Dopamine, Prolactin and Ginkgo Biloba

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ratsAs we have been pointing out for years, dopamine and prolactin (which we think of as the "gas" and the "brakes") play key roles in sexual behavior. New research confirms prior findings in this regard. Gingko biloba enhances male copulatory behavior. The dopamine (reward) circuitry is affected; prolactin levels drop.

Ginkgo biloba extract enhances male copulatory behavior and reduces serum prolactin levels in rats

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on male copulatory behavior in rats. EGb 761 (1 mg/ml) induced significant production of testosterone (T) in rat Leydig cells in vitro. Its effects on sexual behavior were then tested in Long-Evans male rats after 7, 14, 21, or 28 days of oral gavage of vehicle (distilled water) or EGb 761 at doses of 10, 50, or 100 mg/kg. Administration of 50 mg/kg of EGb 761 for 28 days and of 100 mg/kg for 14 or 21 days significantly increased intromission frequency compared to controls on the same day. An increase in ejaculation frequency was seen after treatment with 50 mg/kg of EGb 761 for 14, 21, or 28 days when compared to either the control group on the same day or the same group on day 0. A reduction in ejaculation latency was only seen after administration of 50 mg/kg of EGb 761 for 14 days compared to the vehicle-treated group. After treatment for 28 days, no significant difference was seen in mount latency, intromission latency, serum T levels, reproductive organ weight, sperm number, or levels of the metabolite of dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the brain with any dose of EGb 761, but significantly reduced serum prolactin levels and increased dopamine levels in the medial preoptic area and arcuate nucleus were seen at the dose of 50 mg/kg. These findings show that EGb 761 (especially at the dose of 50 mg/kg) enhances the copulatory behavior of male rats and suggest that the dopaminergic system, which regulates prolactin secretion, may be involved in the facilitatory effect of EGb 761.

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
Yeh KY, Pu HF, Kaphle K, Lin SF, Wu LS, Lin JH, Tsai YF.

Horm Behav. 2008 Jan;53(1):225-31. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Actual abstract