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Impact of hypericum (St.-John's-wort) given prenatally on cognition of mice offspring

Authors
Journal
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
0892-0362
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0892-0362(01)00179-9
Keywords
  • Hypericum
  • St.-John'S-Wort
  • Hypericin
  • Pregnancy
  • Depression
  • Cognition
  • Mice
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract This study investigated the cognitive impact of prenatal exposure to the herbal antidepressant hypericum in CD-1 mice. Hypericum (182 mg/kg/day) or a placebo was consumed in food bars for 2 weeks before mating and throughout gestation. The hypericin content in our hypericum formulation was in the middle range of standardized hypericum products. One offspring per gender from each litter (hypericum 13, placebo 12) was tested on each of the following tasks: juvenile runway with adult memory, adult Morris maze, adult passive avoidance, or adult straight water runway followed by a dry Cincinnati maze. Learning occurred in both genders in all tasks ( P<.003) with no significant differences between treatments at the final trial. Female offspring exposed to hypericum, rather than to a placebo, required more time to learn the Morris maze task ( P<.05). Postlearning sessions did not show any significant differences. In conclusion, prenatal exposure to a therapeutic dose of hypericum did not have a major impact on certain cognitive tasks in mice offspring.

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