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Propolis Extracts Inhibit UV-Induced Photodamage in Human Experimental In Vitro Skin Models

Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece
Laboratory of Histology & Embryology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Democritus University of Thrace, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece
Department of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmocognosy & Natural Products Chemistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15771 Athens, Greece
Department of Pathology, School of Health Sciences, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
APIVITA SA, Industrial Park, Markopoulo, 19003 Athens, Greece
Department of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Antioxidants 2019, 8(5), 125;
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention)
PDF [5265 KB, uploaded 9 May 2019]


The aim of this study was to assess the antioxidant, photoprotective, and antiaging effects of Greek propolis. Propolis was subjected to n-heptane or methanol extraction. Total phenolic/flavonoid content and antioxidant potential were determined in the extracts. Promising extracts were evaluated for their cytoprotective properties using human immortalized keratinocyte (HaCaT) or reconstituted human skin tissue following exposure to UVB. Assessment of cytotoxicity, DNA damage, oxidative status, and gene/protein expression levels of various matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were performed. The propolis methanolic fractions exhibited higher total phenolic and flavonoid contents and significant in vitro antioxidant activity. Incubation of HaCaT cells with certain methanolic extracts significantly decreased the formation of DNA strand breaks following exposure to UVB and attenuated UVB-induced decrease in cell viability. The extracts had no remarkable effect on the total antioxidant status, but significantly lowered total protein carbonyl content used as a marker for protein oxidation in HaCaT cells. MMP-1, -3, -7, and -9, monitored as endpoints of antiaging efficacy, were significantly reduced by propolis following UVB exposure in a model of reconstituted skin tissue. In conclusion, propolis protects against the oxidative and photodamaging effects of UVB and could be further explored as a promising agent for developing natural antiaging strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: propolis; antioxidant; antiaging; photoprotective; DNA damage; matrix metalloproteinases; HaCaT; reconstituted skin propolis; antioxidant; antiaging; photoprotective; DNA damage; matrix metalloproteinases; HaCaT; reconstituted skin

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Karapetsas, A.; Voulgaridou, G.-P.; Konialis, M.; Tsochantaridis, I.; Kynigopoulos, S.; Lambropoulou, M.; Stavropoulou, M.-I.; Stathopoulou, K.; Aligiannis, N.; Bozidis, P.; Goussia, A.; Gardikis, K.; Panayiotidis, M.I.; Pappa, A. Propolis Extracts Inhibit UV-Induced Photodamage in Human Experimental In Vitro Skin Models. Antioxidants 2019, 8, 125.

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