Antitumor activity with no toxicity of propolis from Meghalaya, India in ascites Dalton’s lymphoma-bearing mice
Propolis or bee glue is an important natural bee product that has been used by humans to meet the needs of health since ancient times. Despite its many valuable uses, scientific research on propolis is still limited. Despite rich traditional zootherapeutic knowledge of the people and affluent biodiversity of North-east India, almost no research study has been undertaken on the assessment of various biological properties of propolis from this region. Recently, the antibacterial and antitumor activity of the methanolic extract of propolis (MeOH-propolis) from Meghalaya was reported by us only. The present study was undertaken to further examine the antitumor activity and toxicity in ascites Dalton’s Lymphoma bearing mice itself and compare with that of cisplatin, a well established anticancer drug also known to cause different toxicities in the host. MeOH-propolis showed potent anticancer activity against ascites Dalton’s lymphoma. The assessment of various toxicity parameters such as hematotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity and sperm abnormality revealed that MeOH-propolis treatment did not develop any toxicity while cisplatin developed these toxicities in the host. It is suggested that the increasing antioxidative defense activity of the MeOH-propolis could be involved in its ability to avoid any toxicity in the host. The findings from the present study showing the combined action of MeOH-propolis as anticancer as well as its ability to stabilize various toxicity parameters in cancer-bearing mice suggest the possibility of using propolis as a natural alternative to chemotherapy to shun the side effects.
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