Effects of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom on keratinocyte migration in vitro

Pharmacogn Mag. 2013 Jul;9(35):220-6. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.113271.


Background: Since the ancient times the skin aging application of honeybee venom (BV) is practiced and persisted until nowadays. The present study evaluated the effect of the honeybee venom (BV) on keratinocyte migration in wound healing model in vitro.

Objective: To access BV further as a cosmetic ingredient and a potential external application for topical uses, we performed studies to investigate the biologic effect of BV treatment on keratinocyte proliferation and migration in vitro.

Material and methods: BV cytotoxicity was assessed by using a 3-[4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay over 24 h. To assess BV genotoxicity, damage to human epidermal keratinocyte (HEK) was evaluated using the Comet assay. HEK migration was evaluated using a commercial wound healing kit. The skin pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were examined to evaluate the pro-inflammatory response to BV.

Results: It was found that BV (<100 μg/ml) was not cytotoxic and stimulated more HEK proliferation and migration compared to negative control, and did not induce DNA damage. There were also decreases in IL-8 and TNF-α expression levels in HEK at all time points.

Conclusion: These findings highlight the potential of topical application of BV for promoting cell regeneration and wound treatment.

Keywords: Bee venom; Keratinocyte; migration; regeneration; skin.