Background/objectives Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) exist in either the M1 or M2 form. The anti-inflammatory M2 ATMs accumulate in lean individuals, whereas the pro-inflammatory M1 ATMs accumulate in obese individuals. Bee venom phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2), a major component in honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom, exerts potent antiinflammatory effects via interactions with regulatory T cells (Treg) and macrophages. This study investigated the effects of bvPLA2 on a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity in mice.
Subjects/methods For in vivo experiments, male C57BL/6, CD206-deficient, and Treg-depleted mice models were fed either a normal diet 41.86 kJ (ND, 10 kcal% fat) or high-fat diet 251.16 kJ (HFD, 60 kcal% fat). Each group was i.p. injected with PBS or bvPLA2 (0.5 mg/kg) every 3 days for 11 weeks. Body weight and food intake were measured weekly.
Histological changes in the white adipose tissue (WAT), liver, and kidney as well as the immune phenotypes of the WAT were examined. Immune cells, cytokines, and lipid profiles were also evaluated. The direct effects of bvPLA2 on 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes and bone marrow-derived macrophages were measured in vitro.
Results bvPLA2 markedly decreased bodyweight in HFD-fed mice. bvPLA2 treatment also decreased lipid accumulation in the liver and reduced kidney inflammation in the mice. It was confirmed that bvPLA2 exerted immunomodulatory effects through the CD206 receptor. In addition, bvPLA2 decreased M1 ATM and alleviated the M1/M2 imbalance in vivo.
However, bvPLA2 did not directly inhibit adipogenesis in the 3T3-L1 adipose cells in vitro.
Conclusions bvPLA2 is a potential therapeutic strategy for the management of obesity by regulating adipose tissue macrophage homeostasis.