Extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves reverses yohimbine-induced spatial working memory deficit in rats

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Extract of Ginkgo biloba is used to alleviate age-related decline in cognitive function, which may be associated with the loss of catecholamines in the prefrontal cortex. The purpose of this study was to verify whether α-2 adrenergic activity is involved in the facilitative effects of extract of Ginkgo biloba on prefrontal cognitive function. Male Wistar rats were trained to reach criterion in the delayed alternation task (0, 25, and 50-s delay intervals). A pilot study found that 3 or 4 mg/kg of yohimbine (intraperitoneal) reduced the choice accuracy of the delayed alternation task in a dose and delay-dependent manner, without influencing motor ability or perseverative behaviour. Acute oral pre-treatment with doses of 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg (but not 25 mg/kg) of extract of Ginkgo biloba prevented the reduction in choice accuracy induced by 4 mg/kg yohimbine. These data suggest that the prefrontal cognition-enhancing effects of extract of Ginkgo biloba are related to its actions on α-2-adrenoceptors.

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