Evaluation of catecholamines and amino acids from venom reservoir extract of Indian honey bee (Apis) species

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Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 53 (5) pp. 514-519


December 2014
Article Title

Evaluation of catecholamines and amino acids from venom reservoir extract of Indian honey bee (Apis) species

Nallahalli S Surendra, Hemagirigowda Ravikumar, and Muniswamy R S Reddy

Catecholamine systems play a variety of roles in animals as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, hormones, paracrine and autocrine factors. Many venoms of widely different animals have evolved to manipulate these systems for both defensive and offensive purposes. Catecholamines are sympathomimetic and comprise of a catechol group derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Physiological and anatomical evidence suggests that certain amino acids act as neurotransmitters of the major excitatory or inhibitory commands in the central nervous system, and also take part in intermediary metabolism. Catecholamines were quantified from an extract of the venom gland and reservoir of three honey bee species, Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis florea using liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (ECD). The results showed species dependent variation: 1. norepinephrine and dopamine were found in all the three Apis species, with the highest quantity in A. dorsata followed by A. cerana and the least in A. florea; 2. 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic-acid was found only in A. cerana; and 3. 5-hydroxytryptamine was present only in A. dorsata and A. florea. The other two vital bioactive components examined, 3,4 dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid and hydroxy-3-methoxy-phenylacetic acid were absent from all three bee species. Eight amino acids (aspartate, glutamate, serine, alanine, glysine, phenyl ethanolamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid and tyrosine) were analysed and compared, showing that the quantity of each amino acid in the venoms differed between bee species.


catecholamines, Apis species, liquid chromatography, electrochemical detection, venom reservoir, honey bee
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