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Life Sci. 1999;65(2):157-64.

Involvement of monoamine oxidase inhibition in neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects of Ginkgo biloba extract against MPTP-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic toxicity in C57 mice.

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Department of pharmacology, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


The present study investigated the neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) and its two components ginkgolides A (BN52020) and B (BN52021) in mice. 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) (30 mg/kg/d i.p. for six days) significantly reduced striatal dopamine (DA) levels in C57 mice measured by high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-EC). When C57 mice were pretreated with EGb 761 (20, 50, 100 mg/kg/d i.p.) for 7 days and then treated with the same extract 30 min before MPTP injection for 6 days, the neurotoxic effect of MPTP was antagonized in a dose-dependent fashion. Similar treatment with ginkgolides A and B (5, 10, 50 mg/kg/d i.p.) showed no protective effect. When C57 mice were treated with EGb 761 (50 mg/kg/d i.p.) after MPTP-lesion, the recovery of striatal dopamine (DA) levels was accelerated. However, similar treatment with ginkgolides A or B (10 mg/kg/d i.p.) did not show any effect. EGb 761, but not ginkgolides A and B, nonselectively inhibited mouse brain MAO activity in vitro (IC50 = 36.45 +/- 1.56 microg/ml) tested by an improved fluorimetric assay. The results demonstrate that EGb 761 administered before or after MPTP treatment effectively protects against MPTP-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurotoxicity and that the inhibitory effect of EGb 761 on brain MAO may be involved in its neuroprotective effect.

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