Involvement of nuclear factor-κB in the inhibition of interleukin-12 production from mouse macrophages by baicalein, a flavonoid in Scutellaria baicalensis

Bok Yun Kang, Su Wol Chung, Seung Hyun Kim, Dae Ho Cho, Tae Sung Kim

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Pharmacological inhibition of interleukin-12 (IL-12) production may be a therapeutic strategy for preventing development and progression of disease in experimental models of autoimmunity. In this study we investigated the effects of baicalein, a flavonoid present in the root of Scutellaria baicalensis, on the production of IL-12 from mouse macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Baicalein potently inhibited the LPS-induced IL-12 production from both primary macrophages and RAW264.7 monocytic cell-line in a dose-dependent manner (the IC50 values were 43.7 and 17.4 μM, respectively). The effect of baicalein on IL-12 gene promoter activation was analyzed by transfecting RAW264.7 cells with IL-12 gene promoter/luciferase constructs. The repressive effect mapped to a region in the IL-12 gene promoter containing a binding site for NF-κB. Furthermore, activation of macrophages by LPS resulted in markedly enhanced binding activity to the NF-κB site, which significantly decreased upon addition of baicalein, indicating that baicalein inhibited IL-12 production in LPS-activated macrophages via inhibition of NF-κB binding activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-691
Number of pages5
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Baicalein
  • Interleukin-12
  • Labiatae
  • Macrophage
  • Nuclear factor-κB
  • Scutellaria baicalensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

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