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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 673058, 7 pages
Research Article

Brazilian Propolis Antileishmanial and Immunomodulatory Effects

1Department of Science Pathology, Londrina State University (UEL), 86057-970 Londrina, PR, Brazil
2Department of General Biology, Laboratory of Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis, Londrina State University (UEL), 86057-970 Londrina, PR, Brazil
3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Biosciences Institute (UNESP), 18618-970 Botucatu, SP, Brazil

Received 29 January 2013; Revised 12 April 2013; Accepted 22 April 2013

Academic Editor: Vassya Bankova

Copyright © 2013 Suelen Santos da Silva 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.


The antileishmanial and immunomodulatory effects of propolis collected in Botucatu, São Paulo State, Brazil, were evaluated in Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis experimental infection. The antileishmanial effect of propolis on promastigote forms was verified by reducing growth and by promoting morphologic alterations observed by scanning electron microscopy. In in vitro immunomodulatory assays, macrophages were pretreated with propolis and then infected with L. (V.) braziliensis. In vivo, supernatants from liver cells and peritoneal exudate of BALB/c mice pretreated with propolis and infected with Leishmania (107/mL promastigotes) were collected, and TNF- and IL-12 were measured by ELISA. Macrophages incubated with propolis showed a significant increase in interiorization and further killing of parasites. An increased TNF- production was seen in mice pretreated with propolis, whereas IL-12 was downregulated during the infection. In conclusion, Brazilian propolis showed a direct action on the parasite and displayed immunomodulatory effects on murine macrophages, even though the parasite has been reported to affect the activation pathways of the cell. The observed effects could be associated with the presence of phenolic compounds (flavonoids, aromatic acids, and benzopyranes), di- and triterpenes, and essential oils found in our propolis sample.