Apoptosis is thought to be involved in neurological disorders including major depression. In this study, we examined whether the polyphenolic compound baicalin could decrease apoptosis in the olfactory bulbectomy (OBX) depression rat model. OBX rats exhibited decreased performance in depression-like behavioural tests and showed evidence of increased oxidative stress, decreased synaptophysin expression, and hippocampal apoptosis. Treatment with baicalin (20 and 40 mg/kg) significantly reversed all of these changes. Baicalin modulated the levels or activity of malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase and prevented apoptotic protease-activating factor-1 expression, effectively suppressing caspase-mediated apoptosis signalling cascades. Our results demonstrate that baicalin has potent antidepressant activity, likely because of its ability to suppress apoptosis.