Send to

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 1997 Dec;138(12):5415-26.

Ex vivo regulation of adrenal cortical cell steroid and protein synthesis, in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation, by the Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 and isolated ginkgolide B.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 20007, USA.


We previously demonstrated that repeated treatment of rats with the standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves, EGb 761, and its bioactive component ginkgolide B (GKB), specifically reduces the ligand binding, and protein and messenger RNA expression of the adrenal mitochondrial peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR), a key element in the regulation of cholesterol transport, resulting in decreased circulating corticosterone levels. Adrenocortical cells were isolated from rats treated with EGb 761 or GKB and cultured for 2 and 12 days. The effect of ACTH on normal and metabolically labeled cells was examined. Corticosterone levels were measured by RIA, and protein synthesis was analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Ex vivo treatment with EGb 761 and GKB resulted, respectively, in 50% and 80% reductions of ACTH-stimulated corticosterone production by adrenocortical cells cultured for 2 days compared with that by cells isolated from saline-treated rats. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that in cells from both control and drug-treated animals, ACTH induced the synthesis, at the same level, of a 29-kDa and pI 6.4-6.7 protein identified as the adrenal steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR). In addition, treatment with EGb 761 and GKB specifically altered the synthesis of seven proteins, including inhibition of synthesis of a 17-kDa, identified as PBR. After 12 days in culture, ACTH-stimulated adrenocortical cell steroid synthesis was maintained, and it was identical among the cells isolated from animals treated with GKB or saline. Under the same conditions, the expression of PBR was recovered, whereas no effect of ACTH on the 29-kDa and 6.4-6.7 pI protein (StAR) or other protein synthesis could be seen. A comparative analysis of the effects of GKB and EGb 761 on adrenocortical steroidogenesis and protein synthesis identified, in addition to the 17-kDa PBR, target proteins of 32 kDa (pI 6.7) and 40 kDa (pI 5.7-6.0) as potential mediators of the effect of EGb 761 and GKB on ACTH-stimulated glucocorticoid synthesis. In conclusion, these results 1) validate and extend our previous in vivo findings on the effect of EGb 761 and GKB on ACTH-stimulated adrenocortical steroidogenesis, 2) demonstrate the specificity and reversibility of EGb 761 and GKB treatment, 3) question the role of the 29-kDa, 6.4-6.7 pI protein (mature StAR) as the sole mediator of ACTH-stimulated steroid production, and 4) demonstrate the obligatory role of PBR in hormone-regulated steroidogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center