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J Mol Neurosci. 2010 Mar;40(3):311-20. doi: 10.1007/s12031-009-9285-5.

Neuroprotective effect of baicalein on hydrogen peroxide-mediated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in PC12 cells.

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Laboratory of Fiber Materials and Modern Textile Growing Base for State Key Laboratory, Qingdao University, 308 Ningxia Road, Qingdao, 266071, People's Republic of China.


Oxidative stress plays an important role in many neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, the effect of baicalein, a natural flavonoid isolated from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis G., on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced cytotoxicity in PC12 cells were investigated. Exposure of PC12 cells to 0.15 mM H2O2 for 20 min induced a significant decrease in cell viability accompanied by increased oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, downregulation of Bcl-2, upregulation of Bax, and cell apoptosis. Pretreatment of PC12 cells with baicalein inhibited H2O2-induced cell viability loss, intracellular reactive oxygen species generation, and lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, baicalein potentially inhibited H2O2-induced cell apoptosis characterized with the DNA fragment. And the mitochondrial pathway involving the mitochondrial dysfunction associated with cell apoptosis including membrane potential loss, the release of cytochrome c, the downregulation of Bcl-2, upregulation of Bax induced by H2O2 were also abrogated in the presence of baicalein. Taken together, these results suggest that baicalein can block H2O2-induced apoptosis by prevention of oxidative stress as well as regulation of Bcl-2 family members and suppression of mitochondria dysfunction, which might be beneficial for the treatment of oxidative stress in aging and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases.

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