Researchers from the National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine in Taiwan found that baicalein, a compound present in Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis), can inhibit production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and regulate pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling elements. The study was published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
Chinese skullcap is used in traditional medicine to treat cardiovascular disease.
Researchers looked at the efficacy of baicalein against lung injury brought about by myocardial ischemia and reperfusion (I/R). To induce myocardial I/R, a 40-minute occlusion on the left anterior descending coronary artery was made. This increased histological damage, as well as the wet-to-dry weight ratio of lungs.
In addition, it also significantly increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL)-positive nuclei and caspase-3 activation, including serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid levels of TNF-a, interleukin-1-beta (IL-1B), and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
In the study, the researchers injected mice with 3, 10, and 30 mg of baicalein per kilogram of body weight for 10 minutes before inducing myocardial I/R.
Mice treated with baicalein exhibited reduced histological damage, wet-to-dry-weight ratio, and lung apoptosis.
Baicalein also inhibited TNF-a, IL-1B, and IL-6 levels from increasing.
It also improved Bcl-2 and decreased p53, Bax, and cytochrome c levels in the lungs.
The researchers concluded that baicalein can help with the symptoms of lung injury after being induced with myocardial I/R.
Learn about the other benefits of Chinese skullcap at Herbs.news.
Lai CC, Huang PH, Yang AH, Chiang SC, Tang CY, Tseng KW, Huang C-H. BAICALEIN ATTENUATES LUNG INJURY INDUCED BY MYOCARDIAL ISCHEMIA AND REPERFUSION. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2017;45(04):791–811. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X17500422