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Neurochem Res. 2012 Aug;37(8):1670-80. doi: 10.1007/s11064-012-0771-8. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

The anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of baicalin on pilocarpine-induced epileptic model in rats.

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Department of Neurology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China.


Baicalin, a flavonoid compound purified from plant Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, has been reported to possess a wide variety of pharmacological properties including anti-oxidative, anti-apoptotic and neuroprotective properties. Oxidative stress can dramatically alter neuronal function and has been linked to status epilepticus (SE). However, the neuroprotective effect of baicalin on epilepsy is unclear. In this study we investigated whether Baicalin could exert anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects in the pilocarpine-induced epileptic model in rats. To this end, we recorded the latency to first limbic seizure and SE and observed the incidence of SE and mortality. The changes of oxidative stress were measured 24 h after pilocarpine-induced SE. Nissl staining, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling and Fluoro-Jade B staining were performed to detect the neuronal loss, apoptosis and degeneration in hippocampus 72 h after pilocarpine-induced seizure. Pretreatment with baicalin significantly delayed the onset of the first limbic seizures and SE, reduced the mortality rate, and attenuated the changes in the levels of lipid peroxidation, nitrite content and reduced glutathione in the hippocampus of pilocarpine-treated rats. Furthermore, we also found that baicalin attenuated the neuronal cell loss, apoptosis, and degeneration caused by pilocarpine-induced seizures in rat hippocampus. Collectively, these results indicated remarkable anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of baicalin and should encourage further studies to investigate baicalin as an adjuvant in epilepsy both to prevent seizures and to protect against seizure induced brain injury.

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