This minireview will briefly outline the basic knowledge concerning the provenance, biological active constituents of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, L.) and its general health effects. Ginkgo has been shown to affect female reproductive functions: it can affect ovarian folliculo- and oogenesis, embryogenesis, promote ovarian granulosa cell apoptosis, reduce their proliferation and the release of ovarian hormones. Usually, ginkgo extract mainly suppresses, but its constituents like amifostine, leuprorelin, quercetin and kaempherol can promote ovarian functions. This may indicate the existence of anti-reproductive ginkgo constituent(s), such as ginkgolide B and allopregnenolone which, like ginkgo extract, can promote ovarian cell apoptosis and suppress ovarian follicullogenesis and oogenesis. Ginkgo effects could be mediated by an action on brain functions, ovarian steroidogenesis, oxidative processes, intracellular regulators of ovarian cell proliferation and apoptosis and GABA receptors. Ginkgo and its molecules, ginkgolide B and allopregnenolone can be useful for prevention and treatment of reproduction-related disorders like ovarian cancer, ovarian ischemia and menopausal syndrome. On the other hand, its constituents amifostine, leuprorelin, quercetin and kaempherol could be potentially applicable as biostimulators of female reproductive processes in human and veterinary medicine and animal production. Nevertheless, application of ginkgo is still limited by insufficient or contradictory knowledge concerning its active constituents, characters, targets and mediators of its action and their functional interrelationships. Impact of ginkgo action on reproductive organs other than ovaries remains largely unknown. Addressing these issues with proper animal and clinical studies could help to understand the distinct efficacy and consequences of medical application of ginkgo.
Keywords: Fecundity; Follicullogenesis; Ginkgo; Hormone; Ovary.
Copyright © 2021 Society for Biology of Reproduction & the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.