Anti-fibrotic Effects of Bee Venom and its Major Component Melittin in an Animal Model of Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction
Hyun-Jin An, PhD; Jung-Yeon Kim, PhD; Mi-Gyeong Gwon, MS; HyeMin Gu, BS; Kwan-Kyu Park, MD
Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea, Republic of
Introduction: Progressive renal fibrosis is the final common pathway for all kidney diseases leading to chronic renal failure. Purified bee venom (BV) and its major component melittin (Mel) has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases. It has multiple effects including antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory activities in various cell types. Many studies have examined the biological and pharmacological activities of BV and Mel. However, the precise mechanism of BV and Mel in ameliorating the renal fibrosis is not fully understood. Material & Methods: To investigate the therapeutic effects of BV and Mel against unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced renal fibrosis, BV and Mel was given intraperitoneally after ureteral ligation. At 7 days after UUO surgery, the kidney tissues were collected for protein analysis and histologic examination. Results: Histological observation revealed that UUO induced a considerable increase in the number of infiltrated inflammatory cells. However, BV and Mel treatment markedly reduced these reactions compared with untreated UUO mice. The expression levels of TNF-⍺ and IL-1β were significantly reduced in BV and Mel treated mice compared with UUO mice. In addition, treatment with BV and Mel significantly inhibited TGF-β1 and fibronectin expression in UUO mice. Moreover, the expression of ⍺-SMA was markedly withdrawn after treatment with BV and Mel. Conclusion: These findings suggest that BV and Mel attenuates renal fibrosis and reduces inflammatory responses by suppression of multiple growth factor-mediated pro-fibrotic genes. In conclusion, BV and Mel may be a useful therapeutic agent for the prevention of fibrosis that characterizes progression of chronic kidney disease.
Keywords: Bee Venom, Melittin, Renal Fibrosis, Inflammation, UUO
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