Baicalin From Scutellaria Baicalensis Blocks Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection and Reduces Inflammatory Cell Infiltration and Lung Injury in Mice

Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 21;6:35851. doi: 10.1038/srep35851.


The roots of Scutellaria baicalensis has been used as a remedy for inflammatory and infective diseases for thousands of years. We evaluated the antiviral activity against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, the leading cause of childhood infection and hospitalization. By fractionation and chromatographic analysis, we determined that baicalin was responsible for the antiviral activity of S. baicalensis against RSV infection. The concentration for 50% inhibition (IC50) of RSV infection was determined at 19.9 ± 1.8 μM, while the 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC50) was measured at 370 ± 10 μM. We then used a mouse model of RSV infection to further demonstrate baicalin antiviral effect. RSV infection caused significant lung injury and proinflammatory response, including CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte infiltration. Baicalin treatment resulted in reduction of T lymphocyte infiltration and gene expression of proinflammatory factors, while the treatment moderately reduced RSV titers recovered from the lung tissues. T lymphocyte infiltration and cytotoxic T lymphocyte modulated tissue damage has been identified critical factors of RSV disease. The study therefore demonstrates that baicalin subjugates RSV disease through antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lung Injury / pathology
  • Lung Injury / prevention & control*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / pathology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / virology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / drug effects
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / physiology
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / chemistry*
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / metabolism
  • Virus Internalization / drug effects
  • Virus Replication


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • baicalin