Honey has been used as a nutrient, an ointment, and a medicine worldwide for many centuries. Modern research has demonstrated that honey has many medicinal properties, reflected in its anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory bioactivities. Honey is composed of sugars, water and a myriad of minor components, including minerals, vitamins, proteins and polyphenols. Here, we report a new bioactive component‒vesicle-like nanoparticles‒in honey (H-VLNs). These H-VLNs are membrane-bound nano-scale particles that contain lipids, proteins and small-sized RNAs. The presence of plant-originated plasma transmembrane proteins and plasma membrane-associated proteins suggests the potential vesicle-like nature of these particles. H-VLNs impede the formation and activation of the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat related (NLR) family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, which is a crucial inflammatory signalling platform in the innate immune system. Intraperitoneal administration of H-VLNs in mice alleviates inflammation and liver damage in the experimentally induced acute liver injury. miR-4057 in H-VLNs was identified in inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Together, our studies have identified anti-inflammatory VLNs as a new bioactive agent in honey.
Keywords: NLRP3 inflammasome; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; honey; inflammation; nanoparticles; vesicles.
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles published by Wiley Periodicals, LLC on behalf of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles.