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Inflammation. 2013 Dec;36(6):1584-91. doi: 10.1007/s10753-013-9703-2.

Anti-inflammatory activity of baicalein in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages via estrogen receptor and NF-κB-dependent pathways.

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State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, 300193, China.


Baicalein has been used for many years as a popular antiviral and antibacterial in China. Recent investigations revealed that baicalein also has anti-inflammatory activities. Our results indicated that baicalein increases ERE-luciferase activity in an estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent manner when either ERα or ERβ were coexpressed in Hela cells. This study examined whether baicalein exerts an anti-inflammatory effect in RAW264.7 cells through an estrogen receptor-dependent pathway and through regulation of NF-ĸB activation. In lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW264.7 cells, baicalein exerts anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting iNOS, COX-2, and TNF-α mRNA expression; NO production; as well as inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, PGE2, and TNF-α) production through an ER-dependent pathway. These effects are accompanied with the inhibition of the transcription factor NF-ĸB activation and IκBα phosphorylation. We therefore conclude that baicalein inhibits LPS-induced inflammatory cytokine production via regulation of the NF-ĸB pathway and estrogen-like activity, suggesting that it may be useful for preventing inflammation-related diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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