Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 493–501 | Cite as

Effects of standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves EGb761 on mitochondrial functions: mechanism(s) of action and dependence on the source of mitochondria and respiratory substrate

  • Giedre Baliutyte
  • Sonata Trumbeckaite
  • Rasa Baniene
  • Vilmante Borutaite
  • Adolfas Toleikis


In this work, the effects of standardized dry extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves, EGb761, on the respiration of rat heart and liver mitochondria were investigated. We revealed uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation in rat heart mitochondria by EGb761 which was not observed in liver mitochondria respiring on pyruvate + malate; oxidation of succinate in heart mitochondria was inhibited by EGb761, concentration-dependently, almost completely at 1.00 mg/mL. Uncoupling effect of EGb761 was found to be due to increase in H+ and K+ permeability of inner membrane of mitochondria which is most likely to be mediated by the ATP/ADP-translocator and uncoupling proteins. EGb761 depressed State 3 respiration with pyruvate + malate (similarly in heart and liver mitochondria) and succinate (stronger than with pyruvate + malate) but not respiratory chain Complex IV; inhibition of respiration was not restored by uncoupler indicating the inhibitory action of EGb761 on the respiratory complexes preceding to Complex IV and/or on the substrate transport. Moreover, EGb761 rapidly reduced pure cytochrome c. This property of EGb761 together with the observed uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation and reduction of H2O2 accumulation may be beneficial for the cell in the prevention of apoptosis and protection of cellular functions in pathological situations.


Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 Rat heart and liver mitochondria respiration Permeabilized rat heart fibers Uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation 



Adenine nucleotide translocase




Carbonylcyanide p-chloromethoxyphenylhydrazone


Cytochrome c oxidase


Guanosine 5’- triphosphate


Outer mitochondrial membrane


4-Morpholineethanesulfonic acid


Reactive oxygen species


Uncoupling protein




Voltage dependent anion chanel


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giedre Baliutyte
    • 1
  • Sonata Trumbeckaite
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rasa Baniene
    • 1
    • 3
  • Vilmante Borutaite
    • 1
  • Adolfas Toleikis
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroscience InstituteLithuanian University of Health SciencesKaunasLithuania
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical AcademyLithuanian University of Health SciencesKaunasLithuania
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Medical AcademyLithuanian University of Health SciencesKaunasLithuania

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