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Open AccessArticle

Propolis Reduces the Expression of Autophagy-Related Proteins in Chondrocytes under Interleukin-1β Stimulus

Center of Molecular Biology and Pharmacogenetics, Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus, Universidad de La Frontera, Av. Francisco Salazar 01145, Temuco 4811230, Chile
Preclinical Sciences Department, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de La Frontera, Claro Solar 115, Temuco 4781218, Chile
Department of Chemical Sciences and Natural Resources, Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, Universidad de La Frontera, Av. Francisco Salazar 01145, Temuco 4811230, Chile
Department of Clinical and Toxicological Analyses, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes 580, Cidade Universitária-Butantã, São Paulo 05508-000, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(15), 3768;
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 1 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
PDF [2304 KB, uploaded 1 August 2019]


Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive and multifactorial disease that is associated with aging. A number of changes occur in aged cartilage, such as increased oxidative stress, decreased markers of healthy cartilage, and alterations in the autophagy pathway. Propolis extracts contain a mixture of polyphenols and it has been proved that they have high antioxidant capacity and could regulate the autophagic pathway. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) on chondrocytes that were stimulated with IL-1β. Methods: Rabbit chondrocytes were isolated and stimulated with IL-1β and treated with EEP. We evaluated cell viability, nitric oxide production, healthy cartilage, and OA markers, and the expression of three proteins associated with the autophagy pathway LC3, ATG5, and AKT1. Results: The EEP treatment reduces the expression of LC3, ATG5, and AKT1, reduces the production of nitric oxide, increases the expression of healthy markers, and reduces OA markers. Conclusions: These results suggest that treatment with EEP in chondrocytes that were stimulated with IL-1β has beneficial effects, such as a decrease in the expression of proteins associated with autophagy, MMP13, and production of nitric oxide, and also increased collagen II. View Full-Text
Keywords: propolis; autophagy; chondrocytes propolis; autophagy; chondrocytes

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Arias, C.; Saavedra, N.; Saavedra, K.; Alvear, M.; Cuevas, A.; Stuchi Maria-Engler, S.; Abdalla, D.S.P.; Salazar, L.A. Propolis Reduces the Expression of Autophagy-Related Proteins in Chondrocytes under Interleukin-1β Stimulus. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3768.

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