The regular extract of Ginkgo biloba has been shown to possess neuroprotective properties in disorders like hypoxia, ischemia, seizure activity and peripheral nerve damage. Also, G. biloba has received attention as a potential cognitive enhancer for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, but there is not any documentation about the effect of an extract of G. biloba on astrocytes. Therefore, the aim of this study was examined the effects of G. biloba extract on the rat's hippocampal astrocytes after scopolamine based amnesia. In this study, 36 adult male Wistar rats were used. Rats were randomly distributed into control, sham, protective and treatment groups. The rats in the sham group only received scopolamine hydrobromide (3 mg/kg) intraperitoneally. The rats in the protective and treatment groups received G. biloba extract (40, 80 mg/kg) for 7 days intraperitoneally before and after scopolamine injection. Forty eight hours after the last injection, the brains of the rats were withdrawn and fixed with paraformaldehide, and then after histological processing, the slices were stained with phosphotungstic acid-haematoxylin for astrocytes. Data were analyzed by the analysis of variance (ANOVA) post hoc Tukey test; P<0.05 was considered significant. Results showed that scopolamine can reduce the number of astrocytes in all areas of hippocampal formation compared with the control. However, G. biloba extract can compensate for the reduction in the number of astrocytes in the hippocampus before or after the encounter with scopolamine. We concluded that a pretreatment and treatment injection of G. biloba extract can have a protective effect for astrocytes in all areas of hippocampal formation.
Keywords: Ginkgo biloba extract, Hippocampus, Astrocytes, Rat