Ginkgo biloba treatment might increase the survival of cortical neurons. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Protective effects of chronic treatment with a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba L. in the prefrontal cortex and dorsal hippocampus of middle-aged rats.
Behav Brain Res. 2016 Jul 13. Epub 2016 Jul 13. PMID: 27424157
Marcelo L Ribeiro
This study assessed the effects of chronic treatment with a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba L (EGb) on short-term and long-term memory as well as on anxiety-like and locomotor activity using the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (PM-DAT). Additionally, we evaluated the antioxidant and neuroprotective effects of EGb on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dorsal hippocampus (DH) of middle-aged rats using the comet assay. Twelve-month-old male Wistar rats were administered vehicle or EGb (0.5mg.kg(-1) or 1.0g.kg(-1)) for 30 days. Behavioural data showed that EGb treatment improved short-term memory. Neither an anti-anxiety effect nor a change in locomotor activity was observed. Twenty-four hours after the behavioural tests, the rats were decapitated, and the PFC and DH were quickly dissected out and prepared for the comet assay. The levels of DNA damage in the PFC were significantly lower in rats that were treated with 1.0g.kg(-1) EGb. Both doses of EGb decreased H2O2-induced DNA breakage in cortical cells, whereas the levels of DNA damage in the EGb-treated animals were significantly lower than those in the control animals. No significant differences in the level of DNA damage in hippocampal cells were observed among the experimental groups. EGb treatment was not able to reduce H2O2-induced DNA damage in hippocampal cells. Altogether, our data provide the first demonstration that chronic EGb treatment improved the short-term memory of middle-aged rats, an effect that could be associated with a reduction in free radical production in the PFC. These data suggest that EGb treatment might increase the survival of cortical neurons and corroborate and extend the view that EGb has protective and therapeutic properties.