Baicalein alleviates osteoarthritis by protecting subchondral bone, inhibiting angiogenesis and synovial proliferation.
J Cell Mol Med. 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3. PMID: 33939310
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most frequent chronic joint diseases with the increasing life expectancy. The main characteristics of the disease are loss of articular cartilage, subchondral bone sclerosis and synovium inflammation. Physical measures, drug therapy and surgery are the mainstay of treatments for OA, whereas drug therapies are mainly limited to analgesics, glucocorticoids, hyaluronic acids and some alternative therapies because of single therapeutic target of OA joints. Baicalein, a traditional Chinese medicine extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, has been widely used in anti-inflammatory therapies. Previous studies revealed that baicalein could alleviate cartilage degeneration effectively by acting on articular chondrocytes. However, the mechanisms involved in baicalein-mediated protection of the OA are not completely understood in consideration of integrality of arthrosis. In this study, we found that intra-articular injection of baicalein ameliorated subchondral bone remodelling. Further studies showed that baicalein could decrease the number of differentiated osteoblasts by inhibiting pre-osteoblasts proliferation and promoting pre-osteoblasts apoptosis. In addition, baicalein impaired angiogenesis of endothelial cells and inhibited proliferation of synovial cells. Taken together, these results implicated that baicalein might be an effective medicine for treating OA by regulating multiple targets.