Evaluation of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of a Brazilian green propolis

Planta Med. 2006 Aug;72(10):899-906. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-947185. Epub 2006 Aug 10.


Phamacological activities of a standard ethanol extract G1 from Brazilian green propolis, typified as BRP1, was evaluated in mouse models of pain and inflammation. Intraperitoneal injection ( I. P.) of G1 inhibited acetic acid-induced abdominal constrictions with an ID (50) = 0.75 +/- 0.05 mg/kg, and in the formalin test the ID (50) values were 0.85 +/- 0.07 mg/kg and 13.88 +/- 1.12 mg/kg, respectively, for the neurogenic and inflammatory phases. The extract was ineffective when assessed in the hot-plate assay. In serotonin-induced paw edema, G1 led to a maximal inhibition (MI) of 51.6 % after 120 min when administered I. P. and of 36 % after 15 min by the oral route ( O. R.). When the inflammatory agent was complete Freund's adjuvant, inhibition of paw edema was also observed after administration of the extract by both routes. In the capsaicin-induced ear edema the ID (50) values were 1.09 +/- 0.08 mg/kg ( I. P.) and 10.00 +/- 0.90 mg/kg ( O. R.). In the acute carrageenan-induced inflammatory reaction induced by carrageenan, G1 reduced the number of neutrophils in the peritoneal cavity with IC (50) values of 0.72 +/- 0.08 mg/kg and 4.17 +/- 0.50 mg/kg, by I. P. or O. R. administration, with a preferential migration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils. IN VITRO, G1 decreased nitric oxide production in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells (IC (50) = 41.60 microg/mL), and also the luciferase activity in TNF-alpha-stimulated HEK 293 cells transfected with NF-kappaB-luciferase reporter gene driven by the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) (IC (50) = 200 microg/mL). This extract, which at low concentrations induces anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in mouse models, presents a high content of flavonoids, known to inhibit inducible NOS (iNOS) activity. These data taken together led us to reinforce the hypothesis in the literature that the anti-inflammatory effect of propolis may be a due to inhibition of iNOS gene expression, through interference with NF-kappaB sites in the iNOS promoter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / isolation & purification
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brazil
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Propolis / administration & dosage
  • Propolis / chemistry
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Propolis
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse