Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 and Wisconsin ginseng delay sarcopenia in Caenorhabditis elegans

Kenneth J. Curry, University of Southern Mississippi
Zhixin Wu, University of Southern Mississippi


Previously we reported that the standardized Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 extended life span and increased stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, pharmacological modulation of age-dependent muscle degeneration, or sarcopenia, was determined. Transgenic C. elegans strain (PD4251) expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-MYO-3, localized in body wall muscles and vulval muscle nuclei, were fed with EGb 761 or Wisconsin Ginseng, and muscle integrity was analyzed by quantification of GFP fluorescence. Both EGb 761 and Wisconsin Ginseng significantly delayed sarcopenia. Ginseng was more effective in worms of more advanced age, which is consistent with the ultrastructural changes observed by transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, both agents ameliorated age-associated decline of locomotive behaviors including locomotion, body bend, and pharyngeal pumping. These results suggest that pharmacological extension of life span is a consequence of maintaining functional capacity of the tissue, and that C. elegans is a valid model system for testing therapeutic intervention for delaying the progress of sarcopenia.