Study of visceral antinociceptive potential of bee Apis mellifera venom
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Pain is one of the most common reasons for patients to seek medical care. Bee Apis mellifera venom (AMV) has traditionally been used to treat inflammatory diseases and the alleviation of pain. Herein, we aimed to investigate the visceral antinociceptive potential of A. mellifera bee venom and its possible mechanism of action. Acetic acid-induced writhing assay was used in mice to determine the degree of visceral antinociception. Visceral antinociceptive activity was expressed as the reduction in the number of abdominal constrictions. Mice received an intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid after administration of AMV (0.08 or 0.8 mg/kg; intraperitoneally (i.p.)). In mechanistic studies, separate experiments were realized to examine the role of α2-receptors, nitric oxide, calcium channels, K+ATP channel activation, TRPV1 and opioid receptors on the visceral antinociceptive effect of AMV (0.8 mg/kg), using appropriate antagonists, yohimbine (2 mg/kg), L-NG-Nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 10 mg/kg), verapamil (5 mg/kg), glibenclamide (5 mg/kg), ruthenium red (3 mg/kg) or naloxone (2 mg/kg). AMV presented visceral antinociceptive activity in both doses tested (0.08 and 0.8 mg/Kg). Visceral antinociceptive effect of AMV was resistant to all the antagonists used. Mice showed no significant alterations in locomotion frequency, indicating that the observed antinociception is not a consequence of motor abnormality. Although AMV efficient diminished the acetic acid-evoked pain-related behavior, its mechanism is unclear from this study and future studies are needed to verify how the venom exerts its antinociceptive action.