Scutellaria baicalensis, a herbal medicine: anti-proliferative and apoptotic activity against acute lymphocytic leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma cell lines

Leuk Res. 2007 Apr;31(4):523-30. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2006.08.019. Epub 2006 Sep 26.


Scutellaria baicalensis (S.B.) is a widely used Chinese herbal medicine. We initially investigated its in vitro anti-tumor activities. S.B inhibited the growth of ALL, lymphoma and myeloma cell lines by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at clinically achievable concentrations. The anti-proliferative effect was associated with mitochondrial damage, modulation of the Bcl family of genes, increased level of the CDK inhibitor p27(KIP1) and decreased level of c-myc oncogene. HPLC analysis of S.B. showed it contains 21% baicalin and further studies confirmed it was the major anti-cancer component of S.B. Thus, Scutellaria baicalensis should be tested in clinical trials for these hematopoietic malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 / metabolism
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / drug effects
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / chemistry*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Flavonoids
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • baicalin