Stingless bee honey protects against lipopolysaccharide induced-chronic subclinical systemic inflammation and oxidative stress by modulating Nrf2, NF-κB and p38 MAPK

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2019 Feb 27:16:15. doi: 10.1186/s12986-019-0341-z. eCollection 2019.


Background: Epidemiological and experimental studies have extensively indicated that chronic subclinical systemic inflammation (CSSI) and oxidative stress are risk factors for several chronic diseases, including cancer, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. This study examined the protective effect of stingless bee honey (SBH) supplementation against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced CSSI, pointing to the possible involvement of NF-κB, p38 MAPK and Nrf2 signaling.

Methods: CSSI was induced in male Sprague Dawley rats by intraperitoneal injection of LPS three times per week for 28 days, and SBH (4.6 and 9.3 g/kg/day) was supplemented for 30 days.

Results: LPS-induced rats showed significant leukocytosis, and elevated serum levels of CRP, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), accompanied with diminished antioxidants. Treatment with SBH significantly ameliorated inflammatory markers, MDA and 8-OHdG, and enhanced antioxidants in LPS-induced rats. In addition, SBH decreased NF-κB p65 and p38 MAPK, and increased Nrf2 expression in the liver, kidney, heart and lung of LPS-induced rats. Furthermore, SBH prevented LPS-induced histological and functional alterations in the liver, kidney, heart and lung of rats.

Conclusion: SBH has a substantial protective role against LPS-induced CSSI in rats mediated via amelioration of inflammation, oxidative stress and NF-κB, p38 MAPK and Nrf2 signaling.

Keywords: Chronic subclinical systemic inflammation; Cytokines; Lipopolysaccharide; Oxidative stress; Stingless bee honey.