Baicalein Ameliorates Epilepsy Symptoms in a Pilocarpine-Induced Rat Model by Regulation of IGF1R.
Neurochem Res. 2020 Dec ;45(12):3021-3033. Epub 2020 Oct 23. PMID: 33095440
Treatment for epilepsy, particularly temporal lobe epilepsy, is challenging. Baicalein has multiple effects, including anti-inflammatory action. However, little is known about its efficacy in treatment of epilepsy. In this study, we established a pilocarpine-induced rat model and used it for assessment of baicalein efficacy in vivo. We predicted the pharmacological mechanism of baicalein by network pharmacology and RNA sequencing analyses. Pilocarpine epileptic rats treated with baicalein exhibited improved average seizure severity, seizure frequency, seizure duration, and survival time. Network pharmacology and RNA sequencing identified the differentially expressed genes between the baicalein treatment and epileptic groups. Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) was chosen as the top candidate target because of its overlapping findings in RNA sequencing and network pharmacology data. Western blotting, immunofluorescence, and polymerase chain reaction analyses showed that baicalein inhibited microglial proliferation, IGF1R, and inflammatory cytokine expression. Moreover, baicalein improved epilepsy symptoms. Inhibition of IGF1R function by blocking with AXL1717 enhanced baicalein treatment efficacy both in vivo and in vitro. In conclusion, baicalein exerted antiepileptic effects by regulation of IGF1R in a pilocarpine-induced rat model.