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Life Sci. 2003 Jul 11;73(8):1027-35.

Effect of propolis on human cartilage and chondrocytes.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Catania, v.le A. Doria 6, 95125, Catania, Italy.


Propolis, a natural product derived from plant resins collected by the honeybees, has been used for thousands of years in folk medicine for several purposes. The extract that contains amino acids, phenolic acids, phenolic acid esters, flavonoids, cinnamic acid, terpenes and caffeic acid, possesses several biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. In this study, we assay the effects of propolis extract on the production of key molecules released during chronic inflammatory events as nitric oxide (NO) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in cultures of human cartilaginous tissues and chondrocytes, stimulated with interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). We observed that this natural compound and its active principle, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), were able to contrast the harmful effects of IL-1beta. Our data clearly demonstrated the protective action of propolis in cartilage alteration, that appears greater than that elicited by indomethacin, commonly employed in joint diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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