The Protective Effect of Bee Venom against Ethanol-Induced Hepatic Injury via Regulation of the Mitochondria-Related Apoptotic Pathway

Authors


Author for correspondence: Kwan-Kyu Park, Department of Pathology, Catholic University of Daegu, College of Medicine, 3056-6 Daemyung 4-Dong, Nam-Gu, Daegu 705-718, Republic of Korea (fax + 82 53 650 4834, e-mail kkpark@cu.ac.kr).

Abstract

Abstract:  Alcohol consumption increases apoptosis of hepatocytes. Death of hepatocytes is a characteristic feature of chronic liver disease for various causes. Bee venom (Apis mellifera) has been traditionally used for the treatment of various chronic diseases, such as chronic inflammatory arthritis and chronic liver disease. However, the precise mechanism for bee venom in chronic liver disease is not still cleared. To assess the effects of bee venom in chronic liver disease, we investigated the potential role of the bee venom in the ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis. Bee venom treatment inhibited the apoptotic cell morphology and increased the cell viability in ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis. With ethanol treatment, bee venom-treated hepatocytes increased activity of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, reduced activity of Bax, Caspase and PARP. In conclusion, bee venom treatment in ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis occurred through the regulation of Bcl family with subsequent inactivation of the Caspase and PARP. These results suggest that bee venom could be an effective agent to reduce ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis.

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