Cantharidin, an active component in mylabris, is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat scabies and hepatoma, but accompanied by hemorrhagic cystitis. Evidence shows that cantharidin induces human bladder carcinoma cell death through COX-2 overexpression in vitro. In TCM, Scutellaria baicalensis is usually used to cure mylabris-induced hematuria. This work was undertaken to determine the mechanisms of cantharidin-induced rat hemorrhagic cystitis and explore the uroprotective effect of S. baicalensis. In vitro results showed cantharidin could induce cytotoxicity through prostaglandin (PG)E 2 overproduction of T24 cells. Boiling-water extract of S. baicalensis (SB-WE) could significantly inhibit PGE 2 production and COX-2 expression in lipo-polysaccharide-induced RAW 264.7 cells, indicating obvious anti-inflammatory abilities. In vivo results indicated that cantharidin caused rat hemorrhagic cystitis with hematuria via c-Fos and COX-2 overexpression. SB-WE was given orally to cantharidin-treated rats, whereby hematuria level, elevated PGE2 and COX-2 protein overexpression were significantly and dose-dependently inhibited by SB-WE. The anti-inflammatory components of SB-WE are baicalin and wogonin, whose contents were 200.95 ± 2.00 and 31.93 ± 0.26 μg/mg, respectively. In conclusion, cantharidin induces rat cystitis through c-Fos and COX-2 over-expression and S. baicalensis can prevent the resulting hematuria because of its anti-inflammatory effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6277-6289
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • C-Fos
  • Cantharidin
  • Cyclooxygenase-2
  • Hematuria
  • Hemorrhagic cystitis
  • Mylabris
  • Scutellaria baicalensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Scutellaria baicalensis alleviates cantharidin-induced rat hemorrhagic cystitis through inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 overexpression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this