Inhibitory effect of skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) extract on ovalbumin permeation in vitro and in vivo

Food Chem. 2013 Sep 1;140(1-2):22-30. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.01.042. Epub 2013 Jan 29.


Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (skullcap) has been widely used as a dietary ingredient. The purpose of this study was to reveal novel function of skullcap and its mechanism on allergen permeation in intestinal epithelial cells. Intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cell monolayers were used to evaluate the inhibitory effect of skullcap on ovalbumin (OVA) permeation by measuring transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and the quantity of permeated OVA. TEER increased and the OVA flux decreased in a dose-dependent manner through up-regulating tight junction-related proteins in cells incubated with increasing concentrations of skullcap extract. In the in vivo study, the amounts of OVA from orally ingested albumen reduced on administration of the skullcap extract. We also revealed for the first time that the active component of skullcap extract for inhibition of OVA permeation was baicalein. These findings demonstrated that skullcap extract might attenuate a food allergic response by inhibiting allergen permeation in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / drug effects
  • Down-Regulation
  • Food Hypersensitivity / drug therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Ovalbumin / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / chemistry*


  • Allergens
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scutellaria baicalensis extract
  • Ovalbumin