Author(s): Chatterjee SS, Bhattacharya SK, Wonnemann M, Singer A, Mller WE, Chatterjee SS, Bhattacharya SK, Wonnemann M, Singer A, Mller WE
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Abstract We demonstrate that the phloroglucinol derivative hyperforin is not only the major lipophilic chemical constituent of the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) but also a potent uptake inhibitor of serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA), GABA and L-Glutamate with IC50 values of about 0.05-0.10 microg/ml (5-HT, NA, DA, GABA) and about 0.5 microg/ml (L-glutamate) in synaptosomal preparations. Furthermore, potencies of two different hypericum extracts in two conventional pharmacological paradigms useful for the detection of antidepressants (behavioral despair, learned helplessness), closely correlate with their hyperforin contents. In addition, most till now known neuropharmacological properties of the clinically used hypericum extracts can also be demonstrated with pure hyperforin. It appears, therefore, that this non-nitrogenous constituent is a possible major active principle responsible for the observed clinical efficacies of the extract as an antidepressant and that it could also be a starting point for drug discovery projects engaged in the search of psychoactive drugs with novel mode of action.
This article was published in Life Sci
and referenced in Evidence based Medicine and Practice