Propolis is a resinous product made by bees from different parts of plants, showing several pharmacological properties with possible application the pharmaceutical and food industry. Most of the papers on propolis and immunity were performed with animals and there are few studies with humans regarding its immunomodulatory action. Recently, we initiated the studies with human cells evaluating the effect of propolis in monocytes and dendritic cells and in this project we aim to investigate the cellular mechanisms modulated by propolis in antigen presentation and T lymphocyte differential activation. Thus, an infectious antigen (heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit from Escherichia coli), and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) will be used to assess the expression of cell receptors (TLR-2, TLR-4, HLA-DR, CD80, CD40), the activation of transcription factors (NF-kB and STAT-3) and cytokine production (TNF-±, IL-6 and IL-10) by monocytes. Lymphocyte proliferation, transcription factors (GATA-3 and ROR³t) activation and cytokine production (IL-4 and IL-17) by T lymphocytes will be analyzed as well, in order to investigate whether propolis could favor any activation profile, culminating preferentially in Th2 or Th17 one. We assume that a particular biological event could be favored by propolis, culminating for example in the humoral response (Th2) against extracellular antigens or in an inflammatory/autoimmune response (Th17). These findings will be original and relevant and this protocol may be adopted in vaccination schedules or treatment of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, demonstrating the practical implication of this research project.
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