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Life Sci. 2000 Jun 30;67(6):709-15.

Bilobalide prevents reduction of gamma-aminobutyric acid levels and glutamic acid decarboxylase activity induced by 4-O-methylpyridoxine in mouse hippocampus.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, South 1, West 17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-8556, Japan.


We previously reported that bilobalide, a constituent of Ginkgo biloba L. leaves, protected mice against convulsions induced by 4-O-methylpyridoxine (MPN). To elucidate the mechanism of the anticonvulsant activity of bilobalide, this study examined the effect of bilobalide on MPN-induced changes in the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate, and in the activity of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex and striatum of the mouse. GABA levels and GAD activity in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex were significantly enhanced by bilobalide treatment (30 mg/kg, p.o., for 4 days) alone. MPN significantly decreased GABA levels and GAD activity in the three brain regions tested compared with those in the control. Pretreatment with bilobalide effectively suppressed the MPN-induced reduction in GABA levels and GAD activity in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. On the other hand, there were no significant differences in the glutamate levels in the three regions despite various treatments. These results suggested that bilobalide prevents MPN-induced reduction in GABA levels through potentiation by bilobalide of GAD activity, and this effect of bilobalide contributes to its anticonvulsant effect against MPN-induced convulsions.

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