PloS one

Baicalin downregulates Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide-upregulated IL-6 and IL-8 expression in human oral keratinocytes by negative regulation of TLR signaling.

PMID 23239998


Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the main global oral health burdens and severe periodontal disease (periodontitis) is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults globally. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a key virulent attribute that significantly contributes to periodontal pathogenesis. Baicalin is a flavonoid from Scutellaria radix, an herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating inflammatory diseases. The present study examined the modulatory effect of baicalin on P. gingivalis LPS-induced expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in human oral keratinocytes (HOKs). Cells were pre-treated with baicalin (0-80 µM) for 24 h, and subsequently treated with P. gingivalis LPS at 10 µg/ml with or without baicalin for 3 h. IL-6 and IL-8 transcripts and proteins were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. The expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) proteins was analyzed by western blot. A panel of genes related to toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling was examined by PCR array. We found that baicalin significantly downregulated P. gingivalis LPS-stimulated expression of IL-6 and IL-8, and inhibited P. gingivalis LPS-activated NF-κB, p38 MAPK and JNK. Furthermore, baicalin markedly downregulated P. gingivalis LPS-induced expression of genes associated with TLR signaling. In conclusion, the present study shows that baicalin may significantly downregulate P. gingivalis LPS-upregulated expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in HOKs via negative regulation of TLR signaling.