Identification of anti-inflammatory vesicle-like nanoparticles in honey

Xingyi Chen, Baolong Liu, Xingzhi Li, Thuy T. An, You Zhou, Gang Li, Judy Wu-Smart, Sophie Alvarez, Michael J. Naldrett, James Eudy, Gregory Kubik, Richard A. Wilson, Stephen D. Kachman, Juan Cui, Jiujiu Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Honey has been used as a nutrient, an ointment, and a medicine worldwide for many centuries. Modern research has demonstrated that honey has many medicinal properties, reflected in its anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory bioactivities. Honey is composed of sugars, water and a myriad of minor components, including minerals, vitamins, proteins and polyphenols. Here, we report a new bioactive component‒vesicle-like nanoparticles‒in honey (H-VLNs). These H-VLNs are membrane-bound nano-scale particles that contain lipids, proteins and small-sized RNAs. The presence of plant-originated plasma transmembrane proteins and plasma membrane-associated proteins suggests the potential vesicle-like nature of these particles. H-VLNs impede the formation and activation of the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat related (NLR) family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, which is a crucial inflammatory signalling platform in the innate immune system. Intraperitoneal administration of H-VLNs in mice alleviates inflammation and liver damage in the experimentally induced acute liver injury. miR-4057 in H-VLNs was identified in inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Together, our studies have identified anti-inflammatory VLNs as a new bioactive agent in honey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12069
JournalJournal of Extracellular Vesicles
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • NLRP3 inflammasome
  • exosomes
  • extracellular vesicles
  • honey
  • inflammation
  • nanoparticles
  • vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of anti-inflammatory vesicle-like nanoparticles in honey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this