The radioprotective effects of propolis and polyphenolic compounds from propolis on the radiation-induced mortality of mice exposed to 9 Gy of gamma-irradiation were studied. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) treatment of mice at doses of 100 mg kg(-1) body weight of propolis (water or ethanolic extract; WSDP or EEP) or its polyphenolic compounds (quercetin, naringin caffeic acid, chrysin) consecutively for 3 d before irradiation, delayed the onset of mortality and reduced the symptoms of radiation sickness. All test compounds provided protection against hematopoietic death (death within 30 d after irradiation). The greatest protection was achieved with quercetin; the number of survivors at the termination of the experiment was 63%. According to statistical analyses by the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test, a significant difference between test components and control was found (p<0.001). Treatment with test components after lethal irradiation was ineffective. These results suggest that propolis and its polyphenolic compounds given to mice before irradiation protect mice from the lethal effects of whole-body irradiation.