Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential for recognizing pathogens and presenting their antigens to T lymphocytes, playing a key role in the link between the innate and adaptive immune responses. In this context, modulation of immune response is extremely important for the resolution of the infection. Propolis is a resinous product, made by bees from various plant parts, and has attracted the attention of researchers because of its many biological properties, highlighting its immunomodulatory effects. However, most of the works were carried out using laboratory animals, and there are no data in the literature regarding propolis effect on human cells. Thus, the present research aims to investigate the effects of propolis in the early events of immune response, evaluating the maturation and function of DCs. Such cells will be differentiated from monocytes from peripheral blood of healthy donors, by culture with IL-4 and GM-CSF. A possible cytotoxicity after incubation with propolis will be assessed. Initially, it will be evaluated the effect of propolis on the activation of NF-kB and expression of micro-RNAs, a class of regulatory molecules of cell functions, and miR-155 and miR-148 are the most involved in the activation of DCs. Then we will evaluate the action of propolis on the maturation of DCs by analyzing the expression of cell surface markers (TLR-4, MHC-II, CD80, CD86 and CD40) and the production of cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL -6, IL-10 and IL-12), aiming to correlate these parameters with the bactericidal activity of DCs. This project will bring a significant contribution, considering the important role of these cells in triggering the immune response and the possibility of propolis positively modulate its function. It will also be the first work of our group with human dendritic cells, aiming the application of our results and introducing new techniques in our laboratory.
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