Bee Venom in Wound Healing

Molecules. 2020 Dec 31;26(1):148. doi: 10.3390/molecules26010148.


Bee venom (BV), also known as api-toxin, is widely used in the treatment of different inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. It is also known that BV can improve the wound healing process. BV plays a crucial role in the modulation of the different phases of wound repair. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial and analgesic properties, all of which have a positive impact on the wound healing process. The mentioned process consists of four phases, i.e., hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and remodeling. The impaired wound healing process constitutes a significant problem especially in diabetic patients, due to hypoxia state. It had been found that BV accelerated the wound healing in diabetic patients as well as in laboratory animals by impairing the caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9 activity. Moreover, the activity of BV in wound healing is associated with regulating the expression of transforming growth factor (TGF-β1), vascular endothelial growth factor and increased collagen type I. BV stimulates the proliferation and migration of human epidermal keratinocytes and fibroblasts. In combination with polyvinyl alcohol and chitosan, BV significantly accelerates the wound healing process, increasing the hydroxyproline and glutathione and lowering the IL-6 level in wound tissues. The effect of BV on the wounds has been proved by numerous studies, which revealed that BV in the wound healing process brings about a curative effect and could be applied as a new potential treatment for wound repair. However, therapy with bee venom may induce allergic reactions, so it is necessary to assess the existence of the patient's hypersensitivity to apitoxin before treatment.

Keywords: bee venom; biological properties; molecular mechanism; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bee Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Bee Venoms