Inhibitory effect of a propolis on di-n-propyl disulfide or n-hexyl salycilate-induced skin irritation, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in mice

Fitoterapia. 2014 Mar;93:18-30. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2013.12.007. Epub 2013 Dec 23.


Purpose: Thermal imaging has been utilised, both preclinically and clinically, as a tool for assessing inflammation. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterised by hyperkeratosis, dermal inflammatory infiltrate and increased angiogenesis. The aim of the present study was to assess the usefulness of thermography in psoriatic lesion regression after topical treatment with bee propolis, recognised as potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

Methods: We monitored the inflammation process induced by irritants such as n-Hexyl salycilate (HXS) or Di-n-Propyl Disulfide (PPD) by histopatological assessment of the skin, thermographic scanning, total number of inflammatory cells in the peritoneal cavity, differential analysis of cells in the peritoneal cavity, macrophage spreading index, haematological and biochemical parameters, frequencies of micronucleated reticulocytes, lipid peroxidation and glutathione assay in the skin.

Results: Topically applied ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) with HXS or PPD reduced the lipid peroxidation in the skin and total number of inflammatory cells in the skin and peritoneal cavity, functional activity of macrophages, the number of micronuclei in mouse peripheral blood reticulocytes and enzymatic activity of ALP and AST.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that topical application of EEP may improve psoriatic-like skin lesions by suppressing functional activity of macrophages and ROS production. Taken together, it is suggested that EEP can safely be utilised in the prevention of psoriasis-related inflammatory changes without causing any toxic effect.

Keywords: Glutathione level; Lipid peroxidation; Mouse models of psoriasis; Propolis; Skin lesions; Thermography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Disulfides
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Peritonitis / drug therapy*
  • Propolis / pharmacology
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*
  • Psoriasis / chemically induced
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / metabolism
  • Salicylates
  • Thermography


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Disulfides
  • Salicylates
  • hexyl salicylate
  • Propolis
  • Glutathione
  • n-propyl disulfide