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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 349751, 7 pages
Research Article

Propolis Ethanol Extract Stimulates Cytokine and Chemokine Production through NF-κB Activation in C2C12 Myoblasts

Laboratory for Veterinary Physiology, Department of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Rakuno Gakuen University, 582 Bunkyodai-Midorimachi, Ebetsu 069-8501, Japan

Received 15 August 2015; Revised 7 October 2015; Accepted 14 October 2015

Academic Editor: Juraj Majtan

Copyright © 2015 Kohei Washio 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.


Myoblast activation is a triggering event for muscle remodeling. We assessed the stimulatory effects of propolis, a beehive product, on myoblasts. After an 8 h treatment with 100 μg/mL of Brazilian propolis ethanol extract, expression of various chemokines, including CCL-2 and CCL-5, and cytokines, such as IL-6, increased. This propolis-induced cytokine production appears to depend on NF-κB activation, because the IKK inhibitor BMS-345541 repressed mRNA levels of CCL-2 by ~66%, CCL-5 by ~81%, and IL-6 by ~69% after propolis treatment. Supernatant from propolis-conditioned C2C12 cells upregulated RAW264 macrophage migration. The supernatant also stimulated RAW264 cells to produce angiogenic factors, including VEGF-A and MMP-12. Brazilian green propolis therefore causes myoblasts to secrete cytokines and chemokines, which might contribute to tissue remodeling of skeletal muscle.