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FEBS Lett. 2001 Jun 29;500(1-2):52-5.

The flavonoid baicalin inhibits superantigen-induced inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.

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Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702-5011, USA.


Excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines mediates the toxic effect of superantigenic staphylococcal exotoxins (SE). Baicalin, a flavone isolated from the Chinese herb Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi and used in China to treat infectious diseases, inhibited SE-stimulated T-cell proliferation (by 98%) and production of interleukin 1beta, interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor, interferon gamma, monocyte chemotactic protein 1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha, and MIP-1beta mRNA and protein by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These data suggest that baicalin may be therapeutically useful for mitigating the pathogenic effects of SE by inhibiting the signaling pathways activated by superantigens.

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