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Cellular neurobiology of hyperforin.

Hyperforin is a phloroglucinol derivative isolated from the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort, SJW). This lipophilic biomolecule displays antibacterial, pro-apoptotic, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory activities. In addition, in vitro and in vivo data showed that hyperforin is a promising molecule with potential applications in neurology and psychiatry. For instance, hyperforin possesses antidepressant properties, impairs the uptake of neurotransmitters, and stimulates the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/TrkB neurotrophic signaling pathway, the adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and the brain homeostasis of zinc. In fact, hyperforin is a multi-target biomolecule with a complex neuropharmacological profile. However, one prominent pharmacological feature of hyperforin is its ability to influence the homeostasis of cations such as Ca2+ , Na+ , Zn2+ , and H+ . So far, the pathophysiological relevance of these actions is currently unknown. The main objective of the present work is to provide an overview of the cellular neurobiology of hyperforin, with a special focus on its effects on neuronal membranes and the movement of cations.

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