Effect of honey bee venom on differentiation of cholinergic neurons

Research Report

J Venom Res (2010), Vol 1, 29-36

Published online: 30 September 2010

Full Text: (PDF ~381kb) | (PubMed Central Record HTML)

Homa Mohseni Kouchesfahani, Mohammad Nabiuni*, Kazem Parivar, Somayeh Ebrahimi

Department of Biology, Division of Cell and Developmental Biology , Faculty of Sciences, University of Tarbiat Moalem, Tehran, Iran

*Correspondence to: Mohammad Nabiuni, Email: Nabiuni@tmu.ac.ir, Tel: +98 9126609337, F ax: +98 261451005

Received: 26 July 2010, Revised: 31 August 2010, Accepted: 02 September 2010

© Copyright The Authors


Mouse P19 embryonic carcinoma (EC) cells are pluripotent and can differentiate into a population consisting largely of neurons and glia cells using a concentration of 5 x 10 -7 M of retinoic acid (RA). Thus, P19 EC cells are a good model system to study events occurring during the critical phases of neuronal differentiation, in vitro. Honey bee venom (BV) consists of mellitin, phospholipase A2, apamin and several other bioactive substances. Previous studies have shown that mellitin and phospholipase A2 – two major components of BV – play an important role in the differentiation of neurons. The purpose of this study was to examine effects of BV and RA on the differentiation of cholinergic neuron in P19 cell line. Preliminary results obtained from morphological examination showed that six days after treatment with 5 x 10-7 M RA, P19 cells produced processes, and gradually obtained neuronal phenotype at approximately day-10. All cells then died at day-11. P19 cells treated with 1.3μg/ml BV produced processes on day-6 and neurons appeared in the next four days. They then proceeded to total size until day-10 and produced elongated processes; however, all cells died on day-11. Using BV and RA together had the same effect but more pronounced differentiating results. It can be concluded that applying BV with RA has an additive effect on cell differentiation and proliferation. The presence of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), frequently used as a marker for neuronal differentiation, was also determined and found using DTNB.

KEYWORDS: P19 cells, neuron, differentiation, honey bee venom, retinoic acid, acetylcholinesterase (AChE)