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Am J Chin Med. 2016;44(2):389-400. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X16500221.

Baicalin Activates Glycine and γ-Aminobutyric Acid Receptors on Substantia Gelatinosa Neurons of the Trigeminal Subsnucleus Caudalis in Juvenile Mice.

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* Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry and Institute of Oral Bioscience, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Republic of Korea.
† Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, South Korea.


The substantia gelatinosa (SG) of the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) receives nociceptive afferent inputs from thin-myelinated A[Formula: see text] fibers and unmyelinated C fibers and has been shown to be involved in the processing of orofacial nociceptive information. Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Huang-Qin, SbG), one of the 50 fundamental herbs of Chinese herbology, has been used historically as anti-inflammatory and antineoplastic medicine. Baicalin, one of the major compounds of SbG, has been reported to have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. However, the receptor type activated by baicalin and its precise action mechanism on the SG neurons of Vc have not yet been studied. The whole-cell patch clamp technique was performed to examine the ion channels activated by baicalin on the SG neurons of Vc. In high Cl[Formula: see text] pipette solution, the baicalin (300[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M) induced repeatable inward currents ([Formula: see text][Formula: see text]pA, [Formula: see text]) without desensitization on all the SG neurons tested. Further, the inward currents showed a concentration (0.1-3[Formula: see text]mM) dependent pattern. The inward current was sustained in the presence of tetrodotoxin (0.5[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M), a voltage sensitive Na[Formula: see text] channel blocker. In addition, baicalin-induced inward currents were reduced in the presence of picrotoxin (50[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M), a GABAA receptor antagonist, flumazenil (100[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M), a benzodiazepine-sensitive GABAA receptor antagonist, and strychnine (2[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M), a glycine receptor antagonist, respectively. These results indicate that baicalin has inhibitory effects on the SG neurons of the Vc, which are due to the activation of GABAA and/or the glycine receptor. Our results suggest that baicalin may be a potential target for orofacial pain modulation.


Baicalin; GABA; Glycine; Patch Clamp; Subatantia Gelatinaosa

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