What is the combined effect of intense intermittent exercise and Ginkgo biloba plant on the brain neurotrophic factors levels, and learning and memory in young rats?

Masoumeh Sadeghinejad, Zahra Soltani, Mohammad Esmaeil Afzalpour, Mohammad Khaksari, Mohammad Pourranjbar
Pharmacological Reports: PR 2019 February 12, 71 (3): 503-508

BACKGROUND: The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of intense intermittent exercise and Ginkgo biloba on the hippocampal levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) and also memory and learning in young rats.

METHODS: Forty two eight-week-old rats were randomly divided into six groups including control, low dose of Ginkgo biloba (65 mg/kg), high dose of Ginkgo biloba (100 mg/kg), exercise, exercise + low dose of Ginkgo biloba, exercise + high dose of Ginkgo biloba. The exercise protocol or Ginkgo biloba administration was six days a week for six weeks. The hippocampal levels of BDNF and NT-4 were measured by ELISA method, and learning and memory were evaluated by Morris water maze test in all groups. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.

RESULTS: Increase in hippocampal levels of BDNF and NT-4 appeared following exercise (p < 0.01). The levels do not change following exercise + Ginkgo biloba administration. However, the NT-4 level decreased in the high dose of Ginkgo biloba group (p < 0.01). Disorder in learning and memory was indicated following the use of low dose of Ginkgo biloba or exercise + low dose Ginkgo biloba administration (p < 0.001). Learning elevated in the exercise group (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Exercise in young rats may increase brain neurotrophin levels and lead to improved learning. The preventative or protective role of Ginkgo biloba against some diseases has been suggested, but its consumption in young athletes is recommended with caution.

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