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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2 (2005), Issue 2, Pages 201-207
Original Article

Neuroprotection by Brazilian Green Propolis against In vitro and In vivo Ischemic Neuronal Damage

1Department of Biofunctional Molecules, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu, Japan
2Department of Pharmacology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu, Japan
3Research Center, API Co. Ltd, Gifu, Japan

Received 4 January 2005; Accepted 6 March 2005

Copyright © 2005 Masamitsu Shimazawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We examined whether Brazilian green propolis, a widely used folk medicine, has a neuroprotective function in vitro and/or in vivo. In vitro, propolis significantly inhibited neurotoxicity induced in neuronally differentiated PC12 cell cultures by either 24 h hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) exposure or 48 h serum deprivation. Regarding the possible underlying mechanism, propolis protected against oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation) in mouse forebrain homogenates and scavenged free radicals [induced by diphenyl-p-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). In mice in vivo, propolis [30 or 100 mg/kg; intraperitoneally administered four times (at 2 days, 1 day and 60 min before, and at 4 h after induction of focal cerebral ischemia by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion)] reduced brain infarction at 24 h after the occlusion. Thus, a propolis-induced inhibition of oxidative stress may be partly responsible for its neuroprotective function against in vitro cell death and in vivo focal cerebral ischemia.