ABSTRACT: The effects of an ethanolic extract of the plant Hypericum perforatum L. (St John's wort) (HYP) and its hydrosoluble fraction (HYPWS) on electrically evoked population spikes and fEPSP were investigated in this study. Concentration dependent (10(-6) to 10(-4) g/l) excitatory effects were found. Above concentrations of 10(-3) g/l, HYP reduced the evoked responses, whereas HYPWS further increased them. Paired pulse facilitation was unaffected with HYPWS (10(-4) to 10(-2) g/l). The excitatory effects of HYPWS were amplified by the GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptor antagonists bicuculline and phaclofen, respectively. These excitations were antagonised by the AMPA receptor antagonist CNQX. Excitations caused by hypericum were not antagonised by the NMDA receptor antagonists D-APV and MK801, the metabotropic glutamate receptor (type I and II) antagonist MCPG, or the L-type calcium channel blocker verapamil. Hypericin and hyperforin, two components of H. perforatum, were found not to be responsible for the excitatory effects of the extract.
European Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2002; 12(3):209-16. · 4.05 Impact Factor