J Vet Sci.  2021 Jan;22(1):e9. 10.4142/jvs.2021.22.e9.

Bee venom reduces burn-induced pain via the suppression of peripheral and central substance P expression in mice

  • 1Department of Physiology and Medical Science, College of Medicine and Brain Research Institute, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015, Korea
  • 2Department of Veterinary Physiology, BK21 PLUS Program for Creative Veterinary Science Research, Research Institute for Veterinary Science and College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea


Scalding burn injuries can occur in everyday life but occur more frequently in young children. Therefore, it is important to develop more effective burn treatments.
This study examined the effects of bee venom (BV) stimulation on scalding burn injury-induced nociception in mice as a new treatment for burn pain.
To develop a burn injury model, the right hind paw was immersed temporarily in hot water (65°C, 3 seconds). Immediately after the burn, BV (0.01, 0.02, or 0.1 mg/kg) was injected subcutaneously into the ipsilateral knee area once daily for 14 days. A von Frey test was performed to assess the nociceptive response, and the altered walking parameters were evaluated using an automated gait analysis system. In addition, the peripheral and central expression changes in substance P (Sub P) were measured in the dorsal root ganglion and spinal cord by immunofluorescence.
Repeated BV treatment at the 2 higher doses used in this study (0.02 and 0.1 mg/kg) alleviated the pain responses remarkably and recovered the gait performances to the level of acetaminophen (200 mg/kg, intraperitoneal, once daily), which used as the positive control group. Moreover, BV stimulation had an inhibitory effect on the increased expression of Sub P in the peripheral and central nervous systems by a burn injury.
These results suggest that a peripheral BV treatment may have positive potency in treating burn-induced pain.


Burns; pain; bee venom; analgesia; substance P
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