Flavones from root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi: drugs of the future in neurodegeneration?

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2011 Mar;10(2):184-91. doi: 10.2174/187152711794480384.


Flavonoids are natural, plant-derived compounds which exert diverse biological activities, also valuable neuroprotective actions within the brain and currently are intensively studied as agents able to modulate neuronal function and to prevent age-related neurodegeneration. Among them, flavones isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis root exhibit strong neuroprotective effects on the brain and are not toxic in the broad range of tested doses. Their neuroprotective potential has been shown in both oxidative stress-induced and amyloid-beta and alpha-synuclein-induced neuronal death models. Baicalein, the main flavone present in Scutellaria baicalensis root, strongly inhibited aggregation of neuronal amyloidogenic proteins in vitro and induces dissolution of amyloid deposits. It exerts strong antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities and also exhibits anti-convulsive, anxiolytic, and mild sedative actions. Importantly, baicalein, and also another flavone: oroxylin A, markedly enhanced cognitive and mnestic functions in animal models of aging brains and neurodegeneration. In the preliminary study, wogonin, another flavone from Scutellaria baicalensis root, has been shown to stimulate brain tissue regeneration, inducing differentiation of neuronal precursor cells. This concise review provides the main examples of neuroprotective activities of the flavones and reveals their potential in prevention and therapyof neurodegenerative diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Flavanones / pharmacokinetics
  • Flavanones / pharmacology
  • Flavones / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots
  • Scutellaria baicalensis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavanones
  • Flavones
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scutellaria baicalensis extract
  • baicalein
  • wogonin