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Life Sci. 2001 Feb 23;68(14):1593-605.

Adhyperforin as a contributor to the effect of Hypericum perforatum L. in biochemical models of antidepressant activity.

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The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Department of Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Copenhagen.


The present paper describe investigations which demonstrate that hyperforin is not the only phloroglucinol derivative in extracts of the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum L., which possess a biological activity. Hyperforin was the major lipophilic constituent in two different extracts, whereas the amount of adhyperforin was approximately 10 times lower. Adhyperforin, like hyperforin, is a potent inhibitor of the uptake of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline. Neither hyperforin nor adhyperforin inhibited binding of the cocaine analogue, [3H]WIN 35,428 to the dopamine transporter. However, the known antidepressives imipramine, nomifensine and fluoxetine all inhibited binding of [3H]WIN 35,428, indicating that hyperforin and adhyperforin do not bind to the same site on the dopamine transporter as these compounds. Furthermore, hyperforin and adhyperforin did not prevent dopamine binding, but inhibited dopamine translocation. Our studies further support recent reports suggesting that the effect of hyperforin on uptake of monoamines is probably not caused by a direct effect of hyperforin on known sites on the transporters.

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