Planta Med 2001; 67(4): 326-330
DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-14313
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Complexation of Ginkgo biloba Extract with Phosphatidylcholine Improves Cardioprotective Activity and Increases the Plasma Antioxidant Capacity in the Rat

Marina Carini1,*, Giancarlo Aldini1 , Giuseppe Rossoni2 , Paolo Morazzoni3 , Roberto Maffei Facino1
  • 1 Istituto Chimico Farmaceutico Tossicologico, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • 2 Istituto di Scienze Farmacologiche, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • 3 Indena S.p.A. - Milan, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

May 26, 2000

August 9, 2000

Publication Date:
31 December 2001 (online)


The aim of this work was to compare in the rat the cardioprotective efficacy and the total plasma antioxidant activity of a standardised Ginkgo biloba L. extract (GB) as such (300 mg/kg/day) or complexed with phosphatidylcholine (GB-PC; 1 : 2 w/w), after a 5 days oral administration. At the end of the treatment, the total plasma antioxidant defence was determined by the TRAP and FRAP assays, and the hearts from all groups of animals subjected to moderate ischemia (flow reduction to 1 ml/min for 20 min) and reperfusion (15 ml/min for 30 min). The recovery of left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) at the end of reperfusion was 35 - 40 % of the preischemic values in both control and vehicle rats, 50.2 % in the GB group and 72.5 % in the GB-PC pre-treated animals. Creatine kinase (CK) outflow in the perfusate from the hearts of GB and GB-PC treated animals were restrained to a different extent vs. controls (by 71 % GB-PC; by 22 % GB); the rate of prostacyclin (6-keto-PGF) release was far greater in GB-PC than in GB hearts. In parallel, the GB extract significantly increased the total antioxidant plasma capacity (by 24.5 % TRAP; 27.9 % FRAP) only when complexed with phospholipids. This indicates an increased bioavailability of phenolic antioxidants when suitably embedded within a lipophilic carrier. The results of this study demonstrate that complexation of Ginkgo biloba with phospholipids induces in the rat, even after a short treatment a greater resistance of the heart to ischemia/reperfusion damage in respect to the native extract, due to an increased plasma antioxidant activity.


  • 1 Clostre F. Extrait de Ginkgo biloba (Egb 761). Etat des connaissances à l'aube de l'an 2000.  Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises. 1999;  57 (suppl. 1) 1S8-1S88
  • 2 DeFeudis F V. Ginkgo biloba (EGb761). From chemistry to the clinic. Wiesbaden; Ullstein Medical Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. 1998: 81-96
  • 3 DeFeudis F V. Ginkgo biloba (EGb761). From chemistry to the clinic. Wiesbaden; Ullstein Medical Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. 1998: 119-32
  • 4 Pietta P G, Gardana C, Mauri P L, Maffei Facino R, Carini M. Identification of flavonoid metabolites after oral administration to rats of a Ginkgo biloba extract.  Journal of Chromatography B. 1995;  673 75-80
  • 5 Pietta P G, Gardana C, Mauri P L. Identification of Ginkgo biloba flavonol metabolites after oral administration to humans.  Journal of Chromatography B. 1996;  693 249-55
  • 6 Nieder M. Pharmakokinetick der Ginkgo-Flavonole im Plasma.  Münch. Med. Wochenschr.. 1991;  133 (suppl. 1) S61--S62
  • 7 Pietta P G, Simonetti P. Dietary flavonoids and interaction with physiologic antioxidants. In: Packer L, Hiramatsu M, Yoshikawa T, editors Antioxidant Food Supplements in Human Health. San Diego (CA); Academic Press Inc. 1999: 283-308
  • 8 Merfort I, Heilmann J, Weiss M, Pietta P G, Gardana C. Radical scavenger activity of three flavonoid metabolites studied by inhibition of chemiluminescence in human PMNs.  Planta Medica. 1996;  62 289-92
  • 9 Della Loggia R, Sosa S, Tubaro A, Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E, Griffini A. Antiinflammatory activity of some Ginkgo biloba constituents and of their phospholipid-complexes.  Fitoterapia. 1996;  67 257-64
  • 10 Maffei Facino R, Carini M, Aldini G, Berti F, Rossoni G, Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P. Diet enriched with procyanidins enhances antioxidant activity and reduces myocardial post-ischaemic damage in rats.  Life Sciences. 1999;  64 627-42
  • 11 Maffei Facino R, Carini M, Aldini G, Berti F, Rossoni G. Panax ginseng administration in the rat prevents myocardial ischemia/reperfusion damage induced by hyperbaric oxygen: evidence for an antioxidant intervention.  Planta Medica. 1999;  65 614-9
  • 12 Valkonen M, Kuusi T. Spectrophotometric assay for total peroxyl radical-trapping antioxidant potential in human serum.  Journal of Lipid Research. 1997;  38 823-33
  • 13 Royall J A, Ischiropulos H. Evaluation of 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin and dihydrorhodamine 123 as fluorescent probes for intracellular H2O2 in cultured endothelial cells.  Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 1993;  302 348-55
  • 14 Benzie I FF, Strain J J. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of “antioxidant power”: the FRAP assay.  Analytical Biochemistry. 1996;  239 70-6
  • 15 Comoglio A, Tomasi A, Malandrino S, Poli G, Albano E. Scavenging effect of silipide, a new silybin-phospholipid complex, on ethanol-derived free radicals.  Biochemical Pharmacology. 1995;  50 1313-6
  • 16 Barzaghi N, Crema F, Gatti G, Pifferi G, Perucca E. Pharmacokinetic studies on IdB 1016, a silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex, in healthy human subjects.  European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. 1990;  15 333-8
  • 17 Fitzpatrick D F, Hirschfield S L, Coffey R G. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxing activity of wine and other grape products.  American Journal of Physiology. 1993;  265 H774--H778
  • 18 Godfried S L, Deckelbaum L I. Natural antioxidants and restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.  American Heart Journal. 1995;  129 203-10
  • 19 Schramm D D, Pearson D A, German J B. Endothelial cell basal PGI(2) release is stimulated by wine in vitro - One mechanism that may mediate the vasoprotective effects of wine.  Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 1997;  8 647-51
  • 20 Wade M L, Fitzpatrick D F. Nitric oxide modulates the activity of the hemoproteins prostaglanding I2 synthase and thromboxane A2 synthase.  Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 1997;  347 174-80

Prof. Dr. Marina Carini

Istituto Chimico Farmaceutico Tossicologico

Viale Abruzzi 42

20131 Milan



Fax: +39-02-29514197