Baicalein protects cardiomyocytes against mitochondrial oxidant injury associated with JNK inhibition and mitochondrial Akt activation.Am J Chin Med. 2014; 42(1):79-94.AJ
Baicalein, a flavonoid derived from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, possesses cardioprotection against oxidant injury by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS). Few studies investigate whether baicalein protection is mediated by attenuating mitochondrial ROS and modulating the prosurvival and proapoptotic signaling. Primary cultured chick cardiomyocytes were used to study the role of baicalein in mitochondrial superoxide [Formula: see text] generation and signaling of Akt and JNK. Cells were exposed to H 2 O 2 for 2 h and baicalein was given 2 h prior to and during 2 h of H 2 O 2 exposure. Cell viability was assessed by propidium iodide and DNA fragmentation. H 2 O 2 (500 μM) significantly induced 45.3 ± 6.2% of cell death compared to the control (p < 0.001) and resulted in DNA laddering. Baicalein (10, 25 or 50 μM) dose-dependently reduced the cell death to 38.7 ± 5.6% (p = 0.226); 31.2 ± 3.9% (p < 0.01); 30.3 ± 5.3% (p < 0.01), respectively. It also attenuated DNA laddering. Further, baicalein decreased intracellular ROS and mitochondrial [Formula: see text] generation that was confirmed by superoxide dismutase PEG-SOD and mitochondria electron transport chain complex III inhibitor stigmatellin. In addition, baicalein increased Akt phosphorylation and decreased JNK phosphorylation in H 2 O 2-exposed cells. Moreover, baicalein augmented mitochondrial phosphorylation of Akt Thr308 and GSK3β Ser9, and prevented mitochondrial cytochrome c release assessed by cellular fractionation. Our results suggest that baicalein cardioprotection may involve an attenuation of mitochondrial [Formula: see text] and an increase in mitochondrial phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3β while decreasing JNK activation.