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Dent Traumatol. 2018 May 27. doi: 10.1111/edt.12411. [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of propolis on preserving human periodontal ligament cells and regulating pro-inflammatory cytokines.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Hospital of Stomatology Peking University, Beijing, China.
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing, China.



Propolis has been suggested as a storage medium for avulsed teeth. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Brazilian propolis with Hank's balanced salt solution and milk in maintaining the viability of human periodontal ligament cells, their osteogenic differentiation potential, and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression.


Cell Counting Kit 8 assays were performed to test human periodontal ligament cell viability in different storage media. The preservative effect on osteogenic differentiation was evaluated using alkaline phosphatase staining and activity assays, Alizarin Red S staining, and western blotting. Quantification of pro-inflammatory cytokines was performed using real-time PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.


Brazilian propolis at 10 μg/ml was not cytotoxic toward human periodontal ligament cells. The milk group showed the highest cell viability. Brazilian propolis and Hank's balanced salt solution groups showed similar cell viabilities. Alkaline phosphatase staining and activity were similar in all groups. Calcium deposition and mineralization nodule formation were similar in the Brazilian propolis and Hank's balanced salt solution groups, but were higher in the milk group. Osteogenic marker gene and protein levels were similar in all groups. The genes and protein expression levels of IL1β, IL6, and IL8 decreased significantly after treatment with Brazilian propolis. TNFα mRNA expression showed no significant difference among the experimental groups. Pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in the milk group were higher than in the Brazilian propolis and Hank's balanced salt solution groups.


Brazilian propolis, Hank's balanced salt solution, and milk maintained the viability of human periodontal ligament cells and preserved their osteogenic differentiation ability similarly. However, Brazilian propolis showed a better anti-inflammatory effect. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


human periodontal ligament cells; inflammation; osteogenic differentiation; propolis; tooth avulsion


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