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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of an extract of Ginkgo biloba on the 3',5'-cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase activity of the brain of normal and triethyltin-intoxicated rats.

For clarification of the beneficial effects of the extract of Ginkgo biloba (EGB) on triethyltin (TET) toxicity in rats, the phosphodiesterase (PDE) activities of the cerebral tissue were measured under in vitro and ex vivo conditions. Under in vitro conditions, low concentrations of EGB (0.25-4.0 mg/L) activated the enzyme, whereas after higher concentrations (5-250 mg/L), dose-dependent inhibition of the enzyme activity was observed. In the lower concentration range, the extract also partially restored the high-affinity PDE activity (measured with 0.25 microM cyclic AMP) of the particulate fraction of the brain inhibited by TET in vitro. In contrast, the inhibitory influence of TET on the low-affinity PDE activity (measured with 50 microM cyclic AMP) of the particulate fraction was enhanced by the extract. Although treatment with a single large dose of EGB lowered the particulate PDE activities of the brain of normal rats, no effects of the extract could be detected in animals after repeated daily administrations of EGB during a 4-day period. Curative treatment of the TET-intoxicated rats with EGB during a 7-day period accelerated the recovery of the edematous state of the white matter caused by the intoxication and also normalized the lowered PDE activity of the particulate fraction of the edematous brain tissue. Furthermore, when preventively administered, EGB counteracted both the edema formation and the fall in PDE activity observed with treatment by TET alone. These observations strongly suggest that some beneficial effects of EGB might be due to its modulating influences on cellular cyclic AMP levels via activation of membrane-bound PDE.[1]


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