The antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effect of water-soluble fraction of bee venom on rheumatoid arthritis in rats

  • Lee, Jang-Hern (Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kwon, Young-Bae (Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Jae-Dong (Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung-Hee University) ;
  • Kang, Sung-Keel (Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung-Hee University) ;
  • Lee, Hye-Jung (Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung-Hee University)
  • Published : 2001.02.28


We recently demonstrated that bee venom (BV) injection into acupoint (i.e. Zusanli) produced more potent anti-inflammatory and antinociciptive effect in Freunds adjuvant induced rheumatoid arthritis (RA) model as compared with that of non-acupoint injection(i.e back). However, the precise components underlying BV-induced antinociceptive and/or anti-inflammatory effects have not been fully understood. Therefore, we further investigated the anti-arthritic effect of BV after extracting the whole BV according to solubility (water soluble: BVA, ethylacetate soluble: BVE). Subcutaneous BVA treatment (0.9 mg/kg/day) into Zusanli acupoint was found to dramatically inhibit paw edema and radiological change (i.e. new bone proliferation and soft tissue swelling) caused by Freunds adjuvant injection. In addition, the increase of serum interleukin-6 by RA induction was normalized by the BVA treatment as similar with that of non-arthritic animals. On the other hand, BVA therapy significantly reduced arthritis induced nociceptive behaviors (i.e., nociceptive score for mechanical hyperalgesia and thermal hyperalgesia). Furthermore, BVA treatment significantly suppressed adjuvant induced Fos expression in the lumbar spinal cord at 3 weeks post-adjuvant injection. However, BVE treatment (0.05 mg/kg/day) has not any anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effect on RA. Based on the present results, we demonstrated that BVA might be a effective fraction in whole BV for long-term treatment of RA-induced pain and inflammation. However, it is clear necessary that further fraction study about BVA was required for elucidating an effective component of BVA.


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