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Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1998 Sep;46(9):1383-7.

Protective effects of baicalein against cell damage by reactive oxygen species.

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Department of Analytical and Bioinorganic Chemistry, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxy-2-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one), a naturally occurring flavonoid, was found to prevent human dermal fibroblast cell damage induced by reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), tert-butyl hydroperoxide (BuOOH) and superoxide anions (.O2-) in a concentration-dependent manner, and was more effective than the iron chelator, deferoxamine, hydroxyl radical (.OH) scavengers such as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and ethanol (EtOH), the lipid peroxidation chain blocker, alpha-tocopherol (Vit. E) and the xanthine oxidase inhibitor, allopurinol. To probe the mechanism of cell defense, the reaction of baicalein with oxygen free radicals was investigated using electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometry. Baicalein decreased the signal intensities due to the 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO) spin adducts of .OH, .O2- and tert-butyl peroxyl (BuOO.) radicals in a concentration-dependent manner. The IC50 values, which are the 50% inhibition concentrations of baicalein for the free radicals, were 10, 45 and 310 microM, respectively. These results suggested that baicalein possesses free radical scavenging ability which prevents the fibroblast damage induced by these free radical species.

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