Melittin inhibits cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis via inhibition of the JNK pathway

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Abstract

The major compound of bee venom, melittin, has been used as an anti-inflammatory reagent for decades. However, the potential of melittin to ameliorate acute pancreatitis (AP) is unknown. Our aim was to investigate the effect of melittin on cerulein-induced AP. Pre- and post-treatment with melittin inhibited histological changes in the pancreas and lungs during cerulein-induced AP. Pancreatic weight/body weight ratios; digestive enzymes, including amylase and lipase; serum and pancreatic cytokine expression; and myeloperoxidase activity were decreased. In addition, treatment with melittin inhibited the activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal protein kinase (JNK) in the pancreas during cerulein-induced pancreatitis. In accordance with the results of in vivo experiments, melittin reduced cerulein-induced cell death, and production of inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, our results suggest that melittin attenuated AP and AP-associated lung injury through the inhibition of JNK activation.

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