Baicalein protects mice against radiation-induced DNA damages and genotoxicity

Mol Cell Biochem. 2013 Jul;379(1-2):277-81. doi: 10.1007/s11010-013-1649-z. Epub 2013 Apr 20.


Baicalein is the major flavonoid extracted from the root of Scutellaria baicaleins. This flavonoid is used extensively in Chinese herbal medicine. In the present study baicalein is evaluated for its radioprotective properties. Human blood cells when exposed to the γ-radiation ex vivo in presence of baicalein underwent the reduced DNA damage compared to the control. Baicalein administration prior to the whole-body γ-radiation (4 Gy) exposure of mice resulted in protecting the damage to the DNA as measured in their blood cells by alkaline comet assay. Mice when exposed to the radiation (whole body; 1.7 Gy) resulted in damage to the bone marrow as measured by micronucleated reticulocyte (MNRET) formation. Baicalein pre-treatment reduces the radiation induced damage to the bone marrow cells, as there was decrease in the percentage MNRET formation. These findings indicate radio-protecting ability of baicalein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Flavanones / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / drug effects
  • Leukocytes / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / drug effects
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Reticulocytes / drug effects
  • Reticulocytes / radiation effects
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • Flavanones
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • baicalein