Baicalein inhibits oxidative stress-induced cellular damage via antioxidant effects.

Research paper by Kyoung Ah KA Kang, Rui R Zhang, Mei Jing MJ Piao, Sungwook S Chae, Hee Sun HS Kim, Jun Ho JH Park, Kwang Sun KS Jung, Jin Won JW Hyun

Indexed on: 01 Oct '11Published on: 01 Oct '11Published in: Toxicology and industrial health


Baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone) is a phenolic flavonoid compound derived mainly from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, a medicinal plant traditionally used in oriental medicine. In our previous study, baicalein attenuated mitochondrial oxidative stress by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and by induction of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 transcription factor-mediated manganese superoxide dismutase. In the present study, the protective effects of baicalein against oxidative stress-induced damage, especially cellular components including DNA, lipid, and protein, were studied. The results of this study showed that baicalein scavenged intracellular ROS. Baicalein inhibited the H₂O₂-induced DNA damage that was demonstrated by decreased phospho-H2A.X expression and DNA tail formation. In addition, it prevented the lipid peroxidation shown by the fluorescence intensity of diphenyl-1-pyrenylphosphine and the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. Moreover, baicalein inhibited protein oxidation demonstrated by protein carbonyl formation. Furthermore, baicalein protected cells via the inhibition of apoptosis induced by H₂O₂. The findings of this study suggest that baicalein provides protection for cellular components against oxidative damage via scavenging ROS and inhibiting apoptosis.