Bee venom ameliorates compound 48/80-induced atopic dermatitis-related symptoms

Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013 Nov 15;6(12):2896-903. eCollection 2013.


Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) venom (BV) has been traditionally used for the treatment of pain and inflammatory diseases such as itchy skin problems. However, the precise mechanism of BV in ameliorating the scratching behavior is not fully understood.

Objective: In order to evaluate the effect of BV on atopic dermatitis-related symptoms in mice, we used a mouse skin scratching model induced by compound 48/80. The anti-itch effect of BV was investigated in a compound 48/80-induced mouse scratching behavior model. BALB/c mice were injected intraperitoneally with vehicle (saline 0.9%) or BV (0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg). One hour after treatment, the animals received a subcutaneous injection of compound 48/80. Intraperitoneal administration of BV (0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg) attenuated compound 48/80-induced scratching behaviors. The anti-scratching behavior effect of BV was in proportional to its vascular permeability effects. Treatment with BV also inhibited the degranulation of mast cells and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in compound 48/80-treated skin tissues. According to these results, BV may improve atopic dermatitis-related symptoms by inhibiting the mast cell degranulation and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression.

Keywords: Bee venom; compound 48/80; inflammation; mast cell degranulation; scratching behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antipruritics / administration & dosage
  • Antipruritics / pharmacology*
  • Bee Venoms / administration & dosage
  • Bee Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Capillary Permeability / drug effects
  • Cell Degranulation / drug effects
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / chemically induced
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Pruritus / chemically induced
  • Pruritus / drug therapy*
  • Pruritus / immunology
  • Pruritus / metabolism
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antipruritics
  • Bee Venoms
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine