Neonatal Development and Memory of Rat Pups Treated with Hypericum Perforatum During Pregnancy

Author(s): Lorena Ribeiro Silva, José R. Paranaíba, Leandro Véspoli Campo, Vinícius de Almeida Vieira, Rita de Cássia da Silveira e Sá, Martha de Oliveira Guerra, Ver

Hypericum perforatum L. extract is used as treatment for depression and there are few studies on its safe usage during pregnancy.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Hypericum perforatum on the neonatal development and memory of Wistar rats’ offspring treated during this period.

Materials and Methods: Animals used throughout the present research were divided into four groups according to what they consumed: one control group (distilled water) and three treated groups (Hypericum perforatum doses of 36 mg/kg/day, 72 mg/kg/day and 144 mg/kg/day).

Results: The neonates, monitored during the neonatal period, presented the regular physical and reflexological development signs, such as body weight, day of eye opening, ear unfolding, lanugo and fur appearance, eruption of the upper and lower incisors, vaginal opening, lowering of the testicles, and the expected response in the following tests: palmar grip, postural response test, cliff avoidance, orientation test and negative geotaxis, between the second and twenty-seventh day of postnatal life, with no significant difference among groups. Memory related results from inhibitory avoidance and object recognition tasks also showed no significant change.

Conclusion: Therefore, according to the experimental model employed, Hypericum perforatum did not interfere neither in neonatal development nor in memory of pups exposed to the extract during intrauterine life.

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