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Open Access Research article

Brazilian green propolis modulates inflammation, angiogenesis and fibrogenesis in intraperitoneal implant in mice

Luiza DC Lima2, Silvia P Andrade1*, Paula P Campos2, Lucíola S Barcelos1, Frederico M Soriani1, Sandra AL Moura3 and Mônica AND Ferreira2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Antônio Carlos 6627- Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais CEP 31.270-901, Brazil

2 Department General Pathology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Antônio Carlos 6627- Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais CEP 31.270-901, Brazil

3 Center of Research in Biological Science, Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP), Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:177  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-177

Published: 29 May 2014



Chronic inflammatory processes in the peritoneal cavity develop as a result of ischemia, foreign body reaction, and trauma. Brazilian green propolis, a beeswax product, has been shown to exhibit multiple actions on inflammation and tissue repair. Our aim was to investigate the effects of this natural product on the inflammatory, angiogenic, and fibrogenic components of the peritoneal fibroproliferative tissue induced by a synthetic matrix.


Chronic inflammation was induced by placing polyether-polyurethane sponge discs in the abdominal cavity of anesthetized Swiss mice. Oral administration of propolis (500/mg/kg/day) by gavage started 24 hours after injury for four days. The effect of propolis on peritoneal permeability was evaluated through fluorescein diffusion rate 4 days post implantation. The effects of propolis on the inflammatory (myeloperoxidase and n-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase activities and TNF-α levels), angiogenic (hemoglobin content-Hb), and fibrogenic (TGF-β1 and collagen deposition) components of the fibrovascular tissue in the implants were determined 5 days after the injury.


Propolis was able to decrease intraperitoneal permeability. The time taken for fluorescence to peak in the systemic circulation was 20 ± 1 min in the treated group in contrast with 15 ± 1 min in the control group. In addition, the treatment was shown to down-regulate angiogenesis (Hb content) and fibrosis by decreasing TGF-β1 levels and collagen deposition in fibroproliferative tissue induced by the synthetic implants. Conversely, the treatment up-regulated inflammatory enzyme activities, TNF-α levels and gene expression of NOS2 and IFN-γ (23 and 7 fold, respectively), and of FIZZ1 and YM1 (8 and 2 fold) when compared with the untreated group.


These observations show for the first time the effects of propolis modulating intraperitoneal inflammatory angiogenesis in mice and disclose important action mechanisms of the compound (downregulation of angiogenic components and activation of murine macrophage pathways).

Water extract propolis; Cytokines; Macrophage activation; Fibrosis