Anti-inflammatory and PPAR transactivational effects of components from the stem bark of Ginkgo biloba

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Mar 21;60(11):2815-24. doi: 10.1021/jf204768d. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


Ginkgo biloba, which is considered a "living fossil", has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Currently, extracts of G. biloba are some of the most widely used herbal products and/or dietary supplements in the world. In this study, three new compounds, (2E,4E,1'R,3'S,5'R,8'S)-dihydrophaseic acid 3'-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (1), 7,8-dihydro-(R)-7-methoxyconiferyl alcohol (2), and (8S)-3-methoxy-8,4'-oxyneolignan-4,9,9'-triol 3'-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (3), and 13 known compounds (4-16) were isolated from the stem bark of G. biloba. Their structures were determined by extensive spectroscopic methods, including 1D and 2D NMR, MS, and circular dichroism spectra. Four of the compounds (1, 2, 7, and 10) inhibited TNFα-induced NF-κB transcriptional activity significantly in HepG2 cells in a dose-dependent manner, with IC₅₀ values ranging from 6.9 to 9.1 μM. Furthermore, the transcriptional inhibitory function of these compounds was confirmed based on decreases in COX-2 and iNOS gene expression in HepG2 cells. Compounds 1-5, 7, 9, 10, and 12-14 significantly activated the transcriptional activity of PPARs in a dose-dependent manner, with EC₅₀ values ranging from 0.7 to 12.8 μM. Compounds 2, 3, and 12 exhibited dose-dependent PPARα transactivational activity, with EC₅₀ values of 7.0, 3.3, and 10.1 μM, respectively. Compounds 1-3 activated PPARγ transcriptional activity, with EC₅₀ values of 11.9, 11.0, and 15.3 μM, whereas compounds 1 and 3 promoted the transactivational activity of PPARβ(δ) with EC₅₀ values of 10.7 and 11.2 μM, respectively. These results provide a scientific support for the use of G. biloba stem bark for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Moreover, these data provide the rationale for further studies of the potential of G. biloba stem bark in functional foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Ginkgo biloba / chemistry*
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / immunology
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / genetics*
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / immunology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Stems / chemistry*
  • Transcriptional Activation / drug effects*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II