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Curr Med Sci. 2018 Feb;38(1):167-173. doi: 10.1007/s11596-018-1861-x. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Pharmacokinetic Characteristics of Baicalin in Rats with 17α-ethynyl-estradiol-induced Intrahepatic Cholestasis.

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Department of Pharmacy, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China.
Department of Pharmacy, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China.


Baicalin is one of the main active ingredients of choleretic traditional Chinese medicine drug Radix Scutellariae. The aim of this study was to explore the pharmacokinetic characteristics of baicalin in rats with 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE)-induced intrahepatic cholestasis (IC) based on its choleretic effects. Firstly, rats were subcutaneously injected with EE solution (5 mg/kg, 0.25 mL/100 g) for 5 consecutive days to construct an IC model. Then the bile excretion rate, serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and total bile acid (TBA) and pathological changes of the liver were detected. Secondly, after successfully modeling, the rats were intragastrically given baicalin solution (200 mg/kg) (n=6). Blood samples were collected from the tail vein at different time points after intragastric administration. The protective effects of low- (50 mg/kg), medium- (100 mg/kg) and high-dose (200 mg/kg) baicalin on the liver in IC rats were evaluated. The content of baicalin in plasma was detected by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry and pharmacokinetics parameters were calculated. Pharmacodynamic results showed that low-, medium- and high-dose baicalin all significantly increased the average excretion rate of bile (P<0.05), and significantly decreased serum levels of ALT, AST and ALP and TBA (P<0.05). Meanwhile, HE staining showed that baicalin significantly relieved EE-induced hepatocyte edema and necrosis. Pharmacokinetic results exhibited that the absorption of baicalin in both IC and normal control rats showed bimodal phenomenon. Cmax, AU(0-t) and AUC(0-∞) of baicalin in IC rats were significantly higher than those of the normal control group (P<0.01). T1/2 of plasma baicalin in the model group was significantly extended to (11.09±1.84) h, with clearance dropping to 61.78% of that of the normal control group (P<0.01). The above results suggested that baicalin had protective effects on the liver of IC rats, accompanied by significantly increased in vivo exposure, delayed in vivo clearance and markedly alterative pharmacokinetic characteristics. This study provides a theoretical basis for further development of baicalin as a feasible drug for treating IC.


17α-ehynylestradiol; baicalin; intrahepatic cholestasis; pharmacokinetics

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