In vitro and in vivo antileishmanial activities of a Brazilian green propolis extract

Parasitol Res. 2008 Aug;103(3):487-92. doi: 10.1007/s00436-008-0970-z. Epub 2008 May 20.


The in vitro antileishmanial activity of Brazilian green propolis hydroalcoholic extract (BPE) were carried out on Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis against both promastigote (doses ranging from 1 to 750 microg mL(-1)) and amastigote (10, 100, and 250 microg mL(-1)) assays in comparison with the positive (amphotericin B) and negative (dimethyl sulfoxide at 1% in physiologic solution) control groups. BPE displayed in vitro antileishmanial activities against promastigote forms of the parasite (p < 0.05). However, it was inactive against its amastigote ones. In the in vitro cytotoxicity assay against Vero cells, BPE showed no cytotoxicity in the maximum doses tested. The high-performance liquid chromatography analysis allowed the identification of caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, aromadendrine-4'-methyl-ether, 3-prenyl-p-coumaric acid (drupanin), and 3,5-diprenil-p-cumárico acid (artepillin C) as major compounds of BPE. In the in vivo assay, using a Balb/C lineage of Mus musculus male mice, groups of ten animals each were treated (1.5 mg kg day(-1)) with BPE orally (group 1), BPE topically (group 2), BPE orally and topically (group 3), and glucantime (group 4), using NaCl 0.9% (group 5) as the negative control group. Groups 1, 2, and 3 displayed a decrease on lesion development, after 90 days of treatment, by 78.6%, 84.3%, and 90.0%, respectively, while the glucantime-treated group showed 57.7% of decrease, all in comparison with the negative control group. It is the first time that the in vivo antileishmanial activity has been reported for Brazilian green propolis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Amphotericin B / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / toxicity
  • Cell Survival
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / pharmacology
  • Leishmania braziliensis / drug effects*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Parasitic Sensitivity Tests
  • Propolis / chemistry*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vero Cells


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Amphotericin B
  • Propolis
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide