The chemical composition and pharmacological activities of geopropolis produced by Melipona fasciculata Smith in northeast Brazil
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Aim: Geopropolis is produced by stingless bees from resinous materials of plants, adding salivary secretions, wax, mud or clay, and has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of respiratory diseases and dermatoses. Therefore, it is important to study its antibacterial, antitumor and immunomodulatory properties are important to confirm the ethnopharmacological applications. This work aimed to evaluate its chemical composition, and its antimicrobial, anti-tumoral and immunomodulatory activities. Materials and Methods: Geopropolis composition was investigated using GC-MS analysis. Antibacterial tests were performed to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration. HEp-2 cells viability was determined by the reduction of MTT, and cytokine production by human monocytes was determined by ELISA. Results: The major constituents of geopropolis compounds were carbohydrates and their derivatives, triterpenes, anacardic acid, alkylresorcinols, and sugar alcohols. Geopropolis alone showed no antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, but its combination with chloramphenicol exerted a greater action against S. aureus than chloramphenicol alone. Geopropolis exhibited a cytostatic action toward human laryngeal epidermoid carcinoma cells and stimulated tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-10 production by human monocytes, showing an activator profile for human monocytes. Conclusion: The synergistic effect of geopropolis and chloramphenicol deserves further investigation due to bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Geopropolis also displayed antitumoral and immunomodulatory activity, and its biological properties may be due to triterpenes - one of its major chemical constituents.
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