Bee venom induces apoptosis through caspase-3 activation in synovial fibroblasts of patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Seung Jae Hong, Sung Rim Gyu, In Yang Hyung, Shik Yin Chang, Gyun Koh Hyeong, Mi Hyeon Jang, Chang Ju Kim, Bong Keun Choe, Joo Ho Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bee venom (BV) has been used traditionally for the control of pain and inflammation in various chronic inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Oriental medicine. However, it is still unclear how BV exerts its beneficial effects on the clinical course of RA patients. To investigate the effect of BV on the treatment of rheumatoid synovitis, we examined the inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis in human rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts. Rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts were surgically obtained from patients with RA. Cell proliferation and viability were assessed by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The apoptosis of synovial cells treated with 10 μg/ml BV for 24 h was identified by 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) assay, DNA fragmentation assay, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis. It was demonstrated that rheumatoid synovial cells treated with 10 μg/ml BV for 24 h exhibited apoptotic features and fragmentation of DNA. In addition, BV induces apoptosis in rheumatoid synovial cells through a decrease in BCL2 expression and an increase in BAX and caspase-3 (CASP3) expression. It is suggested that BV inhibits the proliferation of rheumatoid synovial cells through induction of apoptosis by CASP3 activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalToxicon
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Bee venom
  • Human synovial fibroblasts
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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    Hong, S. J., Gyu, S. R., Hyung, I. Y., Chang, S. Y., Hyeong, G. K., Jang, M. H., Kim, C. J., Choe, B. K., & Chung, J. H. (2005). Bee venom induces apoptosis through caspase-3 activation in synovial fibroblasts of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Toxicon, 46(1), 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2005.03.015