Baicalein Attenuates Neurological Deficits and Preserves Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity in a Rat Model of Intracerebral Hemorrhage.
Neurochem Res. 2016 Aug 12. Epub 2016 Aug 12. PMID: 27518088
Previous studies have demonstrated that baicalein has protective effects against several diseases, which including ischemic stroke. The effect of baicalein on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and its related mechanisms are not well understood. We aimed to investigate the mechanisms by which baicalein may influence the BBB in a rat model of ICH. The rat model of ICH was induced by intravenous injection of collagenase IV into the brain. Animals were randomly divided into three groups: sham operation, vehicle, and baicalein group. Each group was then divided into subgroups, in which the rats were sacrificed at 24 and 72 h after ICH. We assessed brain edema, behavioral changes, BBB leakage, apoptosis, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), zonula occludens (ZO)-1, Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Treatment with baicalein reduced brain water content, BBB leakage, apoptosis, and neurologic deficits, compared with vehicle. Baicalein also decreased ICH-induced changes in the levels of iNOS but increased the levels of ZO-1. The protective effect of baicalein on the BBB in ICH rats was possibly invoked by attenuated p-38 MAPK and JNK phosphorylation, and decreased activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway, which may have suppressed gene transcription, including iNOS, and eventually decreased formation of peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)). Our results suggest that baicalein exerts a protective effect on BBB disruption in the rat model of ICH. The likely mechanism is via inhibition of MAPKs and NF-κB signaling pathways, leading to decreased formation of iNOS and ONOO(-), thereby improving neurological function.