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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 918956, 6 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Effects of the Ethanolic Extracts of Brazilian Propolis on Human Leukemic Cells As Assessed with the MTT Assay

1Integrated Center for Childhood Onco-Hematological Investigation, State University of Campinas, P.O. Box 6141, 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil
2Department of Food Science, College of Food Engineering, State University of Campinas, P.O. Box 6177, Campinas, SP, Brazil

Received 6 April 2011; Revised 8 June 2011; Accepted 24 July 2011

Academic Editor: Edwin L. Cooper

Copyright © 2012 Gilberto C. Franchi 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.


Propolis is a resinous product collected by honey bees. It was also reported that propolis has a wide variety of biological actions, including antimicrobial activity and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and suppressive effects of dioxin toxicity activities. The aim of this study was to compare the in vitro cytotoxic activities of green propolis (G12) and red propolis (G13) in human leukemia cells. These cells were incubated with different concentrations of propolis and 48 hours after the IC50 was calculated for each cell. The results showed that the red propolis has cytotoxic effect in vitro higher than green propolis. Red propolis was showed to be cytostatic in K562 cells and caused the same amount of apoptosis as its control Gleevec. In conclusion, these results showed that red propolis is more cytotoxic than the green propolis in a variety of human cell lines of leukemia. Red propolis may contain drugs capable of inhibiting cancer cell growth. Therefore, further isolation of respective chemical ingredients from the red propolis (G13) for identification of the activities is necessary.