Abstract Title:

Melittin Exerts Beneficial Effects on Paraquat-Induced Lung Injuries In Mice by Modifying Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis.

Abstract Source:

Molecules. 2019 Apr 16 ;24(8). Epub 2019 Apr 16. PMID: 30995821

Abstract Author(s):

Bishoy El-Aarag, Mohamed Magdy, Mohamed F AlAjmi, Shaden A M Khalifa, Hesham R El-Seedi

Article Affiliation:

Bishoy El-Aarag


Melittin (MEL) is a 26-amino acid peptide with numerous biological activities. Paraquat (PQ) is one of the most widely used herbicides, although it is extremely toxic to humans. To date, PQ poisoning has no effective treatment, and therefore the current study aimed to assess for the first time the possible effects of MEL on PQ-induced lung injuries in mice. Mice received a single intraperitoneal (IP) injection of PQ (30 mg/kg), followed by IP treatment with MEL (0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg) twice per week for four consecutive weeks. Histological alterations, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in the lungs were studied. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining indicated that MEL markedly reduced lung injuries induced by PQ. Furthermore, treatment with MEL increased superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, and decreased malonaldehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) levels in lung tissue homogenates. Moreover, immunohistochemical staining showed that B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and survivin expressions were upregulated after MEL treatment, while Ki-67 expression was downregulated. The high dose of MEL was more effective than the low dose in all experiments. In summary, MEL efficiently reduced PQ-induced lung injuries in mice. Specific pharmacological examinations are required to determine the effectiveness of MEL in cases of human PQ poisoning.

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