Mehnaz Gitay1*, Kausar Saboohi1,2, Bushra Chaudhary2 and Samina Bano1

Background: Saint John’s wort (SJW) is known for the medicinal powers of its leaves that are composed of a myriad of chemical components having diverse effects on various conditions like mild to moderately severe depressive disorders. Present study is carried out to explore the presynaptic adaptive measures resulting by the treatment with SJW prior to subjection of rats to forced swim test (FST).
Method: Adult Albino Wistar rats were divided into 2 groups (Saline and drug administered rats, n=12 each). Each group was further divided into stressed and unstressed groups (n=6). SJW (500mg/kg/ml) was orally administered to the drug group for 28 days while saline was administered to the other group for the same period.
Results: Behavioral analysis of FST shows an increase in swimming time and a decrease in floating time of rats pretreated with SJW. Serotonin transporter (SERT) gene expression is decreased by SJW in both stressed and unstressed groups. SERT protein is increased by SJW in the unstressed group but decreased in the stressed group as compared to the saline administered group.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that SJW is affective in containing serotonergic hyperactivity simultaneously alleviating depression by mechanisms probably different to the serotonergic system.

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