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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 157367, 8 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Phototoxic and Skin Sensitization Potentials of PLA2-Free Bee Venom

1College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Republic of Korea
2Institute of Animal Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Republic of Korea
3Toxicity Screening Research Center, Gyeongnam Department of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Korea Institute of Toxicology (KIT), Jinju 660-844, Republic of Korea
4Chung Jin Biotech Co., Ltd., Hanyang University Business Center, Anshan-si 426-791, Republic of Korea
5Institutes of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Republic of Korea

Received 27 May 2015; Accepted 13 July 2015

Academic Editor: Svein Haavik

Copyright © 2015 Yunwi Heo 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.


Bee venom (BV) from honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) has been used in oriental medicine and cosmetic ingredients because of its diverse pharmacological activities. In many studies, among BV components, phospholipase A2 (PLA2) is known as a major player in BV-induced allergic reaction. Therefore, we removed PLA2 from BV using ultrafiltration and then investigated in vitro phototoxicity and in vivo skin sensitization of PLA2-free BV (PBV) in comparison with regular BV. The 3T3 neutral red uptake phototoxicity assay can be appropriated to identify the phototoxic effect of a test substance upon the exposure of ultraviolet A. Chlorpromazine, a positive control, showed high levels of photoirritation factor and mean photo effect values, while BV and PBV had less of these values. Local lymph node assay is an alternative method to evaluate skin sensitization potential of chemicals. BALB/c mice were treated with p-phenylenediamine (PPD, positive control), BV, or PBV. In all of PPD concentrations, stimulation indexes (SI) as sensitizing potential of chemicals were ≥1.6, determined to be sensitizer, while SI levels of BV and PBV were below 1.6. Thus, based on these findings, we propose that both BV and PBV are nonphototoxic compounds and nonsensitizers.