Anatomical Science International

, Volume 88, Issue 4, pp 217–222 | Cite as

The effect of Ginkgo biloba extract on scopolamine-induced apoptosis in the hippocampus of rats

  • M. JahanshahiEmail author
  • E. G. Nickmahzar
  • F. Babakordi
Original Article


Apoptosis, known as programmed cell death, plays a crucial role in normal development and tissue homeostasis. Apoptosis is also involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Amnesia refers to the loss of memory and can also be a warning sign of neurodegenerative diseases. The antioxidant properties of Ginkgo biloba extract was known previously. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on the rat’s hippocampal apoptotic neurons number after Scopolamine based amnesia. Thirty-six adult male Wistar rats were used. Rats were randomly divided into control, sham, protective and treatment groups. The rats in the sham group received only scopolamine hydrobromide (3 mg/kg) intraperitoneally. The rats in the protective and treatment groups received Ginkgo biloba extract (40, 80 mg/kg) for 7 days intraperitoneally before/after scopolamine injection. Then 48 h after the last injection, the brains of rats were withdrawn and fixed with paraformaldehyde, and then, after histological processing, the slices were stained with the TUNEL kit for apoptotic neurons. Data were compared by the ANOVA Post Hoc Tukey test; P < 0.05 was considered significant. Our results showed that Scopolamine (in the sham group) increased significantly the number of apoptotic neurons in all areas of the hippocampus compared with the control. Whereas, Ginkgo biloba extract reduce the neuronal apoptosis in the hippocampus before and/or after encounter with scopolamine. We concluded that pretreatment and treatment injection of Ginkgo biloba extract can have a protective effect for neurons and it can limit apoptosis in all area of the hippocampus.


Apoptosis Scopolamine Ginkgo biloba extract Hippocampus Rat 



The authors would like to thank the Neuroscience Research Center for behavioral and histological experiments. We are also thankful for financial support of research affaisr of Golestan University of medical sciences. The authors would like to thank the NIAC Pharmaceutical Factory, Gorgan, Iran and Dr. Homan Bayat for donation of Gingko extract to the Neuroscience Research Center.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Anatomists 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Jahanshahi
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. G. Nickmahzar
    • 2
  • F. Babakordi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Neuroscience Research CenterGolestan University of Medical SciencesGorganIran
  2. 2.Neuroscience Research CenterGolestan University of Medical SciencesGorganIran

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