Antiallergic effects of Scutellaria baicalensis on inflammation in vivo and in vitro

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 May 7;141(1):345-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.02.044. Epub 2012 Mar 3.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Scutellaria baicalensis (SB) is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs for the treatment of inflammation. In this study, we investigated the antiallergic effect of SB in vivo and in vitro.

Materials and methods: Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats received intradermal injections of anti-DNP IgE at each of three dorsal skin sites. Forty-eight hours later, each rat received an injection of DNP-HSA in saline containing 4% Evans blue through the dorsal vein of the penis. One hour before injection, SB extract was administered orally. The dorsal skin of the rats was removed and the pigment area measured. In addition, rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMCs) were cultured and purified to investigate histamine release. In vitro, human mast cells (HMC-1) were pretreated with SB extract for 30min before stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) plus A23187. The effects on pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase expression were investigated using TNF-α and IL-8 assays, and Western blotting analysis of HMC-1 cells.

Results and conclusions: SB treatment inhibited the passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction compared to the control group, and histamine release decreased significantly following treatment of RPMCs with SB. In HMC-1 cells, SB restored IL-8 and TNF-α expression and inhibited MAP kinase expression in compound 48/80-induced HMC-1 cells. These data suggest that SB may prove to be a useful anti-inflammatory agent through its downregulation of the expression of various inflammatory mediators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcimycin / pharmacology
  • Calcium Ionophores / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / prevention & control*
  • Dinitrophenols
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Female
  • Haptens
  • Histamine Release / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Mast Cells / drug effects
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Scutellaria baicalensis* / chemistry
  • Serum Albumin
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine / pharmacology


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • CXCL8 protein, human
  • Calcium Ionophores
  • Dinitrophenols
  • Haptens
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-8
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scutellaria baicalensis extract
  • Serum Albumin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • dinitrophenyl-human serum albumin conjugate
  • Calcimycin
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate