Red propolis ameliorates ischemic-reperfusion acute kidney injury

Phytomedicine. 2015 Aug 15;22(9):787-95. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2015.03.017. Epub 2015 Apr 12.


Introduction: Acute kidney injury (AKI) remains a great problem in clinical practice. Renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a complex pathophysiological process. Propolis is a natural polyphenol-rich resinous substance collected by honeybees from a variety of plant sources that has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Red propolis (RP) protection in renal I/R injury was investigated.

Methods: Male Wistar rats underwent unilateral nephrectomy and contralateral renal I/R (60 min). Rats were divided into four groups: (1) sham group, (2) RP group (sham-operated rats treated with RP), 3) IR group (rats submitted to ischemia) and (4) IR-RP (rats treated with RP before ischemia). At 48 h after reperfusion, renal function was assessed and kidneys were removed for analysis.

Results: I/R increased plasma levels of creatinine and reduced creatinine clearance (CrCl), and RP provided protection against this renal injury. Red propolis significantly improves oxidative stress parameters when compared with the IR group. Semiquantitative assessment of the histological lesions showed marked structural damage in I/R rats compared with the IR-RP rats. RP attenuates I/R-induced endothelial nitric oxide-synthase down regulation and increased heme-oxygenase expression in renal tissue.

Conclusion: Red propolis protects kidney against acute ischemic renal failure and this protection is associated with reduced oxidative stress and eNOS and heme-oxygenase up regulation.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Heme-oxygenase; Red propolis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Bees
  • Creatinine / chemistry
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing) / metabolism
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / chemistry
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Propolis / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*


  • Malondialdehyde
  • Propolis
  • Creatinine
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos3 protein, rat
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Hmox1 protein, rat