The Journal of Physiological Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 223–233 | Cite as

Protective effects of Brazilian propolis supplementation on capillary regression in the soleus muscle of hindlimb-unloaded rats

  • Masayuki Tanaka
  • Miho Kanazashi
  • Noriaki Maeshige
  • Hiroyo Kondo
  • Akihiko Ishihara
  • Hidemi FujinoEmail author
Original Paper


The protective effects of Brazilian propolis on capillary regression induced by chronically neuromuscular inactivity were investigated in rat soleus muscle. Four groups of male Wistar rat were used in this study; control (CON), control plus Brazilian propolis supplementation (CON + PP), 2-week hindlimb unloading (HU), and 2-week hindlimb unloading plus Brazilian propolis supplementation (HU + PP). The rats in the CON + PP and HU + PP groups received two oral doses of 500 mg/kg Brazilian propolis daily (total daily dose 1000 mg/kg) for 2 weeks. Unloading resulted in a decrease in capillary number, luminal diameter, and capillary volume, and an increase in the expression of anti-angiogenic factors, such as p53 and TSP-1, within the soleus muscle. Brazilian propolis supplementation, however, prevented these changes in capillary structure due to unloading through the stimulation of pro-angiogenic factors and suppression of anti-angiogenic factors. These results suggest that Brazilian propolis is a potential non-drug therapeutic agent against capillary regression induced by chronic unloading.


Muscle atrophy Capillary regression Oxidative stress Brazilian propolis Hindlimb unloading Anti-angiogenic factors 



This study was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 16H07361, No. 16K12732, and No. 15K16516) from Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, science and Technology, and Yamada Research Grant. The funding agency had no role in the study design, data collection, and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Author contributions

MT, MK, and HF conceived and designed the experiments. MT and MK performed the experiments. MT, MK, and HF analyzed the data. MK, NM, HK, AI, and HF contributed by providing regents, materials and analysis tools. MT, HK, AI, and HF interpreted the data and wrote the paper. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.


This study was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 16H07361, No. 16K12732, and No. 15K16516) from Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, science and Technology, and Yamada Research Grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayuki Tanaka
    • 1
  • Miho Kanazashi
    • 2
  • Noriaki Maeshige
    • 3
  • Hiroyo Kondo
    • 4
  • Akihiko Ishihara
    • 5
  • Hidemi Fujino
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Human SciencesOsaka University of Human SciencesSettsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health and WelfarePrefectural University of HiroshimaMiharaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Rehabilitation ScienceKobe University Graduate School of Health SciencesKobeJapan
  4. 4.Department of Food Science and NutritionNagoya Women’s University, NagoyaNagoyaJapan
  5. 5.Laboratory of Cell Biology and Life Science, Graduate School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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