Baicalein protects the brain against neuron impairments induced by MPTP in C57BL/6 mice.Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Apr; 98(2):286-91.PB
Many studies of Parkinson's disease suggest that oxidative stress is involved in the neurodegenerative process. Baicalein has been shown to have antioxidant effects. The present study examines the effect of baicalein on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity in C57BL/6 mice. MPTP treatment impaired spontaneous motor activity and rotarod performance, but baicalein improved this deficit. Moreover, baicalein at 280 and 560 mg/kg exhibited a protective effect against the MPTP-induced decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive fibers in the substantia nigra, demonstrated by the immunohistological, morphological and behavioral outcomes. MPTP treatment also decreased dopamine levels in the striatum. However, treatment with baicalein attenuated these decreases in dopamine levels by changing dopamine catabolism and inhibiting dopamine turnover. The neuroprotective effect of baicalein on dopaminergic neurons may partly be due to its antioxidant properties. Therefore, we speculate that baicalein might be a promising candidate for prevention or treatment of oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.