Thrombin, hyperglycemia and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been discovered to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of the study was to evaluate the direct effect of bovine thrombin (BTh) on ROS production by human neutrophils and rodent macrophages and to investigate the effect of honey on BTh-induced ROS production from phagocytes.
Professional phagocytes, i.e. neutrophils and macrophages, were stimulated by BTh and ROS production was measured in luminol/lucigenin enhanced chemiluminescence (CL) assays. In another experiment the effects of honey treatment on BTh-induced ROS production by phagocytes was tested using a CL assay.
The results indicate that BTh directly activates phagocytes. A significant generation of ROS was noted with the luminol/lucigenin enhanced chemiluminescence (CL) system. Honey treatment of phagocytes activated by bovine thrombin showed effective suppression of oxidative respiratory burst monitored by the CL assay.
In conclusion, it can be assumed that this direct action of BTh on phagocytes causing ROS production might exaggerate the inflammatory response at the site of atheromatous plaques. The suppressive activity of honey towards thrombin-induced ROS production by phagocytes could be beneficial in the interruption of the pathological progress of CVD and may play a cardioprotective role. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.