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J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;18(4):787-98. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2009-1189.

Stimulation of neurogenesis and synaptogenesis by bilobalide and quercetin via common final pathway in hippocampal neurons.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Loss of synapses has been correlated with dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD) as an early event during the disease progression. Hence, synaptogenesis and neurogenesis in adulthood could serve as a therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of AD. Recently, we have demonstrated enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis by oral administration of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) to a mouse model of AD. This study aims to identify the constituents that contribute to EGb 761-induced neurogenesis. Among the constituents tested, bilobalide and quercetin significantly increased cell proliferation in the hippocampal neurons in a dose-dependent manner. Bilobalide and quercetin also enhanced phosphorylation of cyclic-AMP Response Element Binding Protein (CREB) in these cells, and elevated the levels of pCREB and, brain-derived neurotrophic factor in mice brain. Immunofluorescence staining of synaptic markers shows remarkable dendritic processes in hippocampal neurons treated with either quercetin or bilobalide. Furthermore, both constituents restored amyloid-beta oligomers (also known as ADDL)-induced synaptic loss and phosphorylation of CREB. The present findings suggest that enhanced neurogenesis and synaptogenesis by bilobalide and quercetin may share a common final signaling pathway mediated by phosphorylation of CREB. Despite a recent report showing that EGb 761 was insufficient in prevent dementia, its constituents still warrant future investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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