Role of propolis (bee glue) in improving histopathological changes of the kidney of rat treated with aluminum chloride

Environ Toxicol. 2014 Sep;29(9):1000-10. doi: 10.1002/tox.21830. Epub 2012 Nov 22.


Humans are frequently exposed to aluminum from various food additives, therapeutic treatments and the environment, and it can be potentially toxic. This study is aimed to elucidate the protective effects of propolis against aluminum chloride (AlCl3 )-induced histopathological and immunohistochemical changes in kidney tissues of rats. Sixty Wistar Albino male rats (average weight 250-300 g) were divided into three equal groups. The first served as a negative control. The second received AlCl₃ (34 mg/kg bw, 1/ 25 LD 50). The third were administered AlCl₃ (34 mg/kg bw, 1/ 25 LD 50) plus propolis (50 mg/kg bw). Doses were given once daily via a gavage for 8 weeks every day. The results showed that shrunken glomeruli, intraglomerular congestion, loss of apical microvilli, degeneration of mitochondria and widened rough endoplasmic reticulum were also observed in the Proximal Convoluted Tubules of these animals. Treatment with propolis ameliorated the harmful effects of AlCl₃ ; this was also proved histopathologically by the noticeable improvement in the renal tissues. There were also significant variations in the expressed of ki-67 and p53 proteins. It can be concluded that propolis may be promising as a natural therapeutic agent in AlCl₃ -induced renal toxicity and oxidative stress in rat kidneys.

Keywords: aluminum; ki-67; kidney; p53; propolis; ultrastructure.

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Chloride
  • Aluminum Compounds / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Aluminum Compounds / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Chlorides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Chlorides / toxicity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Propolis / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Aluminum Compounds
  • Chlorides
  • Aluminum Chloride
  • Propolis