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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 517965, 8 pages
Research Article

Scutellaria baicalensis Extracts and Flavonoids Protect Rat L6 Cells from Antimycin A-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction

1Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 461-24 Jeonmin-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea
2Department of Crop Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Republic of Korea
3School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China

Received 11 June 2012; Revised 20 July 2012; Accepted 23 July 2012

Academic Editor: Vassya Bankova

Copyright © 2012 A-Rang Im et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Antimycin A (AMA) damages mitochondria by inhibiting mitochondrial electron transport and can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS formation, aging, and reduction of mitochondrial biogenesis contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction. The present study sought to investigate extracts of Scutellaria baicalensis and its flavonoids (baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin), whether they could protect mitochondria against oxidative damage. The viability of L6 cells treated with AMA increased in the presence of flavonoids and extracts of S. baicalensis. ATP production decreased in the AMA treated group, but increased by 50% in cells treated with flavonoids (except wogonin) and extracts of S. baicalensis compared to AMA-treated group. AMA treatment caused a significant reduction (depolarized) in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), whereas flavonoid treatment induced a significant increase in MMP. Mitochondrial superoxide levels increased in AMA treated cells, whereas its levels decreased when cells were treated with flavonoids or extracts of S. baicalensis. L6 cells treated with flavonoids and extracts of S. baicalensis increased their levels of protein expression compared with AMA-treated cells, especially water extracts performed the highest levels of protein expression. These results suggest that the S. baicalensis extracts and flavonoids protect against AMA-induced mitochondrial dysfunction by increasing ATP production, upregulating MMP, and enhancing mitochondrial function.