Folia Medica 63(2): 203-212, doi: 10.3897/folmed.63.e53060
An experimental study on phytochemical composition and memory enhancing effect of Ginkgo biloba seed extract
expand article infoTeodora Tomova, Nina Doncheva, Anita Mihaylova, Ilia Kostadinov, Lyudmil Peychev, Mariana Argirova
‡ Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Open Access

Introduction: The Ginkgo biloba L. tree is considered as one of the oldest species on Earth. It is known as a “living fossil” dating back approximately 200 million years. Both the leaves and seeds of this tree have been used for millennia in traditional Chinese medicine.

Aim: To study the phytochemical profile of Gingko biloba seed extract (GBSE) and its memory enhancing effects.

Materials and methods: Liquid chromatography with mass detection (LC-MS) was performed for phytochemical analyses of the extracts. For the in vivo experiments, male Wistar rats were divided randomly into 5 groups (n=8): saline; piracetam;  GBSE 50; 100, and 200 mg/kg b.w. Y-maze, T-maze, step-down passive avoidance and novel object recognition test (NORT) were performed. The observed parameters were: percentage of spontaneous alternations (% SA), working memory index, latency of reaction and recognition index, respectively. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 19.

Results: LC-MS analysis showed the presence of the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin (as aglycones), the ginkgolides A, B, C, J, and bilobalide. In Y-maze task, the groups treated with 50 and 100 mg/kg of GBSE significantly increased the % SA during the memory test compared to saline (p<0.05). In T-maze test, the three experimental groups with GBSE significantly increased the working memory index in comparison with that of the control group (p<0.05). In step-down test, the animals receiving 100 mg/kg b.w. GBSE, notably increased the latency during both retention tests (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). In NORT, only the animals with the middle dose of GBSE ameliorated the recognition index when compared to saline (p<0.05).

Conclusions: GBSE enhances spatial working memory, recognition memory, and short- and long-term recall in naïve rats due to the synergic effects of detected flavonoids and terpene lactones on brain functions. The brain structures involved are probably the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

flavonoids, memory, phytopreparation, terpene lactones