Skip to main content
Log in

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

  • Published:
Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Atkinson DE (1968) The energy charge of the adenylate pool as a regulatory parameter. Interaction with feedback modifiers. Biochemistry 7:4030–4034

    Google Scholar 

  • Bergmeyer HU (1970) Methoden der enzymatischen Analyse, 2. Auflage. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 866

  • Chatterjee SS, Gabard B (1982a) Protection of doxorubicin toxicity of an extract of Ginkgo biloba. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch Pharmacol 319:R15

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 52

    Google Scholar 

  • Clauss G, Ebner H (1972) Grundlagen der Statistik. Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 22:1115–1125

    Google Scholar 

  • Fridovich I (1979) Hypoxia and oxygen toxicity. Adv Neurol 26:255–266

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 68

    Google Scholar 

  • Heiss WD, Zeiler K (1978) Medikamentöse Beeinflussung der Hirndurchblutung. Pharmakotherapie 1:137–144

    Google Scholar 

  • Nakanishi M, Yosuda H, Tsumagari T (1973) Protective effect of anti-anxiety drugs against hypoxia. Life Sci 13:467–474

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 2:33–40

    Google Scholar 

  • Poncin Lafitte MC, Rapin J, Rapin JR (1980) Effects of Ginkgo biloba on changes induced by quantitative cerebral microembolization in rats. Arch Int Pharmacodyn 243:236–244

    Google Scholar 

  • Pontén U, Ratcheson RA, Salford LG, Siesjö BK (1973) Optimal freezing conditions for cerebral metabolites in rats. J Neurochem 21:1127–1138

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 19:2483–2495

    Google Scholar 

  • Weinges K, Bähr W, Kloss P (1968) Übersicht über die Inhaltsstoffe aus den Blättern des Ginkgo-Baumes (Ginkgo biloba L.). Arzneimittel-Forsch 18:537–539

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Karcher, L., Zagermann, P. & Krieglstein, J. Effect of an extract of Ginkgo biloba on rat brain energy metabolism in hypoxia. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch. Pharmacol. 327, 31–35 (1984).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words