Pharmacopsychiatry 1998; 31: 22-29
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-979342
Original Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Activity Profiles of Two Hyperforin-Containing Hypericum Extracts in Behavioral Models

S. K. Bhattacharya1 , A. Chakrabarti1 , S. S. Chatterjee2
  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co., Karlsruhe, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
20 April 2007 (online)


The behavioral activity profile of a therapeutically used alcoholic hypericum extract containing hyperforin (4.5 %) in rodent models was compared with that of an experimental CO2 extract devoid of hypericines but highly enriched in hyperforin (38.8 %). The antidepressant activities of 50, 150 and 300mg/ kg/day of the alcoholic extract were similar to those of 5, 15 and 30 mg/kg/day respectively of the CO2 extract. The ethanol extract in the same dose range potentiated dopaminergic behavioral responses, whereas these effects were either absent or less pronounced in the CO2 extract treated groups. By contrast, serotoninergic effects of the CO2 extract were more pronounced than those of the alcoholic extract. These and various other observations made during the study confirm that although the antidepressant action of hypericum extracts depends on their hyperforin contents, their spectrums of central activity are due to other component(s). Our working hypothesis that hyperforin and serotoninergic mechanisms are involved in the therapeutically observed antidepressant activities of hypericum extracts is in agreement with these observations.