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Effect of Turkish pollen and propolis extracts on caspase-3 activity in myeloid cancer cell lines

Meltem Uçar
Orhan Değer
Asuman Yiğit Gerigelmez
Sevil Cengiz
Yaşam Barlak
Ercüment Ovalı


Purpose: To investigate the apoptosis-inducing capacity of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) extracts of bee pollen and propolis in HL-60 Myeloid Cancer Cell Lines.

Methods: DMSO extracts of pollen and propolis were incubated separately with HL-60 cells, and caspase-3 activity evaluated. In order to determine the cell cycle characteristics of HL-60 cells with and without extracts of pollen and propolis, the cells were analysed using flow cytometry.

Results: The DMSO extract of propolis (0.5 mg/mL) increased apoptosis from undetectable levels to 60.1 %, while maintaining cell viability. The DMSO extract of pollen (2 mg/ml) increased apoptosis from undetectable levels to 52.2 % while decreasing cell viability by 62 %. Caspase-3 activity in HL-60 cells incubated with DMSO extracts of pollen and propolis were 3.6- to 12-fold higher than in controls.

Conclusion: Turkish pollen and propolis individually increase apoptosis and the activity of caspase-3 in HL-60 cells. This finding indicates that bee products may have beneficial effects in the treatment of cancer.

Keywords: Pollen, Propolis, Apoptosis, Caspase-3, Myeloid Cancer

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996