Bee venom has long been used to treat various inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Previously, we reported that bee venom phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) has an anti-inflammatory effect through the induction of regulatory T cells. Radiotherapy is a common anti-cancer method, but often causes adverse effects, such as inflammation. This study was conducted to evaluate the protective effects of bvPLA2 in radiation-induced acute lung inflammation. Mice were focally irradiated with 75 Gy of X-rays in the lung and administered bvPLA2 six times after radiation. To evaluate the level of inflammation, the number of immune cells, mRNA level of inflammatory cytokine, and histological changes in the lung were measured. BvPLA2 treatment reduced the accumulation of immune cells, such as macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and eosinophils. In addition, bvPLA2 treatment decreased inflammasome-, chemokine-, cytokine- and fibrosis-related genes’ mRNA expression. The histological results also demonstrated the attenuating effect of bvPLA2 on radiation-induced lung inflammation. Furthermore, regulatory T cell depletion abolished the therapeutic effects of bvPLA2 in radiation-induced pneumonitis, implicating the anti-inflammatory effects of bvPLA2 are dependent upon regulatory T cells. These results support the therapeutic potential of bvPLA2 in radiation pneumonitis and fibrosis treatments.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF-2013R1A2A2A01068954, H.B.; the Nuclear Research and Development Program, NRF-2011-0031695, J.C.) and by the Convergence of Conventional Medicine and Traditional Korean Medicine R&D program funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (HI15C0214, J.C. and H.B.).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis