Saudi J Biol Sci. 2015 Nov;22(6):780-788
Bee products have been used since ancient times to treat many diseases, including respiratory ailments. The present study aimed to examine the modulatory effect of honey, royal jelly, and propolis extract on peripheral blood leukocytes and lung inflammation in a mouse conalbumin-induced asthma model.
The mice in group I were not sensitised or treated; they were kept as controls. The mice in group II were sensitised and challenged with conalbumin. Twenty-four hours after the first challenge with antigen, the mice in group III received 0.5 mg/kg of dexamethasone intraperitoneally per day for 18 consecutive days and kept as positive controls. The mice in groups IV, V, and VI received 650, 1000, and 30 mg/kg of honey, royal jelly, and propolis (aqueous and ethanolic extract), respectively, once per day for 18 consecutive days. Blood was collected from all of the mice for white blood cell differentiation, and the lungs were removed for histopathological studies.
The groups treated with propolis extract exhibited considerable ameliorative effects against asthma, which might be explained by the flavonoids and phenolics found in propolis, which might have antioxidative effects. Otherwise, the sensitised and honey- or royal jelly-treated groups exhibited an increased incidence of asthma cascade events due to increased inflammatory cells. These results might be due to the immunostimulatory and vasodilatory effects of royal jelly and honey, which are antagonistic to bronchial asthma cases. Histopathological examination revealed that the sensitised treated propolis extract groups had significant decreases in inflammatory scores compared with other treatments and the sensitised untreated group. These results confirmed the previous data of peripheral blood cells.