Ischemia is a common pathological condition present in many neurodegenerative diseases, including ischemic stroke, retinal vascular occlusion, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, threatening the sight and lives of millions of people globally. Ischemia can trigger excessive oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular dysfunction, leading to the disruption of tissue homeostasis and, ultimately, cell death. Current therapies are very limited and have a narrow time window for effective treatment. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop more effective therapeutic options for ischemia-induced neural injuries. With emerging reports on the pharmacological properties of natural flavonoids, these compounds present potent antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic agents for the treatment of ischemic insults. Three major active flavonoids, baicalein, baicalin, and wogonin, have been extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (S. baicalensis); all of which are reported to have low cytotoxicity. They have been demonstrated to exert promising pharmacological capabilities in preventing cell and tissue damage. This review focuses on the therapeutic potentials of these flavonoids against ischemia-induced neurotoxicity and damage in the brain and retina. The bioactivity and bioavailability of baicalein, baicalin, and wogonin are also discussed. It is with hope that the therapeutic potential of these flavonoids can be utilized and developed as natural treatments for ischemia-induced injuries of the central nervous system (CNS).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology