Hypericum perforatum is considered an effective alternative to the synthetic antidepressants in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. Recently, we showed that the effects on neurotransmitter contents in different brain regions of laboratory animals are more evident after administration of hypericum extracts containing a higher concentration of flavonoids, thus suggesting that these compounds are important in the antidepressant action of hypericum perforatum. We studied the effects of Ph-50, a hypericum extract standardized to flavonoids (50%) and containing 0.3% hypericin and 4.5% hyperforin on brain serotonin content, norepinephrine and dopamine by a high-performance liquid chromatography method in discrete brain areas (cortex, diencephalon and brainstem) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Moreover, we evaluated the effects of Ph-50 alone or in association with sulpiride (a dopamine receptor antagonist), metergoline (a serotonin receptor antagonist) and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OH-DA, destroying norepinephrine-containing neurons) using a forced-swimming test in the rat. Hypericum extract (Ph-50; 250-500 mg/kg) with acute oral administration enhanced serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine content in the brain and reduced the immobility time of rats in the forced-swimming test. Sulpiride, metergoline and 6-OH-DA significantly increased the period of immobility in the forced-swimming test for the rats receiving hypericum extract (Ph-50). The results indicate that the neurotransmitters studied could be involved in the anti-immobility effects of hypericum, and suggest that its antidepressant action is probably mediated by serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic system activation.

Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine involvement in the antidepressant action of hypericum perforatum

CALAPAI, Gioacchino;SQUADRITO, Francesco;CAPUTI, Achille
2001

Abstract

Hypericum perforatum is considered an effective alternative to the synthetic antidepressants in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. Recently, we showed that the effects on neurotransmitter contents in different brain regions of laboratory animals are more evident after administration of hypericum extracts containing a higher concentration of flavonoids, thus suggesting that these compounds are important in the antidepressant action of hypericum perforatum. We studied the effects of Ph-50, a hypericum extract standardized to flavonoids (50%) and containing 0.3% hypericin and 4.5% hyperforin on brain serotonin content, norepinephrine and dopamine by a high-performance liquid chromatography method in discrete brain areas (cortex, diencephalon and brainstem) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Moreover, we evaluated the effects of Ph-50 alone or in association with sulpiride (a dopamine receptor antagonist), metergoline (a serotonin receptor antagonist) and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OH-DA, destroying norepinephrine-containing neurons) using a forced-swimming test in the rat. Hypericum extract (Ph-50; 250-500 mg/kg) with acute oral administration enhanced serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine content in the brain and reduced the immobility time of rats in the forced-swimming test. Sulpiride, metergoline and 6-OH-DA significantly increased the period of immobility in the forced-swimming test for the rats receiving hypericum extract (Ph-50). The results indicate that the neurotransmitters studied could be involved in the anti-immobility effects of hypericum, and suggest that its antidepressant action is probably mediated by serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic system activation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/1583353
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