Antiulcerogenic effect of melittin via mitigating TLR4/TRAF6 mediated NF-κB and p38MAPK pathways in acetic acid-induced ulcerative colitis in mice.
Chem Biol Interact. 2020 Sep 28 ;331:109276. Epub 2020 Sep 28. PMID: 33002459
Omaima A Ahmedy
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease driven primarily by uncontrolled pervasive inflammatory responses affecting the colon and rectum. Currently available medications carry multiple detrimental adverse effects, which have emphasized the mandatory need for safer and more efficient novel therapeutic alternatives. Melittin is the main constituent of bee venom and exhibits potent anti-inflammatory properties. The antiulcerogenic effect of oral melittin (40 μg/kg) was explored in the current study using the acetic acid-induced colitis model. Increase in body weight and decrease in colon mass index were observed in the melittin group. Microscopically, melittin ameliorated acetic acid-induced histological damage. Melittin administration has efficiently amended the elevated levels of the cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) seen in the colitis group. This was accompanied by inhibition of the upstream signaling molecules, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF-R)-associated factor (TRAF6), mitogen-activated protein kinase 38 (p38 MAPK), and nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) in the melittin group. Moreover, treatment with melittin resulted in marked decrease in colonic level of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) together with the enzymes involved in its synthesis, secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). Additionally, melittin has attenuated acetic acid-induced oxidative stress as manifested by the significant diminishment in malondialdehyde (MDA) as well as the increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels. Therefore, melittin mitigated UC pathogenesis and could be considered as a potent and promising therapeutic alternative for UC treatment.