Baicalin plays an anti-inflammatory role through reducing nuclear factor-κB and p38 phosphorylation in S. aureus-induced mastitis

Int Immunopharmacol. 2013 Jun;16(2):125-30. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2013.03.006. Epub 2013 Mar 21.


Mastitis is an inflammatory disease caused by microbial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is the major etiological microorganism responsible for both clinical and subclinical mastitis in dairy cows. A mouse model of S. aureus mastitis is available. Baicalin is isolated from Scutellaria and is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of baicalin in S. aureus mastitis. In the present study, the mouse model was infected with S. aureus to cause mammary gland inflammation. Baicalin treatment was administered from 6h until 24h after infection. Baicalin significantly attenuated inflammatory cell infiltration and decreased levels of TNF-α, IL-β, and IL-6. Further studies revealed that baicalin downregulated phosphorylation of NF-κB and p38 in the mammary gland with S. aureus mastitis. Our results demonstrated that baicalin reduced the expression of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-β, and IL-6 by inhibiting NF-κB and p38 phosphorylation and mRNA expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / drug effects
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / metabolism
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / pathology
  • Mastitis / drug therapy
  • Mastitis / metabolism*
  • Mastitis / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / metabolism*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / pathology
  • Staphylococcus aureus


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Flavonoids
  • NF-kappa B
  • baicalin
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases