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Planta Med. 2011 Dec;77(18):1970-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1280129. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

Effects of insulin and St. John's Wort treatments on anxiety, locomotory activity, depression, and active learning parameters of streptozotocin-diabetic rats.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey.


The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of St. John's Wort (SJW) extract treatment on behavioral changes arising in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats. Plus-maze, activity cage, modified forced swimming, and active avoidance tests were performed for evaluating exploratory behaviors, spontaneous locomotor activities, depression levels, and learning parameters of animals, respectively. Obtained data exhibited a diabetes mellitus (DM)-induced increase in anxiety and depression levels, decrease in spontaneous locomotor activities, and impairment of learning parameters in rats even in the early stages of the disease. Daily insulin replacement (2 IU/kg/day) could not restore these impaired parameters completely, indicating the need of novel therapeutic approaches. SJW extract (125 and 250 mg/kg) treatments for seven days provided significant improvement in all of the impaired parameters observed in this study, probably due to its antidiabetic and central nervous system (CNS)-related effects. Based on the findings of the present study, it may be suggested that SJW extracts may be of help to diabetic patients suffering from depressive moods, sleeping disturbances, and cognitive deficits and may provide a new potential alternative for the treatment of psychiatric complications of diabetes.

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