Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2019 Jun;62(6):336-342. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2018.00682.

Effect of Manuka Honey on Transforming Growth Factor Beta-1-Induced Extracelluar Matrix Production in Nasal Polyp Derived Fibroblasts

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea. hsseung@cu.ac.kr


Manuka honey has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative action with a high concentration of methylglyoxal compound. It is also effective in killing Staphylococcus aureus biofilm and effective for the acute exacerbation of chronic rhinosinusitis. The aim of this study was to determine the anti-fibrotic effect of manuka honey in nasal polyp fibroblasts. MATERIALS AND METHOD: Primary nasal fibroblasts were isolated from nasal polyps and treated with transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1). To determine the anti-fibrotic effect of manuka honey, fibroblasts were pre-treated with various concentration of the honey. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were then performed to determine α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), collagen type I, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression and protein production in nasal polyp fibroblasts. Phosphorylated Smad (pSmad) 2/3 and phosphorylated adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (pAMPK) were then determined by western blotting.
TGF-β1 stimulation increased α-SMA, collagen type I, and MMP-9 mRNA expression and protein production in nasal polyp fibroblasts. Manuka honey effectively suppressed α-SMA, collagen type I, and MMP-9 mRNA expression and protein production. Its inhibitory role on TGF-β1 induced myofibroblast differentiation and its extracellular matrix production was associated with Smad2/3 and AMPK pathway.
Manuka honey can inhibit TGF-β1 induced myofibroblast differentiation, collagen type I, and MMP-9 production in nasal fibroblasts. These results suggest that manuka honey might be a useful candidate for the inhibition of nasal polyp formation if further studies in vivo were accompanied.


Extracellular matrix; Fibroblast; Manuka honey; Nasal polyp; Transforming growth factor beta
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