Anti-inflammatory effect of bee venom in phthalic anhydride-induced atopic dermatitis animal model

  • Yu Jin Lee
  • Myung Jin Oh
  • Dong Hun Lee
  • Yong Sun Lee
  • Jiin Lee
  • Deok-Hyun Kim
  • Cheol-Hoon Choi
  • Min Jong Song
  • Ho Sueb SongEmail author
  • Jin Tae HongEmail author
Original Article


Globally, many people have been affected with atopic dermatitis (AD), a chronic inflammatory skin disease. AD is associated with multiple factors such as genetic, inflammatory, and immune factors. Bee venom (BV) is now widely used for the treatment of several inflammatory diseases. However, its effect on 5% phthalic anhydride (PA)-induced AD has not been reported yet. We investigated the anti-inflammatory and anti-AD effects of BV in a PA-induced animal model of AD. Balb/c mice were treated with topical application of 5% PA to the dorsal skin and ears for induction of AD. After 24 h, BV was applied on the back and ear skin of the mice three times a week for 4 weeks. BV treatment significantly reduced the PA-induced AD clinical score, back and ear epidermal thickness, as well as IgE level and infiltration of immune cells in the skin tissues compared to those of control mice. The levels of inflammatory cytokines in the serum were significantly decreased in BV-treated group compared to PA-treated group. In addition, BV inhibited the expression of iNOS and COX-2 as well as the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and NF-ҡB induced by PA in the skin tissues. We also found that BV abrogated the lipopolysaccharide or TNF-α/IFN-γ-induced NO production, expression of iNOS and COX-2, as well as MAPK and NF-ҡB signaling pathway in RAW 264.7 and HaCaT cells. These results suggest that BV may be a potential therapeutic macromolecule for the treatment of AD.


Bee venom Nf-κB Cytokines MAP kinase IgE 



This work is financially supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea [NRF] Grant funded by the Korea Government (MSIP) (Grant number MRC2017R1A5A2015541). We would like to thank Editage ( for English language editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no duality of interest associated with this manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Pharmacy and Medical Research CenterChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.College of Oriental MedicineGachon UniversitySeongnamRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Daejeon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaDaejeonRepublic of Korea

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