Evidence that gingko biloba extract does not inhibit MAO A and B in living human brain.


Fowler JS, Wang GJ, Volkow ND, Logan J, Franceschi D, Franceschi M, et al




Life Sci


Extracts of Ginkgo biloba have been reported to reversibly inhibit both monoamine oxidase (MAO) A and B in rat brain in vitro leading to speculation that MAO inhibition may contribute to some of its central nervous system effects. Here we have used positron emission tomography (PET) to measure the effects of Ginkgo biloba on human brain MAO A and B in 10 subjects treated for 1 month with 120 mg/day of the Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761, using [11C]clorgyline and [11C]L-deprenyl-D2 to measure MAO A and B respectively. A three-compartment model was used to calculate the plasma to brain transfer constant K1 which is related to blood flow, and lambdak3, a model term which is a function of the concentration of catalytically active MAO molecules. Ginkgo biloba administration did not produce significant changes in brain MAO A or MAO B suggesting that mechanisms other than MAO inhibition need to be considered as mediating some of its CNS effects.