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European journal of pharmacology

Bilobalide, a sesquiterpene trilactone from Ginkgo biloba, is an antagonist at recombinant alpha1beta2gamma2L GABA(A) receptors.


PMID 12600688

Abstract

The sesquiterpene trilactone bilobalide is one of the active constituents of the 50:1 Ginkgo biloba leaf extract widely used to enhance memory and learning. Bilobalide was found to antagonise the direct action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on recombinant alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2L) GABA(A) receptors. The effect of bilobalide on the direct action of GABA at alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2L) GABA(A) receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes using two-electrode voltage-clamp method was evaluated and compared with the effects of the classical GABA(A) receptor competitive antagonist bicuculline and noncompetitive antagonist picrotoxinin. Bilobalide (IC(50)=4.6+/-0.5 microM) was almost as potent as bicuculline and pictrotoxinin (IC(50)=2.0+/-0.1 and 2.4+/-0.5 microM, respectively) at alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2L) GABA(A) receptors against 40 microM GABA (GABA EC(50)). While bilobalide and picrotoxinin were clearly noncompetitive antagonists, the potency of bilobalide decreased at high GABA concentrations suggesting a component of competitive antagonism.

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