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Scutellaria baicalensis and its constituents baicalin and baicalein as antidotes or protective agents against chemical toxicities: a comprehensive review

Abstract

Scutellaria baicalensis (SB), also known as the Chinese skullcap, has a long history of being used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions ranging from microbial infections to metabolic syndrome and malignancies. Numerous studies have reported that treatment with total SB extract or two main flavonoids found in its root and leaves, baicalin (BA) and baicalein (BE), can prevent or alleviate the detrimental toxic effects of exposure to various chemical compounds. It has been shown that BA and BE are generally behind the protective effects of SB against toxicants. This paper aimed to review the protective and therapeutic effects of SB and its main components BA and BE against chemical compounds that can cause intoxication after acute or chronic exposure and seriously affect different vital organs including the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. In this review paper, we had a look into a total of 221 in vitro and in vivo studies from 1995 to 2021 from the scientific databases PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science which reported protective or therapeutic effects of BA, BE, or SB against drugs and chemicals that one might be exposed to on a professional or accidental basis and compounds that are primarily used to simulate disease models. In conclusion, the protective effects of SB and its flavonoids can be mainly attributed to increase in antioxidants enzymes, inhibition of lipid peroxidation, reduction of inflammatory cytokines, and suppression of apoptosis pathway.

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Abbreviations

AD:

Alzheimer’s disease

Akt:

Protein kinase B

ALP:

Alkaline phosphatase

ALT:

Alanine aminotransferase

APAP:

Acetaminophen

AST:

Aspartate aminotransferase

BA:

Baicalin

BE:

Baicalein

BaP:

Benzo(a)pyrene

BLM:

Bleomycin

BUN:

Blood urea nitrogen

CAT:

Catalase

Cd:

Cadmium

CORT:

Corticosterone

COX-2:

Cyclooxygenase-2

DA:

Dopamine

DOX:

Doxorubicin

ERK:

Extracellular signal-regulated kinases

ET-1:

Endothelin-1

GSH:

Glutathione

HO-1:

Heme oxygenase-1

IκBα:

Nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells inhibitor alpha

IL:

Interleukin

iNOS:

Inducible nitric oxide synthase

i.p.:

Intraperitoneal

JNK:

C-Jun N-terminal kinase

Keap1:

Kelch-like epichlorohydrin–associated protein 1

LDH:

Lactate dehydrogenase

MAPK:

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

MDA:

Malondialdehyde

MMP:

Mitochondrial membrane potential

MMPs:

Matrix metalloproteinases

NF-κB:

Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells

NMDA:

N-methyl-d-aspartate

NO:

Nitric oxide

NQO-1:

NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase-1

Nrf2:

Nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2

NTG:

Nitroglycerin

Pb:

Lead

PD:

Parkinson’s disease

PI3K:

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase

PPAR:

Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor

ROS:

Reactive oxygen species

SB:

Scutellaria baicalensis

SBE:

Scutellaria baicalensis extract

Scr:

Serum creatinine

SIRT1:

Sirtuin 1

SOD:

Superoxide dismutase

STZ:

Streptozotocin

t-BHP:

Tert-Butyl hydroperoxide

TCM:

Traditional Chinese medicine

TG:

Triglyceride

TGF:

Transforming growth factor

Th:

T helper

TLR:

Toll-like receptor

TNF-α:

Tumor necrosis factor-α

Treg:

T regulator

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Contributions

HH conceived and designed the research. AA and ZM conducted the literature research and analyzed data. AA prepared the original draft and designed the graphics. AA, HH and SM reviewed and edited the final draft. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hossein Hosseinzadeh.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Ahmadi, A., Mortazavi, Z., Mehri, S. et al. Scutellaria baicalensis and its constituents baicalin and baicalein as antidotes or protective agents against chemical toxicities: a comprehensive review. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00210-022-02258-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00210-022-02258-8

Keywords

  • Scutellaria baicalensis
  • Baicalin
  • Baicalein
  • Protective
  • Antidote
  • Chemical toxin