Water extract of propolis and its main constituents, caffeoylquinic acid derivatives, exert neuroprotective effects via antioxidant actions

Life Sci. 2007 Jan 2;80(4):370-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2006.09.017. Epub 2006 Sep 23.


We investigated whether water extract of Brazilian green propolis (WEP) and its main constituents [caffeoylquinic acid derivatives (3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, chlorogenic acid) and cinnamic acid derivatives (p-coumaric acid, artepillin C, drupanin, baccharin)] exert neuroprotective effects against the retinal damage induced by oxidative stress. Additionally, their neuroprotective effects were compared with their antioxidant effects. WEP, 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, chlorogenic acid, and p-coumaric acid (but not artepillin C, baccharin, or drupanin) concentration-dependently inhibited oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity [achieved using L-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO) to deplete glutathione in combination with glutamate to inhibit cystine uptake] in cultured retinal ganglion cells (RGC-5, a rat ganglion cell line transformed using E1A virus). At their effective concentrations against oxidative stress-induced retinal damage, WEP, 3,4-di-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di-caffeoylquinic acid, and chlorogenic acid (but not cinnamic acid derivatives) inhibited lipid peroxidation (LPO) in mouse forebrain homogenates. Thus, the neuroprotective effects of WEP and caffeoylquinic acid derivatives paralleled those against LPO. These findings indicate that WEP and caffeoylquinic acid derivatives have neuroprotective effects against retinal damage in vitro, and that these effects may be partly mediated via antioxidant effects.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cinnamates / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Combinations
  • Glutamic Acid / drug effects
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neuroprotective Agents / chemistry
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Propolis / analogs & derivatives
  • Propolis / chemistry
  • Propolis / pharmacology*
  • Prosencephalon / drug effects
  • Prosencephalon / metabolism
  • Quinic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Quinic Acid / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology
  • Water / chemistry


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Cinnamates
  • Drug Combinations
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • caffeoylquinic acid
  • Quinic Acid
  • Water
  • cinnamic acid
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Propolis