To investigate whether bee venom (BV) induces apoptosis, the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase- mediated dUTP nick end-labeling assay, 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, flow cytometric analysis, and DNA fragmentation assay were performed on NCI-H1299 lung cancer cells treated with BV. Through morphological and biochemical analyses, it was demonstrated that NCI-H1299 cells treated with BV exhibit several features of apoptosis. In addition, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) immunoassay were performed to verify whether BV possesses an inhibitory effect on the expression of cyclooxygenase (COX) and PGE2 synthesis. Expression of COX-2 mRNA and synthesis of PGE2 were inhibited by BV. These results suggest the possibility that BV may exert an anti-tumor effect on human lung cancer.
The Japanese Pharmacological Society 2003