Objective: Maternal separation as an epigenetic agent provokes a severe change in the brain such as inflammation
response, which is a key risk factor for the progression of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Methods: This study evaluated
the preventive effect of hypericin on maternal separation-induced cognitive deficits and hippocampal inflammation. Here,
we reported that pups are subjected to maternal separations for 1 h per day from postnatal days (PND) 1–9 displayed
apparent memory impairment in young rats (postnatal day 34) compared to controls group. Furthermore, the maternal
separation significantly increased inflammation factors in hippocampus area. Anti-inflammation constituent shed light on
Results: In this study, we found that, treatment with hypericin (10 and 50 mg/kg) significantly suppresses
expression of hippocampal interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF- α) in maternal separation rat model.
Also, we found that hypericin prevented the decrease of hippocampal dopamine level in offspring of maternal separation
Conclusion: The data indicated that hypericin may play a neuroprotective role in hippocampal cell and ameliorates
dysfunctions in memory and level of inflammation factor in this autism model. Thus, hypericin could be used as an
intervention for treating ASD.