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      Is Open Access

      Anti-Inflammatory Applications of Melittin, a Major Component of Bee Venom: Detailed Mechanism of Action and Adverse Effects

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      Molecules

      MDPI

      bee venom, melittin, inflammation

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          Abstract

          Inflammation is a pervasive phenomenon triggered by the innate and adaptive immune systems to maintain homeostasis. The phenomenon normally leads to recovery from infection and healing, but when not properly phased, inflammation may cause immune disorders. Bee venom is a toxin that bees use for their protection from enemies. However, for centuries it has been used in the Orient as an anti-inflammatory medicine for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. Bee venom and its major component, melittin, are potential means of reducing excessive immune responses and provide new alternatives for the control of inflammatory diseases. Recent experimental studies show that the biological functions of melittin could be applied for therapeutic use in vitro and in vivo. Reports verifying the therapeutic effects of melittin are accumulating in the literature, but the cellular mechanism(s) of the anti-inflammatory effects of melittin are not fully elucidated. In the present study, we review the current knowledge on the therapeutic effects of melittin and its detailed mechanisms of action against several inflammatory diseases including skin inflammation, neuroinflammation, atherosclerosis, arthritis and liver inflammation, its adverse effects as well as future prospects regarding the use of melittin.

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          Most cited references 79

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          Points of control in inflammation.

           Carl Nathan (2015)
          Inflammation is a complex set of interactions among soluble factors and cells that can arise in any tissue in response to traumatic, infectious, post-ischaemic, toxic or autoimmune injury. The process normally leads to recovery from infection and to healing, However, if targeted destruction and assisted repair are not properly phased, inflammation can lead to persistent tissue damage by leukocytes, lymphocytes or collagen. Inflammation may be considered in terms of its checkpoints, where binary or higher-order signals drive each commitment to escalate, go signals trigger stop signals, and molecules responsible for mediating the inflammatory response also suppress it, depending on timing and context. The non-inflammatory state does not arise passively from an absence of inflammatory stimuli; rather, maintenance of health requires the positive actions of specific gene products to suppress reactions to potentially inflammatory stimuli that do not warrant a full response.
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            Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease.

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              To be, or not to be: NF-kappaB is the answer--role of Rel/NF-kappaB in the regulation of apoptosis.

              During their lifetime, cells encounter many life or death situations that challenge their very own existence. Their survival depends on the interplay within a complex yet precisely orchestrated network of proteins. The Rel/NF-kappaB signaling pathway and the transcription factors that it activates have emerged as critical regulators of the apoptotic response. These proteins are best known for the key roles that they play in normal immune and inflammatory responses, but they are also implicated in the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and oncogenesis. In recent years, there has been remarkable progress in understanding the pathways that activate the Rel/NF-kappaB factors and their role in the cell's decision to either fight or surrender to apoptotic challenge. Whereas NF-kappaB is most commonly involved in suppressing apoptosis by transactivating the expression of antiapoptotic genes, it can promote programmed cell death in response to certain death-inducing signals and in certain cell types. This review surveys our current understanding of the role of NF-kappaB in the apoptotic response and focuses on many developments since this topic was last reviewed in Oncogene 4 years ago. These recent findings shed new light on the activity of NF-kappaB as a critical regulator of apoptosis in the immune, hepatic, epidermal and nervous systems, on the mechanisms through which it operates and on its role in tissue development, homoeostasis and cancer.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Molecules
                Molecules
                molecules
                Molecules
                MDPI
                1420-3049
                11 May 2016
                May 2016
                : 21
                : 5
                Affiliations
                Department of Physiology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoeki-Dong, Dongdaemoon-gu, Seoul 130-701, Korea; glee@ 123456khu.ac.kr
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence: hbae@ 123456khu.ac.kr ; Tel./Fax: +82-2-961-9316
                Article
                molecules-21-00616
                10.3390/molecules21050616
                6273919
                27187328
                © 2016 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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                bee venom, inflammation, melittin

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