In Vivo Toxicity Study on The Effects of Aqueous Propolis Extract From Malaysian Stingless Bee (Geniotrigona thoracica) in Mice


  • Nurul Alina Muhamad Suhaini Faculty of Medicine, Medical Campus, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 20400, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
  • Mohd Feiz Pauzi Faculty of Medicine, Medical Campus, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 20400, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
  • Siti Norazlina Juhari Faculty of Medicine, Medical Campus, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 20400, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
  • Khamsah Suryati Mohd Faculty of Bioresources and Food Industry, Besut Campus, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 22200 Besut, Terengganu
  • Noor Azlina Abu Bakar Faculty of Medicine, Medical Campus, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 20400, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu


geniotrigona thoracica, stingless bee, histopathology, toxicity study, polyphenols, propolis


Geniotrigona thoracica is a stingless bee species of Trigona genus. Propolis resinous is a natural product obtained from a honeybees hive with geographical and floral specifications or exudate as such by-products resulting from a variety of botanical processes. Despite its long use for a variety of health conditions, the toxicity profile of propolis sourced from Malaysian stingless bees has not been sufficiently evaluated. For in vivo toxicity assessment, the acute oral toxicity on the effects of aqueous propolis extracts (APE) was examined. Male mice swiss strain, were subjected to acute toxicity testing for 14 days. The APE at doses of 400, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg body weight was supplemented daily to the mice through oral gavage. The clinical signs of toxicity and general behaviour, body weight, relative organ weight, and histopathology changes were investigated. In vivo study was focused on the acute toxicity testing group consisting of 4 groups including Normal (NS), 400 mg/kg (APE 400), 1000 mg/kg (APE 1000) dan 2000 mg/kg (APE 2000). Regarding the toxicity profile, it is proposed that APE supplementation did not induce any mortality and no visible signs of toxicity. No significant changes in the body and relative organ weight were recorded. All the internal organs of the mice were macroscopically healthy with no gross lesion. Likewise, histopathological examinations of the kidney showed mild to moderate histological lesions. Interestingly, the lesion was adverse with an increased dosage of the extract supplementation. This study proposed APE has considerable anti-inflammatory activities. It also demonstrated that the propolis extract is relatively safe to be consumed orally at a dose of 2000 mg/kg body weight.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Ahmed, R., Tanvir, E.M., Hossen, M.S., Afroz, R., Ahmmed, I., Rumpa, N.-E.-N., Paul, S., Gan, S.H., Sulaiman, S.A. & Khalil, M.I. 2017. Antioxidant properties and cardioprotective mechanism of Malaysian propolis in rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017: 5370545. DOI:

Araújo, M.J.A.M., Mattar, N.S., Reis, A.S., Serra, I.C.P.B., Fialho, E.M.S., Assunção, A.K.M., Dutra, R.P., Nogueira, A.M.C., Libério, S.A., Guerra, R.N.M., Lopes, A.S., Ribeiro, M.N.S. & Nascimento, F.R.F. 2011. Pharmacognostic and acute toxicological evaluation of Scaptotrigona aff. postica propolis extract in pre-clinical assays. Natural Product Research, 25(11): 1037–1046. DOI:

Asem, N., Abdul Gapar, N.A., Abd Hapit, N.H. & Omar, E.A. 2020. Correlation between total phenolic and flavonoid contents with antioxidant activity of Malaysian stingless bee propolis extract. Journal of Apicultural Research, 59(4): 437–442. DOI:

Bankova, V., Popova, M. & Trusheva, B. 2014. Propolis volatile compounds: Chemical diversity and biological activity: A review. Chemistry Central Journal, 8: 28. DOI:

Brodkiewicz, I.Y., Reynoso, M.A. & Vera, N.R. 2020. In vivo evaluation of pharmacological properties of Argentine stingless bee geopropolis. Beni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 9: 32. DOI:

Burdock, G.A. 1998. Review of the Biological Properties and Toxicity of Bee Propolis (Propolis). Food and Chemical Toxicology, 36: 347–363. DOI:

