Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 1401–1412 | Cite as

Protective effects of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi extract on D-galactose induced aging rats

  • Fanfan Zhao
  • Yanfen Chang
  • Li Gao
  • Xuemei Qin
  • Guanhua Du
  • Xiang Zhang
  • Yuzhi ZhouEmail author
Original Article


Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (SBG), a traditional Chinese herb, has attracted considerable attention for its wide range of pharmacological activities. This study aimed to investigate the intervention effects of SBG ethanol extract on aging rats induced by D-galactose (D-gal) and to explore potential mechanisms by serum and liver metabolic profiles. The aging rats were induced by the D-gal (100 mg/kg) for 10 weeks continuously with subcutaneous injection, while the control rats received physiological saline. Two other groups of rats were administered with 100 mg/kg/day and 200 mg/kg/day of SBG by oral route following D-gal injections. The abilities of spatial and learning memory were evaluated by open-field test and Morris water maze test. Then, some biochemical indexes related to cognitive ability and aging were measured. Histopathological feature in hippocampal region was observed by Hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. The changes of metabolic profiles were evaluated using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy coupled with multivariate data analysis. Results showed that SBG could significantly improve the learning and memory functions, reducing oxidative damage and histological abnormalities of hippocampus neurons. In addition, significant differences in the metabolic profiles were observed both in serum and liver between the model group and the control group. After the treatment using SBG, the levels of these metabolites are significantly changed back to their similar levels in the control group. These metabolic changes are related to the disturbance in amino acid metabolism, glycometabolism and choline metabolism. Hence, SBG may have the potential to improve neurodegeneration and provide brain protection.

Graphical abstract

A 1H NMR-based metabonomic study was conducted to provide a global view of metabolites related to D-gal induced aging rats and assess the holistic efficacy of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi.


Scutellaria baicalensis Aging D-galactose Metabolomics 



We acknowledge financial supports from the Applied basic research project of Shanxi Province (No.201601D021164), the Innovation project of higher education institutions in Shanxi Province (No.2016120), the Construction of the Science and Technology Basic Condition Platform of Shanxi Province (No. 2014091022), and the Program of Science and Technology of Shanxi Province (No. 20140313008-14).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.

Supplementary material

11011_2018_229_MOESM1_ESM.docx (170 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 169 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fanfan Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanfen Chang
    • 3
  • Li Gao
    • 1
  • Xuemei Qin
    • 1
  • Guanhua Du
    • 1
    • 4
  • Xiang Zhang
    • 1
    • 5
  • Yuzhi Zhou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese MedicineShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  3. 3.Maternity and Child Care HospitalShanxi Provincial Children HospitalTaiyuanChina
  4. 4.Institute of Materia MedicaChinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of ChemistryUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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