The Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) provides a neuroprotective effect on retinal ganglion cells in a rat model of chronic glaucoma

Curr Eye Res. 2004 Mar;28(3):153-7. doi: 10.1076/ceyr.


Purpose: To investigate the effect of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) against neurotoxicity of retinal ganglion cells of rats with chronic moderately elevated intraocular pressure (IOP).

Methods: Unilateral chronic moderately elevated IOP was produced in rats by cautery of three episcleral vessels. Secondary degeneration was measured with and without EGb 761 for 5 months. At 5 months, retinal ganglion cells were labeled with a fast blue tracer applied to both superior colliculi. Densities of surviving retinal ganglion cells were estimated by counting fast blue labeled cells in whole mounted retinas.

Results: When compared with their contralateral control eyes with normal IOP, in the peripheral retina, retinal ganglion cell loss in eyes with chronic, moderately elevated IOP was 29.8 +/- 1.5% (n=5) at 5 months in untreated animals and 4.6 +/- 4.5% (n=5) at 5 months in treated animals with EGb 761.

Conclusions: Pretreatment and early posttreatment with EGb 761 is an effective neuroprotectant in a rat model of chronic glaucoma.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Ginkgo biloba / chemistry
  • Glaucoma / pathology
  • Glaucoma / prevention & control*
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Ocular Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ginkgo biloba extract