Enhanced maze performance and reduced oxidative stress by combined extracts of zingiber officinale and ginkgo biloba in the aged rat
Here we assessed the effects of i.g. administration of Zingicomb (ZC), a mixture of zingiber officinale and ginkgo biloba extracts, on learning and memory, and on indicators of oxidative stress in aged rats. Effects of ZC (1 and 10 mg/kg) were investigated in 22–24 months old Wistar rats using the Morris water maze, in which they show deficient performance as compared to 3 months old rats in the undrugged state (days 1 and 2). Treatment was administered on days 3 and 4 of training, then over 7 days with training discontinued, and again on days 5 and 6 when training was resumed. Thereafter chronic treatment was maintained over 5 months. 1 mg/kg ZC improved escape learning in the water maze. The two capital indicators of oxidative stress in brain homogenates, the amount of oxidized proteins (assessed as carbonyl group containing proteins) and lipid peroxidation, were significantly reduced in ZC treated animals. Thus, ZC, which had previously been shown to improve inhibitory avoidance learning and to have anxiolytic properties in adult animals, might also facilitate spatial learning in aged animals, and reduces indices of oxidative stress in brain tissue after chronic treatment.