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Propolis Ameliorates Tumor Nerosis Factor-α, Nitric Oxide levels, Caspase-3 and Nitric Oxide Synthase Activities in Kainic Acid Mediated Excitotoxicity in Rat Brain

M Swamy
D Suhaili
KNS Sirajudeen
Z Mustapha
C Govindasamy


Background: Increased nitric oxide (NO), neuronal inflammation and apoptosis have been proposed to be involved in excitotoxicity plays a part
in many neurodegenerative diseases. To understand the neuro-protective effects of propolis, activities of Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and
caspase-3 along with NO and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels were studied in cerebral cortex (CC), cerebellum (CB) and brain stem (BS)
in rats supplemented with propolis prior to excitotoxic injury with kainic acid (KA).
Materials and methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups (n=6 rats per group) as Control, KA, Propolis and
KA+Propolis. The control group and KA group have received vehicle and saline. Propolis group and propolis + KA group were orally
administered with propolis (150mg/kg body weight), five times every 12 hours. KA group and propolis +KA group were injected subcutaneously
with kainic acid (15mg/kg body weight) and were sacrificed after 2 hrs. CC, CB and BS were separated, homogenized and used for estimation of
NOS, caspase-3, NO and TNF-α by commercial kits. Results were analyzed by one way ANOVA, reported as mean + SD (n=6 rats), and p<0.05
was considered statistically significant.
Results: The concentration of NO, TNF-α, NOS and caspase-3 activity were increased significantly (p<0.001) in all the three brain regions tested
in KA group compared to the control. Propolis supplementation significantly (p<0.001) prevented the increase in NOS, NO, TNF-α and caspase-3
due to KA.
Conclusion: Results of this study clearly demonstrated that the propolis supplementation attenuated the NOS, caspase-3 activities, NO, and TNF-
á concentration and in KA mediated excitotoxicity. Hence propolis can be a possible potential protective agent against excitotoxicity and
neurodegenerative disorders.

Keywords: Nitric oxide; TNF-α; Caspase-3; Excitotoxicity; Propolis; Rat Brain

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eISSN: 0189-6016