In this study, we have examined the anti-inflammatory actions of royal jelly (RJ) at a cytokine level. When supernatants of RJ suspensions were added to a culture of mouse peritoneal macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide and IFN-γ, the production of proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1, was efficiently inhibited in a dose-dependent manner without having cytotoxic effects on macrophages. This suggests that RJ contains factor(s) responsible for the suppression of proinflammatory cytokine secretion. We named the factor for honeybees RJ-derived anti-inflammatory factor (HBRJ-AIF), and further investigated the molecular aspects of it. Size fractionation study showed that HBRJ-AIF is composed of substances of low (<5 kDa) and high (>30 kDa) molecular weights, with the former being a major component. Chromatographic analysis showed that MRJP3 is one candidate for the HBRJ-AIF with high molecular weights. Thus, our results suggest that RJ has anti-inflammatory actions through inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine production by activated macrophages.
2004 by Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry