Baicalin ameliorates lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury in mice by suppressing oxidative stress and inflammation via the activation of the Nrf2-mediated HO-1 signaling pathway

  • Xiangli Meng
  • Lin Hu
  • Wenqiang LiEmail author
Original Article


This research aims to investigate the ameliorative potential of baicalin on lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury by the suppression of oxidative stress and inflammation via the activation of the nuclear erythroid factor 2 (Nrf2)-mediated heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) signaling pathway. Specific pathogen-free male mice, weighing between 25 and 30 g, were divided into the following four groups of 10 mice each: the control group, LPS group, LPS + baicalin group, and baicalin group. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), blood, and tissue were collected on the 16th day and used for hematological (total leukocyte, macrophage, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts in both blood and BALF, biochemical (antioxidant enzymes, MDA, Nrf2, and HO-1), and histological analyses. The protective effect of baicalin on lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury is based on its antioxidative stress capabilities that are mediated partly by the Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway. Baicalin pretreatment significantly decreased the rise in the lung injury score; total leukocyte, neutrophil, lymphocyte, and macrophage counts; pro-inflammatory mediators, tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interleukins (IL-6 and IL-1β); biosynthesis of oxidative products, e.g., malondialdehyde (MDA); and restoration of antioxidative enzyme (superoxide dismutase and catalase) activities by improving the expression of nuclear Nrf2 and cytosolic HO-1 in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury. The protective effects of baicalin are partly due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Our findings indicate that baicalin protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced severe lung injury by enhancing antioxidant systems and significantly reducing both inflammatory cells and mediators via the Nrf2-mediated HO-1 signaling pathway.


Baicalin Lung injury Nrf2 HO-1 Oxidative stress Inflammation 


Author contributions

Xiangli Meng, Lin Yu, and Wenqiang Li designed the research and wrote the paper. Xiangli Meng and Lin Yu conducted the research and analyzed the data.

Compliance with ethical standards

The research team obtained consent from the Ethics Review Board of the Animal Care and Use Committee of Zoucheng People’s Hospital.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intensive Care Unit (ICU)Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical UniversityJiningPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Intensive Care Unit (ICU)Jining No.1 People’s HospitalJining CityPeople’s Republic of China

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