Effect of an extract of Ginkgo biloba on rat brain energy metabolism in hypoxia

  • L. Karcher
  • P. Zagermann
  • J. Krieglstein


The purpose of the present investigation was to determine brain energy metabolism under hypoxic conditions as influenced by an extract of Ginkgo biloba (EGB). Male Sprague-Dawley rats treated with EGB were exposed to hypobaric or hypoxic hypoxia, and at various time points during or after hypoxia the levels of high-energy phosphates and some substrates of glycolysis were measured in brain cortical tissue. Rats treated with EGB (100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) survived hypobaric hypoxia for a much longer period than controls (e.g. controls: 3.9±1.8 min, EGB-treated: 23.6±10.5 min). The brain glucose level was elevated by EGB in most experimental series, and the lactate concentration was slightly lower than in control brains. The lowering of lactate/pyruvate ratio was due to the decreased level of lactate and to the enhanced concentration of pyruvate as well. When hypoxia was sufficiently severe the breakdown of high-energy phosphates was less pronounced in EGB-treated animals. After oral application of EGB for 14 days the rats survived hypobaric hypoxia for 25.7± 2.5 min whereas controls survived for 11.5±5.1 min. However, brain energy metabolism was not significantly influenced by this oral treatment. It is suggested that changes in brain energy metabolism and blood flow may contribute to the protective effect of EGB against hypoxia.

Key words

Hypoxia Brain Energy metabolism Ginkgo biloba 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Atkinson DE (1968) The energy charge of the adenylate pool as a regulatory parameter. Interaction with feedback modifiers. Biochemistry 7:4030–4034Google Scholar
  2. Bergmeyer HU (1970) Methoden der enzymatischen Analyse, 2. Auflage. Verlag Chemie, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  3. Chatterjee SS, Gabard B (1981) Protective effect of an extract of Ginkgo biloba and other hydroxyl radical scavengers against hypoxia. Eighth International Congress of Pharmacology, Tokyo, Abstract 866Google Scholar
  4. Chatterjee SS, Gabard B (1982a) Protection of doxorubicin toxicity of an extract of Ginkgo biloba. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol 319:R15Google Scholar
  5. Chatterjee SS, Gabard B (1982b) Studies on the mechanism of action of an extract of Ginkgo biloba, a drug for treatment of ischemic vascular diseases. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's ARch Pharmacol 320:R 52Google Scholar
  6. Clauss G, Ebner H (1972) Grundlagen der Statistik. Verlag Harri Deutsch, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
  7. Folbergrova J, Pontén U, Siesjö BK (1974) Pattern of changes in brain carbohydrate metabolites, amino acids and organic phosphates at increased carbon dioxide tensions. J Neurochem 22:1115–1125Google Scholar
  8. Fridovich I (1979) Hypoxia and oxygen toxicity. Adv Neurol 26:255–266Google Scholar
  9. Gabard B, Chatterjee SS (1980) Cerebral edema induced by triethyltin in the rat: Effects of an extract of Ginkgo biloba. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol 311:R 68Google Scholar
  10. Heiss WD, Zeiler K (1978) Medikamentöse Beeinflussung der Hirndurchblutung. Pharmakotherapie 1:137–144Google Scholar
  11. Nakanishi M, Yosuda H, Tsumagari T (1973) Protective effect of anti-anxiety drugs against hypoxia. Life Sci 13:467–474Google Scholar
  12. Nowicki JP, MacKenzie ET, Spinnewyn B (1982) Effects of agents used in the pharmacotherapy of cerebrovascular disease on the oxygen consumption of isolated cerebral mitochondria. J Cereb Blood Flow Metabol 2:33–40Google Scholar
  13. Poncin Lafitte MC, Rapin J, Rapin JR (1980) Effects of Ginkgo biloba on changes induced by quantitative cerebral microembolization in rats. Arch Int Pharmacodyn 243:236–244Google Scholar
  14. Pontén U, Ratcheson RA, Salford LG, Siesjö BK (1973) Optimal freezing conditions for cerebral metabolites in rats. J Neurochem 21:1127–1138Google Scholar
  15. Siesjö BK, Folbergrova J, MacMillan V (1972) The effect of hypercapnia upon intracellular pH in the brain, evaluated by the bicarbonate carbonic acid method and from the creatine phosphokinase equilibrium. J Neurochem 19:2483–2495Google Scholar
  16. Weinges K, Bähr W, Kloss P (1968) Übersicht über die Inhaltsstoffe aus den Blättern des Ginkgo-Baumes (Ginkgo biloba L.). Arzneimittel-Forsch 18:537–539Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Karcher
    • 1
  • P. Zagermann
    • 1
  • J. Krieglstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Pharmakologie und ToxikologieFachbereich Pharmazie und Lebensmittelchemie der Philipps-UniversitätMarburgFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations