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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2006, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (2): 181-184.doi: 10.3736/jcim20060214

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Protective effects of ginkgo leaf extracts on neurons in spinal cord after ischemia-reperfusion injury in rabbits

Li-hong Fan, Kun-zheng Wang, Bin Cheng   

  1. Department of Orthopedics, Second Hospital, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province 710004, China
  • Online:2006-03-20 Published:2006-03-15


To observe the protective effects of ginkgo leaf extracts on spinal cord after ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury in rabbits and to find out its possible mechanism.


Twenty-seven New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into three groups, which were sham-operation group, untreated group and ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group. The locomotor scores of hindlimbs in rabbits after 24 and 48 h of reperfusion were evaluated, and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the content of malondialdehyde (MDA) in ischemia spinal cord were examined. The apoptotic index (AI) of neurons in spinal cord was detected by terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) method. The expressions of Bcl-2 and Bax proteins were examined by streptavidin-biotin peroxidase method.


The locomotor scores of hindlimbs in rabbits after 24 and 48 h of reperfusion in the ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group were obviously elevated as compared with those in the untreated group (P<0.05). The activity of SOD was higher and the level of MDA was lower in ischemia spinal cord in the ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group than those in the untreated group (P<0.01). The decreased neuron AI and the expressions of up-regulated Bcl-2 protein and down-regulated Bax protein were also observed in the ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group. 


The protective effects of the ginkgo leaf extracts against spinal cord injury induced by IR may be related to scavenging oxygen free radicals, reducing lipid peroxidation injury and inhibiting apoptosis.

Key words: Ginkgo leaf extracts, Reperfusion injury, Apoptosis, Spinal cord, Lipid peroxidation

CLC Number: 

  • R286.1

Table 1

Locomotor scores of hindlimbs in rabbits after 24 and 48 h of reperfusion in ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group and untreated group"

GroupnNumber of rabbits with different scoreMean score (?x±s)
Ginkgo leaf extracts-treated
After 24 h of reperfusion90003603.67±0.50
After 48 h of reperfusion90013503.44±0.72
After 24 h of reperfusion90025203.00±0.71*
After 48 h of reperfusion90134102.56±0.88*

Table 2

Activity of SOD and content of MDA in ischemia spinal cord in rabbits after 48 h of reperfusion in three groups (ヌ±S)"

GroupnSOD (kU/g)MDA (μmol/g)
Ginkgo leaf extracts-treated93.29±0.42**1.31±0.20**

Table 3

AI and expressions of Bcl-2 and Bax proteins in ischemia spinal cord in rabbits after 48 h of reperfusion in three groups ?ヌ±S, %)"

Ginkgo leaf extracts-treated93.83±1.22**10.78±1.35**9.15±2.63**

Figure 1

Neuron apoptosis in ischemia spinal cord in rabbits after 48 h of reperfusion in three groupsA: Sham-operation group; B: Untreated group; C: Ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group."

Figure 2

Bax protein expression in ischemia spinal cord in rabbits after 48 h of reperfusionA: Untreated group; B: Ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group."

Figure 3

Bcl-2 protein expression in ischemia spinal cord in rabbits after 48 h of reperfusion A: Untreated group; B: Ginkgo leaf extracts-treated group."

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