Article Title

Baicalein reverse the methamphetamin-induced striatal dopaminergic neurotoxicity in mice


The potential for neuroprotection by baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone), a major constituent from the root of a widely used Chinese medicinal herb Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, against methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity was studied. All ICR mice were treated by 4-times repeated intraperitoneal administration, at 2 hr intervals, of either methamphetamine (5 mg/kg), saline, baicalein (1 mg/ kg) or baicalein pretreatment followed by methamphetamine. In the striatum of mouse, the tissue level of dopamine was monitored on day 3 and nitric oxide was assayed after 1 hr, 24 hrs and 3 days of the above treatments. The results showed that striatal dopamine was significantly depleted by methamphetamine and elevated by baicalein. Pretreatment with baicalein prevented the methamphetamine-induced dopamine depletion. Nitric oxide was depressed by methamphetamine, elevated by baicalein, but remained suppressed with baicalein plus methamphetamine after 1 hr post-treatment. At 24 hrs nitric oxide concentration was unaffected by methamphetamine but was significantly elevated by baicalein or baicalein plus methamphetamine administration. On 3 days post-treatment nitric oxide was elevated by methamphetamine, baicalein and further markedly elevated by the administration of baicalein plus methamphetamine. These results suggest a potential neuroprotective role for baicalein with the possible involvement of nitric oxide.

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