Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that leads to destruction of tooth supporting tissues. Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), especially its lipopolysaccharides (LPS), is one of major pathogens that cause periodontitis. Bee venom (BV) has been widely used as a traditional medicine for various diseases. Previous studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial effects of BV. However, a direct role and cellular mechanism of BV on periodontitis-like human keratinocytes have not been explored. Therefore, we investigated the anti-inflammatory mechanism of BV against P. gingivalis LPS (PgLPS)-induced HaCaT human keratinocyte cell line. The anti-inflammatory effect of BV was demonstrated by various molecular biological methods. The results showed that PgLPS increased the expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and interferon (IFN)-γ. In addition, PgLPS induced activation of the signaling pathways of inflammatory cytokines-related transcription factors, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1). BV effectively inhibited those pro-inflammatory cytokines through suppression of NF-κB and AP-1 signaling pathways. These results suggest that administration of BV attenuates PgLPS-induced inflammatory responses. Furthermore, BV may be a useful treatment to anti-inflammatory therapy for periodontitis.
Keywords: Porphyromonas gingivalis; bee venom; lipopolysaccharides; periodontitis.