We have examined how a Ginkgo biloba extract influences the damaging effects of ischaemia in the small-intestinal mucosa. We used a rat experimental model in which a ligated loop of the distal ileum was subjected to ischaemia and revascularization, and the ensuing mucosal damage assessed by lysosomal enzyme release and intestinal permeability measurements. We also determined the mucosal content of malondialdehyde, a lipid peroxidation product, and the mucosal activity of myeloperoxidase, a neutrophil granulocyte marker. Ischaemia and revascularization alone caused increased mucosal permeability to sodium fluorescein, increased N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase release from the mucosa into the lumen, increased malondialdehyde content in the mucosa, and increased myeloperoxidase activity in the mucosa. Intravenous injection of G. biloba extract caused a dose-dependent attenuation of all these effects of ischaemia. It is suggested, therefore, that G. biloba extract may protect the intestinal mucosa against ischaemic damage by reducing neutrophil infiltration and lipid peroxidation.