Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Propolis Component May Help Treat Oral Cancer

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Suppresses Proliferation and Survival of TW2.6 Human Oral Cancer Cells via Inhibition of Akt Signaling
Int. J. Mol. Sci, 2013, 14(5), 8801-8817
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a bioactive component extracted from honeybee hive propolis. Our observations indicated that CAPE treatment suppressed cell proliferation and colony formation of TW2.6 human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells dose-dependently.
CAPE treatment decreased G1 phase cell population, increased G2/M phase cell population, and induced apoptosis in TW2.6 cells. Treatment with CAPE decreased protein abundance of Akt, Akt1, Akt2, Akt3, phospho-Akt Ser473, phospho-Akt Thr 308, GSK3β, FOXO1, FOXO3a, phospho-FOXO1 Thr24, phospho-FoxO3a Thr32, NF-κB, phospho-NF-κB Ser536, Rb, phospho-Rb Ser807/811, Skp2, and cyclin D1, but increased cell cycle inhibitor p27Kip. Overexpression of Akt1 or Akt2 in TW2.6 cells rescued growth inhibition caused by CAPE treatment. Co-treating TW2.6 cells with CAPE and 5-fluorouracil, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug for oral cancers, exhibited additive cell proliferation inhibition.
Our study suggested that administration of CAPE is a potential adjuvant therapy for patients with OSCC oral cancer.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Propolis Can Be Used as Natural Antifungal Agent

Inhibitory Effect of Propolis on Patulin Production of Penicillium expansum in Apple Juice
In this research, reducing activity of Turkish propolis on patulin production of Penicillium expansum in apple juice was investigated. To compare the antifungal activity of propolis, sodium benzoate was also used as a positive control. Different concentrations of propolis (0.1, 1 and 2 mg/mL) and sodium benzoate (0.35 mg/mL) were added into apple juice after P. expansum inoculation. Apple juice samples were then mixed with propolis, and patulin content was determined in 1st, 24th and 48th hours. High-performance liquid chromatography equipped with diode array detector which is a reliable equipment for the determination of patulin in apple juice, were used after clean-up procedure. Considerable patulin reduction was achieved with the addition of propolis in the apple juice. The best result was obtained at 2 mg/mL propolis added group for 48 h incubation. It was concluded that propolis can be used as a natural antifungal agent for P. expansum inhibition instead of chemical preservatives.
Practical Application
Propolis is a natural honeybee product, and it is rich in functional bioactive compounds. It can be used to inhibit the patulin-producing microorganism. The inhibitory effect of propolis in the apple juice showed that it is an effective natural inhibitor.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Honey Beats Vitamins C and B Complex in Anti-Toxin Treatment

Toxicity of Cadmium and Protective Effect of Bee Honey, Vitamins C and B Complex
Toxicology, April 2013
The present work aimed to study the toxic effect of cadmium (Cd) on rabbits’ blood indices, as well as the therapeutic effect of the antioxidant agents, vitamins C and B complex and bee honey on Cd intoxicated rabbits.
Cadmium chloride (CdCl2) was injected subcutaneously at a dose of 3 mg/kg of body weight. The results showed a significant increase in serum glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, total protein, albumin, globulin, urea and creatinine, compared to the control group. In addition, CdCl2 intoxication increased the levels of uric acid, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin. Concerning haematological parameters, the more obvious changes were an increase in mean corpuscular volume and a decrease in white blood cells count, platelets, lymphocytes, heamatocrit, haemoglobin and red blood cells count.
Treatment of CdCl2-intoxicated animals with vitamins C and B complex and bee honey showed a decrease in the harmful effects of Cd by restoring haematological and biochemical changes. Bee honey treatment was the most effective in providing recoveries in the altered blood parameters.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Antimicrobial Activity of Lithuanian Propolis Studied

Total Phenolic Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Different Lithuanian Propolis Solutions
The manufacture of ethanol-free propolis solutions offers a broader application. A few trials with Lithuanian propolis have been conducted.
The aims of the study are to manufacture propolis water and water-free solutions and evaluate the quality and antimicrobial activity of these solutions. The studied solutions containing 2.5%, 5%, and 10% propolis are prepared. As solvents, purified water, 70% v/v ethanol, 96.3% v/v ethanol, propylene glycol, and their systems were used. Determination of total levels of phenolic compounds (FAE mg/g) is based on colour oxidation-reduction reaction using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent under alkaline conditions and performed at 765 nm wavelength using UV spectrophotometer.
The highest content of phenolic compounds was determined in solutions containing 10% propolis extracts, and the lowest amounts in 2.5% propolis extracts. The water extracted the lowest amount of phenolic compounds from crude propolis, ethanol extracted the highest amount, and propylene glycol ranked the middle position. It is determined that technological parameters (stirring, temperature) contribute to content of phenolic compounds. During microbiological study, MICs were determined.
The studies showed that water extracted propolis solutions and solvents mixture did not inhibit the growth of the studied microorganisms, and propolis solutions in propylene glycol were found to have antimicrobial activity.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bee Venom Protects Against Degenerative Process of Parkinson Disease

Bee Venom and Its Component Apamin as Neuroprotective Agents in a Parkinson Disease Mouse Model
PLOSOne, 4/18/2013
Bee venom has recently been suggested to possess beneficial effects in the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD). For instance, it has been observed that bilateral acupoint stimulation of lower hind limbs with bee venom was protective in the acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyri​dine(MPTP) mouse model of PD. In particular, a specific component of bee venom, apamin, has previously been shown to have protective effects on dopaminergic neurons in vitro. However, no information regarding a potential protective action of apamin in animal models of PD is available to date.
The specific goals of the present study were to (i) establish that the protective effect of bee venom for dopaminergic neurons is not restricted to acupoint stimulation, but can also be observed using a more conventional mode of administration and to (ii) demonstrate that apamin can mimic the protective effects of a bee venom treatment on dopaminergic neurons.
Using the chronic mouse model of MPTP/probenecid, we show that bee venom provides sustained protection in an animal model that mimics the chronic degenerative process of PD. Apamin, however, reproduced these protective effects only partially, suggesting that other components of bee venom enhance the protective action of the peptide.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ionic Constituents of Honey May Be Used as Indicators of Environmental Pollution

Ionic Profile of Honey as a Potential Indicator of Botanical Origin and Global Environmental Pollution
Environ Pollut, 2013 Apr 9;178C:173-181
Aim of this study was to determine by Ion Chromatography ions (Na+, Ca++, Mg++, NH4+, Cl-, Br-, SO42-, NO3-, PO43-) in honeys (honeydew and floral nectar honeys) from different Italian Regions and from countries of the Western Balkan area.
The compositional data were processed by multivariate analysis (PCA and HCA). Arboreal honeydew honeys from the Western Balkans had higher concentrations (from two to three times) of some environmental pollutants (Br-, SO42- and PO43- contents), due to industrial and agricultural activities, than those from Italian regions. The cationic profiles were very similar in both groups. Multivariate analysis indicated a clear difference between nectar honeys and arboreal/honeydew honeys (recognition of the botanical origin).
These findings point to the potential of ionic constituents of honey as indicators of environmental pollution, botanical origin and authenticity.