Duration-dependent hepatoprotective effects of propolis extract against carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver damage in rats

Adv Ther. Sep-Oct 2007;24(5):1136-45. doi: 10.1007/BF02877719.


Propolis is a natural product produced by bees that was discovered through the study of traditional cures and knowledge of indigenous people throughout the world. It is rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, and in amino acids, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. The investigators studied the duration-dependent hepatoprotective effects of propolis extract (200 mg/kg, orally) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4; 1.5 mL/kg, intraperitoneally)-induced liver damage in rats. Administration of CCl 4 caused a sharp elevation in the activity of serum transaminases and serum alkaline phosphatase. A significant depletion in hepatically reduced glutathione was observed with significantly enhanced hepatic lipid peroxidation. After CCl 4 administration, glycogen contents and activities of alkaline phosphatase, adenosine triphosphatase, and succinic dehydrogenase were significantly decreased, whereas total protein contents and activity of acid phosphatase were increased in the liver and kidney. Propolis extract reversed alterations in all parameters when administered within 6, 12, and 24 h of toxicant exposure. Propolis therapy produced duration-dependent protection, with maximal protection achieved at 24 h after CCl 4 exposure. It is believed that propolis in its natural form has general pharmacologic value and marked hepatoprotective potential because of its composition of minerals, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / metabolism
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / physiopathology
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / prevention & control*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / physiopathology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*
  • Protective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Protective Agents
  • Propolis