Effects of ethanol extract of propolis on histopathological changes and anti-oxidant defense of kidney in a rat model for type 1 diabetes mellitus

J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Jul;7(4):506-13. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12459. Epub 2016 May 28.


Aims/introduction: Oxidative stress has a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Propolis and its constituents have a wide range of medicinal properties against oxidative stress. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-oxidant effects of ethanolic extracts of propolis on kidneys in diabetes mellitus rats.

Materials and methods: A total of 40 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into the following five groups: control, diabetes mellitus, diabetes mellitus with vehicle treatment, diabetes mellitus with propolis treatment (100 mg/kg) and diabetes mellitus with propolis treatment (200 mg/kg). Diabetes mellitus in rats was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg). Diabetic groups were treated with vehicle or ethanolic extracts of Iranian propolis for 6 weeks. Serum concentration of malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were measured.

Results: The results showed that Iranian propolis significantly inhibited bodyweight loss in diabetes mellitus rats. The propolis extracts significantly reduced serum glucose levels and kidney weight in diabetes mellitus rats (P < 0.001). Furthermore, propolis extracts significantly reduced the malondialdehyde content, and increased the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase (P < 0.001) along with the total anti-oxidant activity in the kidney tissue of diabetes mellitus rats. In the kidneys of the diabetes mellitus and vehicle group, the glomerular basement membrane thickness and glomerular area were significantly increased. Treatment of diabetes mellitus rats with the propolis extract significantly reduced the glomerular basement membrane thickness and glomerular area.

Conclusions: The present study results showed that the Iranian propolis extract could enhance the anti-oxidant levels and histopathological changes in the kidneys of rats. The final results showed that most of the favorable effects of propolis are mediated by a reduction of blood glucose levels in diabetic animals.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Oxidative stress; Propolis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethanol
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Propolis / administration & dosage*
  • Propolis / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Streptozocin


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Ethanol
  • Streptozocin
  • Propolis