Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 623–632 | Cite as

Protective Effects of Baicalin on Aβ1–42-Induced Learning and Memory Deficit, Oxidative Stress, and Apoptosis in Rat

  • Haitao Ding
  • Haitao Wang
  • Yexia Zhao
  • Deke Sun
  • Xu ZhaiEmail author
Original Research


The accumulation and deposition of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) in senile plaques and cerebral vasculature is believed to facilitate the progressive neurodegeneration that occurs in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The present study sought to elucidate possible effects of baicalin, a natural phytochemical, on Aβ toxicity in a rat model of AD. By morris water maze test, Aβ1–42 injection was found to cause learning and memory deficit in rat, which was effectively improved by baicalin treatment. Besides, histological examination showed that baicalin could attenuate the hippocampus injury caused by Aβ. The neurotoxicity mechanism of Aβ is associated with oxidative stress and apoptosis, as revealed by increased malonaldehyde generation and TUNEL-positive cells. Baicalin treatment was able to increase antioxidant capabilities by recovering activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase) and up-regulating their gene expression. Moreover, baicalin effectively prevented Aβ-induced mitochondrial membrane potential decrease, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio increase, cytochrome c release, and caspase-9/-3 activation. In addition, we found that the anti-oxidative effect of baicalin was associated with Nrf2 activation. In conclusion, baicalin effectively improved Aβ-induced learning and memory deficit, hippocampus injury, and neuron apoptosis, making it a promising drug to preventive interventions for AD.


Baicalin Aβ Alzheimer’s disease Learning and memory deficit Oxidative stress Apoptosis 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haitao Ding
    • 1
  • Haitao Wang
    • 1
  • Yexia Zhao
    • 1
  • Deke Sun
    • 1
  • Xu Zhai
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Linyi City Yishui Central HospitalLinyiChina
  2. 2.The First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical UniversityJinzhouChina

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