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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 371730, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/371730
Review Article

Polyphenols as Key Players for the Antileukaemic Effects of Propolis

1Human Genome Centre, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
2Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, PMB 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria
3Department of Haematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
4Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
5Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

Received 10 November 2013; Revised 24 January 2014; Accepted 5 February 2014; Published 19 March 2014

Academic Editor: Jairo Kenupp Bastos

Copyright © 2014 Murtala B. Abubakar 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.

Abstract

Propolis (a bee product) which has a long history of medicinal use by humans has attracted a great deal of research interest in the recent time; this is due to its widely reported biological activities such as antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties. Crude form of propolis and its phenolic contents have both been reported to exhibit antileukaemic effects in various leukaemia cell lines. The ability of the polyphenols found in propolis to arrest cell cycle and induce apoptosis and differentiation in addition to inhibition of cell growth and proliferation makes them promising antileukaemic agents, and hence, they are believed to be a key to the antileukaemic effects of propolis in different types of leukaemia. This paper reviews the molecular bases of antileukaemic activity of both crude propolis and individual polyphenols on various leukaemia cell lines, and it indicates that propolis has the potential to be used in both treatment and prevention of leukaemia. This however needs further evaluation by in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies as well as clinical trials.