Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Recently, bee venom was reported to protect dopaminergic neurons in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine induced mice PD model, however, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. The objective of the present study is to investigate the neuroprotective mechanism of bee venom against Parkinsonian toxin, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP(+)), in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Our results revealed that bee venom pretreatment (1-100 ng/ml) increased the cell viability and decreased apoptosis assessed by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activity assays in MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. Bee venom increased the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression and decreased the pro-apoptotic Bax, cleaved PARP expressions. In addition, bee venom prevented the MPP(+)-induced suppression of Akt phosphorylation, and the neuroprotective effect of bee venom against MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity was inhibited by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, LY294002. These results suggest that the anti-apoptotic effect of bee venom is mediated by the cell survival signaling, the PI3K/Akt pathway. These results provide new evidence for elucidating the mechanism of neuroprotection of bee venom against PD.