Dekanski, D., Spremo-Potparević, B., Bajić, V., Živković, L., Topalović, D., Sredojević, D. N., Lazić, V. & Nedeljković, J.M. 2018. Acute toxicity study in mice of orally administrated TiO2 nanoparticles functionalized with caffeic acid. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 115: 42–48. DOI:

Farida, S., Pratami, D.K., Sahlan, M., Laksmitawati, D.R., Rohmatin, E. & Situmorang, H. 2022. In-vitro antioxidant, in-vivo anti-inflammatory, and acute toxicity study of Indonesian propolis capsule from Tetragonula sapiens. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 29(4): 2489–2500. DOI:

Fentener van Vlissingen, J.M., Borrens, M., Girod, A., Lelovas, P., Morrison, F. & Torres, Y.S. 2015. The reporting of clinical signs in laboratory animals: FELASA Working Group Report. Laboratory Animals, 49(4): 267–283. DOI:

Ferreira, S.A., Guimarães, A.G., Ferrari, F.C., Carneiro, C.M., de Paiva, N.C.N. & Guimarães, D.A.S. 2014. Assessment of acute toxicity of the ethanolic extract of Lychnophora pinaster (Brazilian arnica). Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, 24(5): 553–560. DOI:

Fikri, A.M., Sulaeman, A., Marliyati, S.A. & Fahrudin, M. 2019. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of stingless bee propolis from Indonesia. Journal of Apicultural Science, 63(1): 139–147. DOI:

Fikri, A.M., Sulaeman, A., Marliyati, S.A., Fahrudin, M. & Handharyani, E. 2021. Effect of Propolis on Maternal Toxicity. Pharmaceutical Sciences Asia, 48(3): 224–230. DOI:

Heard, T.A. 1999. The role of stingless bees in crop pollination. Annual Review of Entomology, 44: 183–206. DOI:

Hossain, R., Quispe, C., Khan, R.A., Saikat, A.S.M., Ray, P., Ongalbek, D., Yeskaliyeva, B., Jain, D., Smeriglio, A., Trombetta, D., Kiani, R., Kobarfard, F., Mojgani, N., Saffarian, P., Ayatollahi, S.A., Sarkar, C., Islam, M.T., Keriman, D., Uçar, A., Martorell, M., Sureda, A., Pintus, G., Butnariu, M., Sharifi-Rad, J. & Cho, W.C. 2022. Propolis: An update on its chemistry and pharmacological applications. Chinese Medicine, 17: 100. Chinese Medicine. DOI:

Huang, S., Zhang, C.P., Wang, K., Li, G.Q. & Hu, F.L. 2014. Recent advances in the chemical composition of propolis. Molecules, 19(12): 19610–19632. DOI:

Isla, M.I., Nieva Moreno, M.I., Sampietro, A.R., & Vattuone, M.A. 2001. Antioxidant activity of Argentine propolis extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 76(2): 165–170. DOI:

Ismail, W.I.W 2016. A review on beekeeping in Malaysia: History, importance and future directions. Journal of Sustainability Science and Management, 11(2): 70–80.

Jacob, A., Parolia, A., Pau, A. & Davamani Amalraj, F. 2015. The effects of Malaysian propolis and Brazilian red propolis on connective tissue fibroblasts in the wound healing process. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 15(294): 1–11. DOI:

Kelly, N., Farisya, M.S.N., Kumara, T.K. & Marcela, P. 2014. Species diversity and external nest characteristics of stingless bees in meliponiculture. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, 37(3): 293–298.

