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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 305454, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/305454
Research Article

The Protective Effect of Apamin on LPS/Fat-Induced Atherosclerotic Mice

1Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, 3056-6 Daemyung 4-Dong, Nam-Gu, Daegu 705-718, Republic of Korea
2School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia
3Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon 441-100, Republic of Korea

Received 10 October 2011; Revised 30 January 2012; Accepted 5 February 2012

Academic Editor: Myeong Soo Lee

Copyright © 2012 Soo-Jung Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Apamin, a peptide component of bee venom (BV), has anti-inflammatory properties. However, the molecular mechanisms by which apamin prevents atherosclerosis are not fully understood. We examined the effect of apamin on atherosclerotic mice. Atherosclerotic mice received intraperitoneal (ip) injections of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 2 mg/kg) to induce atherosclerotic change and were fed an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks. Apamin (0.05 mg/kg) was administered by ip injection. LPS-induced THP-1-derived macrophage inflammation treated with apamin reduced expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, and intracellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, as well as the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway. Apamin decreased the formation of atherosclerotic lesions as assessed by hematoxylin and elastic staining. Treatment with apamin reduced lipids, Ca2+ levels, and TNF-α in the serum from atherosclerotic mice. Further, apamin significantly attenuated expression of VCAM-1, ICAM-1, TGF-β1, and fibronectin in the descending aorta from atherosclerotic mice. These results indicate that apamin plays an important role in monocyte/macrophage inflammatory processing and may be of potential value for preventing atherosclerosis.