Prophylactic effect of aqueous propolis extract against acute experimental hepatotoxicity in vivo.

El-Khatib, A. S., A. M. Agha, L. G. Mahran, and M. T. Khayyal, "Prophylactic effect of aqueous propolis extract against acute experimental hepatotoxicity in vivo.", Zeitschrift für Naturforschung. C, Journal of biosciences, vol. 57, issue 3-4, pp. 379-85, 2002 Mar-Apr.


Propolis has been extensively used in folk medicine for the management of a wide spectrum of disorders. In a previous study, we demonstrated the protective effect of the aqueous propolis extract (APE) against the injurious effects of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) on hepatocytes in vitro. The present investigation was carried out to show whether the hepatoprotective effect of the extract could also be manifested in vivo. Rats were given APE orally for 14 consecutive days, before being subjected to a single intraperitoneal injection of CCl4. One day after the CCl4 injection, the animals were sacrificed, hepatocytes were isolated and liver homogenates were prepared for the assessment of liver injury. In isolated hepatocytes, APE afforded protection against CCl4-induced injury as manifested by a decrease in the leakage of the cytosolic enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), decreased generation of lipid peroxide and maintenance of cellular reduced glutathione (GSH) content. In principle, similar findings were observed in liver homogenates. The present findings show that APE has in vivo hepatoprotective potential which could be attributed at least in part to the maintenance of cellular GSH content. The latter effect seems to play an important role in conserving the integrity of biomembranes as it was associated with a decrease in lipid peroxidation and reduced leakage of cytosolic LDH.