Lahlou, S., Figueireido, A.F., Magalhaes, P.J.C. & Leal-Cardoso, J.H. 2002b. Cardiovascular effects of 1,8-cineolle, a terpenoid oxide present in many essential oils in normotensive rats. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 80: 1125-1131. DOI:

Liberio, S.A., Pereira, A.L.A., Dutra, R.P., Reis, A.S., Araújo, M.J.A.M., Mattar, N.S., Silva, L.A., Ribeiro, M.N.S., Nascimento, F.R.F., Guerra, R.N.M. & Monteiro-Neto, V. 2011. Antimicrobial activity against oral pathogens and immunomodulatory effects and toxicity of geopropolis produced by the stingless bee Melipona fasciculata Smith. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 11(108): 1–10. DOI:

Mohamed, A.S., Hosney, M., Bassiony, H., Hassanein, S.S., Soliman, A.M., Fahmy, S.R. & Gaafar, K. 2020. Sodium pentobarbital dosages for exsanguination affect biochemical, molecular and histological measurements in rats. Scientific Reports, 10(1): 378. DOI:

Mohammadzadeh, S., Sharriatpanahi, M., Hamedi, M., Amanzadeh, Y., Sadat Ebrahimi, S.E. & Ostad, S.N. 2007. Antioxidant power of Iranian propolis extract. Food Chemistry, 103: 729–733. DOI:

Mountassir, M., Chaib, S., Selami, Y., Khalki, H., Ouachrif, A., Moubtakir, S., Aboufatima, R., Zyad, A., Benharref, A. & Chait, A. 2014. Antinociceptive activity and acute toxicity of moroccan black propolis. International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology, 3(2): 2393–2397.

Nna, V.U., Abu Bakar, A.B., Md Lazin, M.R.M.L. & Mohamed, M. 2018. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and synergistic anti-hyperglycemic effects of Malaysian propolis and metformin in streptozotocin–induced diabetic rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 120: 305–320. DOI:

Nna, V.U., Abu Bakar, A.B., Zakaria, Z., Othman, Z.A., Jalil, N.A.C. & Mohamed, M. 2021. Malaysian propolis and metformin synergistically mitigate kidney oxidative stress and inflammation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Molecules, 26(11): 1–15. DOI:

OECD Guideline for Testing of Chemicals. 2001. Section 4, Health Effects, Test No. 420 Acute Oral Toxicity- Fixed Dose Procedure.

Parasuraman, S. 2011. Toxicological screening. Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, 2(2): 74–79. DOI:

Pingale, S.S., Virkar, P.S., Mahale, R.G. & Wirnkor, V.A. 2021. Toxicity study of Coriandrum sativum Linn. International Journal of Modern Pharmaceutical Research, 5(2): 42–48.

Ruttner, F. 1988. Stingless Bees (Meliponinae). In: Biogeography and Taxonomy of Honeybees. F. Ruttner (Ed.). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. pp. 13–19. DOI:

Sabir, A. & Sumidarti, A. 2017. Interleukin-6 expression on inflamed rat dental pulp tissue after capped with Trigona sp. propolis from south Sulawesi, Indonesia. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 24(5): 1034–1037. DOI:

Slaa, E.J., Chaves, L.A.S., Malagodi-braga, K.S. & Hofstede, F.E. 2006. Stingless bees in applied pollination: Practice and perspectives. Apidologie, 37(2): 293–315. DOI:

Sun, L., Liao, L. & Wang, B. 2018. Potential antinociceptive effects of Chinese propolis and identification on its active compounds. Journal of Immunology Research, 2018: 1–6. DOI:

Usman, U.Z., Abu Bakar, A.B. & Mohamed, M. 2016. Phytochemical screening and comparison of antioxidant activity of water and ethanol extract propolis from Malaysia. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 8(5): 413–415.

Yeoh, B.S., Omar, N., Mohammad, M., Mokhtar, S.S. & Ahmad, R. 2021. Antioxidative propolis from stingless bees (Heterotrigona itama) preserves endothelium-dependent aortic relaxation of diabetic rats: The role of nitric oxide and cyclic guanosine monophosphate. Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 57: e19187. DOI:



How to Cite

Muhamad Suhaini, N. A., Pauzi, M. F., Juhari, S. N., Mohd, K. S., & Abu Bakar, N. A. (2023). In Vivo Toxicity Study on The Effects of Aqueous Propolis Extract From Malaysian Stingless Bee (Geniotrigona thoracica) in Mice. Malaysian Applied Biology, 52(2), 61–69.



Research Articles

Funding data