Here, we update information related to these compounds from the perspective of applied science and discuss their potential therapeutic and biotechnological applications in biomedicine. Full article
Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top