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Several studies have demonstrated a relevant role of intestinal epithelial cells in the immune response and in chronic inflammatory conditions, including ulcers, colitis, and Crohn's disease. Baicalin (BA), extracted from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis, has various beneficial healthy effects, including anti-inflammatory activity. However, few studies have evaluated BA effects on autophagic signaling in epithelial cell response to inflammatory stimuli. To explore possible beneficial effects of BA, HT-29 cells were exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in presence or absence of BA, for 4 h. We evaluated mRNA levels of autophagy-related genes and cytokines, triggering inflammatory response. Furthermore, the expression of claudin 1, involved in the regulation of paracellular permeability was analyzed. BA treatment repressed LPS-induced expression of TNF-α and IL-1β. The down-regulation of autophagy-related genes induced by LPS was counteracted by cell pretreatment with BA. Under these conditions, BA reduced the NF-κB activation caused by LPS. Also, BA restored mRNA and protein levels of claudin 1, which were reduced by LPS. In conclusion, in intestinal epithelial cells BA regulates the NF-κB activation and modulates both autophagic and inflammatory processes, leading to an improvement of paracellular permeability. These results suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of BA can be associated to the regulation of autophagic flux.


Valentina Rizzo, Nadia Ferlazzo, Monica Currò, Gaetano Isola, Marco Matarese, Maria Paola Bertuccio, Daniela Caccamo, Giovanni Matarese, Riccardo Ientile. Baicalin-Induced Autophagy Preserved LPS-Stimulated Intestinal Cells from Inflammation and Alterations of Paracellular Permeability. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Feb 26;22(5)

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PMID: 33652555

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