The effect of hypericum extract LI 160 on the stimulated cytokine expression was investigated in vitro in a whole blood culture system. Blood samples were taken from five healthy volunteers and four depressive patients. The release of interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-lβ (IL-lβ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was measured quantitatively after an incubation time of 24 hours on microtiter plates. A massive suppression of the interleukin-6 release was found for PHA-stimulated hypericum extract. Possible relations to the antidepressive effects of hypericum extract are discussed.