Polyphenol profile by UHPLC-MS/MS, anti-glycation, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of several samples of propolis from the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil

<p><b>Context:</b> Propolis has promising biological activities. Propolis samples from the Northeast of Bahia, Brazil – sample A from Ribeira do Pombal and B, from Tucano – were investigated, with new information regarding their biological activities.</p> <p><b>Objective:</b> This paper describes the chemical profile, antioxidant, anti-glycation and cytotoxic activities of these propolis samples.</p> <p><b>Material and methods:</b> Ethanol extracts of these propolis samples (EEP) and their fractions were analyzed to determine total phenolic content (TPC); antioxidant capacity through DPPH<sup>•</sup>, FRAP and lipid peroxidation; anti-glycation activity, by an <i>in vitro</i> glucose (10 mg/mL) bovine serum albumine (1 mg/mL) assay, during 7 d; cytotoxic activity on cancer (SF295, HCT-116, OVCAR-8, MDA-MB435, MX-1, MCF7, HL60, JURKAT, MOLT-4, K562, PC3, DU145) and normal cell lines (V79) at 0.04–25 μg/mL concentrations, for 72 h. The determination of primary phenols by ultra high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) and volatile organic compounds content by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were also performed.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> The EEP polar fractions exhibited up to 90% protection against lipid peroxidation. The IC<sub>50</sub> value for anti-glycation activity of EEP was between 16.5 and 19.2 μg/mL, close to aminoguanidine (IC<sub>50</sub> = 7.7 μg/mL). The use of UHPLC-MS/MS and GC-MS allowed the identification of 12 bioactive phenols in the EEP and 24 volatile compounds, all already reported.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> The samples present good antioxidant/anti-glycation/cytotoxic activities and a plethora of biologically active compounds. These results suggest a potential role of propolis in targeting ageing and diseases associated with oxidative and carbonylic stress, aggregating value to them.</p>