The effects of baicalein on canine osteosarcoma cell proliferation and death

Vet Comp Oncol. 2014 Dec;12(4):299-309. doi: 10.1111/vco.12013. Epub 2012 Dec 10.


Flavonoids are a group of modified triphenolic compounds from plants with medicinal properties. Baicalein, a specific flavone primarily isolated from plant roots (Scutellaria baicalensis), is commonly used in Eastern medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antineoplastic properties. Previous research shows greater efficacy for baicalein than most flavonoids; however, there has been little work examining their effects on sarcoma cells, let alone canine cells. Three canine osteosarcoma cell lines (HMPOS, D17 and OS 2.4) were treated with baicalein to examine cell viability, cell cycle kinetics, anchorage-independent growth and apoptosis. Results showed that osteosarcoma cells were sensitive to baicalein at concentrations from approximately 1 to 25 μM. Modest cell cycle changes were observed in one cell line. Baicalein was effective in inducing apoptosis and did not prevent doxorubicin cell proliferation inhibition in all the cell lines. The mechanism for induction of apoptosis has not been fully elucidated; however, changes in mitochondrial permeability supersede the apoptotic response.

Keywords: apoptosis; baicalein; chemotherapy; doxorubicin; flavones; osteosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Flavanones / pharmacology*
  • Osteosarcoma / drug therapy
  • Osteosarcoma / veterinary*
  • Spectrophotometry / veterinary


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavanones
  • baicalein
  • Doxorubicin