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Behav Brain Res. 2009 May 16;199(2):334-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.12.015. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Involvement of serotoninergic 5-HT1A/2A, alpha-adrenergic and dopaminergic D1 receptors in St. John's wort-induced prepulse inhibition deficit: a possible role of hyperforin.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. mirogeogo@yahoo.com

Abstract

Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of acoustic startle response is a valuable paradigm for sensorimotor gating processes. Previous research showed that acute administration of St. John's wort extract (500 mg/kg, p.o.) to rats caused significant disruption of PPI while elevating monoamines levels in some brain areas. The cause-effect relationship between extract-induced PPI disruption and augmented monoaminergic transmission was studied using different serotoninergic, adrenergic and dopaminergic antagonists. The effects of hypericin and hyperforin, as the main active constituents of the extract, on PPI response were also tested. PPI disruption was prevented after blocking the serotoninergic 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A, alpha-adrenergic and dopaminergic D1 receptors. Results also demonstrated a significant PPI deficit after acute treatment of rats with hyperforin, and not hypericin. In some conditions manifesting disrupted PPI response, apoptosis coexists. Electrophoresis of DNA isolated from brains of hyperforin-treated animals revealed absence of any abnormal DNA fragmentation patterns. It is concluded that serotoninergic 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A, alpha-adrenergic and dopaminergic D1 receptors are involved in the disruptive effect of St. John's wort extract on PPI response in rats. We can also conclude that hyperforin, and not hypericin, is one of the active ingredients responsible for St. John's wort-induced PPI disruption with no relation to apoptotic processes.

PMID:
19136030
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2008.12.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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