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Pharmacopsychiatry. 1998 Jun;31 Suppl 1:16-21.

Hyperforin represents the neurotransmitter reuptake inhibiting constituent of hypericum extract.

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Department of Pharmacology, Biocenter University of Frankfurt, Germany.


Hydroalcoholic hypericum extract inhibits the synaptosomal uptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine with about similar affinities and leads to a significant down-regulation of cortical beta-adrenoceptors and 5-HT2-receptors after subchronic treatment of rats. While neither hypericine nor kaempferol did show any reuptake inhibiting properties, hyperforin was identified as the unspecific reuptake inhibitor of hypericum extracts with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations for the three synaptosomal uptake systems mentioned above between 80 and 200 nmol/l. Moreover, a hyperforin-enriched (38%) CO2 extract also leads to a significant beta-receptor down-regulation after subchronic treatment. The data suggest hyperforin as the active principle of hypericum extracts in biochemical models of antidepressant activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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