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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 May 7;10:18. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-18.

Effect of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) treatment on restraint stress-induced behavioral and biochemical alteration in mice.

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  • 1Pharmacology Division, UGC Centre of Advance Study, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh-160014, India.



A stressful stimulus is a crucial determinant of health and disease. Antidepressants are used to manage stress and their related effects. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) in restraint stress-induced behavioral and biochemical alterations in mice.


Animals were immobilized for a period of 6 hr. St. John's Wort (50 and 100 mg/kg) was administered 30 minutes before the animals were subjecting to acute immobilized stress. Various behavioral tests parameters for anxiety, locomotor activity and nociceptive threshold were assessed followed by biochemical assessments (malondialdehyde level, glutathione, catalase, nitrite and protein) subsequently.


6-hr acute restraint stress caused severe anxiety like behavior, antinociception and impaired locomotor activity as compared to unstressed animals. Biochemical analyses revealed an increase in malondialdehyde, nitrites concentration, depletion of reduced glutathione and catalase activity as compared to unstressed animal brain. Five days St. John's Wort treatment in a dose of 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg significantly attenuated restraint stress-induced behavioral (improved locomotor activity, reduced tail flick latency and antianxiety like effect) and oxidative damage as compared to control (restraint stress).


Present study highlights the modest activity of St. John's Wort against acute restraint stress induced modification.

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