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Chemical Composition, Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activity Evaluation of the Lebanese Propolis Extract

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 1 ]


Rawan Zeitoun, Fadia Najjar, Batoul Wehbi, Alia Khalil, Mohammad Fayyad-Kazan, Carole Dagher-Hamalian, Wissam H. Faour and Yolla El-Makhour*   Pages 84 - 96 ( 13 )


Background: Propolis is a resinous substance produced by bees and known to possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory activities.

Objective: This study is aimed at evaluating the in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory potential of the Crude Ethanolic Extract (CE) of Lebanese propolis and its Ethyl Acetate Fraction (EAF).

Method: Chemical content of propolis was characterized using high-performance liquid chromatography and LC-MS/MS. COX-2 and iNOS protein expression, nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin (PGE2) release in LPS-activated RAW monocytes were achieved respectively by western blot and spectrophotometry. Antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH free radical scavenging assay. Measurement of paw thickness in carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice and pathologic assessment of inflammation in paw sections were used to judge the anti-inflammatory properties of propolis.

Results: Pathology analysis revealed in the treated group significant reduction of immune cell infiltration and edema. Both extract and ethyl acetate fraction showed significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in LPS-treated RAW cells characterized by the inhibition of COX-2 and iNOS protein expression, as well as PGE2 and NO release. Chemical analysis of the crude extract and its ethyl acetate fraction identified 28 different compounds of which two phenolic acids and nine other flavonoids were also quantified. Ferulic acid, caffeic acid, chrysin, galangin, quercetin, and pinocembrin were among the most representative compounds.

Conclusion: Lebanese propolis is rich in a various amount of flavonoids which showed promising antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. Additionally, chemical analysis showed unique chemical compositions with the potential of identifying ingredients with interesting anti-inflammatory activities.


Lebanese propolis, inflammation, flavonoids, phenolic acids, antioxidant, chromatography.


Environmental Health Research Lab (EHRL), Faculty of Sciences V, Lebanese University, Nabatieh, Laboratoire d'Innovation Therapeutique, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences II, Lebanese University, Fanar, Faculty of Sciences I, Hadath Lebanese University, Beirut, Laboratory of Experimental Medicine (ULB Unit), CHU de Charleroi, A. Vesale Hospital, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Montigny le Tilleul, Institut de Biologie et de Medecine Moleculaires, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, 6041 Gosselies, School of Medicine, Lebanese American University, Byblos, School of Medicine, Lebanese American University, Byblos, Environmental Health Research Lab (EHRL), Faculty of Sciences V, Lebanese University, Nabatieh

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