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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1038153, 12 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant, Cytotoxic, and Toxic Activities of Propolis from Two Native Bees in Brazil: Scaptotrigona depilis and Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides

1School of Environmental and Biological Science, Federal University of Grande Dourados, Dourados, MS, Brazil
2Course of Chemistry, State University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Dourados, MS, Brazil
3Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Interdisciplinary Center of Biochemistry Investigation, University of Mogi das Cruzes, Mogi das Cruzes, SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Edson Lucas dos Santos

Received 10 November 2016; Revised 27 January 2017; Accepted 1 February 2017; Published 9 March 2017

Academic Editor: Jasminka Giacometti

Copyright © 2017 Thaliny Bonamigo 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 natural mixture of compounds produced by various bee species, including stingless bees. This compound has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, antiproliferative, and antitumor activities. The present study aimed to determine the chemical constituents as well as the antioxidant, cytotoxic, and toxic activities of ethanol extracts of propolis obtained from the stingless bees Scaptotrigona depilis and Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides, which are found in Brazil. Phytosterols, terpenes, phenolic compounds, and tocopherol were identified in the ethanol extracts of propolis (EEPs) in different concentrations. The compounds stigmasterol, taraxasterol, vanilic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin were found only in EEP-M. The EEPs were able to scavenge the free radicals 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) and protected human erythrocytes against lipid peroxidation, with the latter effect being demonstrated by their antihemolytic activity and inhibition of malondialdehyde formation. The EEPs showed cytotoxic activity against erythroleukemic cells and necrosis was the main mechanism of death observed. In addition, the concentrations at which the EEPs were cytotoxic were not toxic against Caenorhabditis elegans. In this context, it is concluded that EEP-S and EEP-M show antioxidant and cytotoxic activities and are promising bioactive mixtures for the control of diseases associated with oxidative stress and tumor cell proliferation.