Immunomodulation by water-soluble derivative of propolis: a factor of antitumor reactivity

J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Feb;84(2-3):265-73. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(02)00329-x.


The antimetastatic efficacy of a water-soluble derivative of propolis (WSDP) was studied. Tumor was a transplantable mammary carcinoma of CBA mouse. Metastases in the lung were generated by 2 x 10(5) viable tumor cells i.v. WSDP was given intraperitoneally at doses of 50 or 150 mg/kg before or after tumor cell inoculation. Therapies reduced the number of metastases in the lung and tumor growth was suppressed significantly by WSDP. It is likely that antimetastatic activity of the WSDP is mainly mediated by immunomodulatory activity. Changes in several immunological parameters such as production of lymphocyte activating factor by peritoneal macrophages and the efficacy of those macrophages to kill tumor cell in vitro, responses of lymphocytes to mitogen, and weight and cellularity of spleen, respectively, correlated well with antimetastatic properties of the WSDP. Based on results we postulate that the antimetastatic activity of propolis includes a pronounced immunomodulatory activity mainly toward augmentation of nonspecific antitumor resistance in mice via macrophage activation.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Female
  • Hemolytic Plaque Technique
  • Hindlimb
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Necrosis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation / immunology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Phenotype
  • Propolis / analogs & derivatives*
  • Propolis / chemistry
  • Propolis / pharmacology*
  • Solubility
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Mitogens
  • Propolis