Chrysin protects mice from Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia

J Appl Microbiol. 2011 Dec;111(6):1551-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2011.05170.x. Epub 2011 Oct 31.


Aim: To elucidate the effect of chrysin on α-haemolysin production by Staphylococcus aureus and protection against pneumonia in a murine model.

Methods and results: Haemolysis, Western blot and real-time RT-PCR assays were performed to evaluate the effect of chrysin on α-haemolysin secretion by Staph. aureus. The efficacy of chrysin against human alveolar epithelial cell injury by α-haemolysin was tested using live/dead staining or by measuring lactate dehydrogenase activity. Furthermore, we determined the protective effect of chrysin against Staph. aureus pneumonia through histopathology experiments in a mouse model. The production of α-haemolysin by Staph. aureus was inhibited when presented with an increasing subinhibitory concentration of chrysin in vitro. Consistent with this result, chrysin prevented α-haemolysin-mediated cell injury and protected mice from Staph. aureus pneumonia.

Conclusions: Chrysin is a potent inhibitor of α-haemolysin expression by Staph. aureus, and it conferred a significant degree of protection against Staph. aureus pneumonia.

Significance and impact of study: The chrysin-mediated inhibition of α-haemolysin production and protection against Staph. aureus pneumonia may offer a new strategy in combating pathogen infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Hemolysin Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Hemolysis
  • Humans
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pneumonia, Staphylococcal / prevention & control*
  • Rabbits
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism


  • Flavonoids
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • chrysin