OPEN Foundation

Day: 5 June 2017

Return of the lysergamides. Part IV: Analytical and pharmacological characterization of lysergic acid morpholide (LSM-775)

Abstract

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is perhaps one of the best-known psychoactive substances and many structural modifications of this prototypical lysergamide have been investigated. Several lysergamides were recently encountered as “research chemicals” or new psychoactive substances (NPS). Although lysergic acid morpholide (LSM-775) appeared on the NPS market in 2013, there is disagreement in the literature regarding the potency and psychoactive properties of LSM-775 in humans. The present investigation attempts to address the gap of information that exists regarding the analytical profile and pharmacological effects of LSM-775. A powdered sample of LSM-775 was characterized by X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance stereoscopy (NMR), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high mass accuracy electrospray MS/MS, HPLC diode array detection, HPLC quadrupole MS, and GC solid-state infrared analysis. Screening for receptor affinity and functional efficacy revealed that LSM-775 acts as a nonselective agonist at 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors. Head twitch studies were conducted in C57BL/6J mice to determine whether LSM-775 activates 5-HT2A receptors and produces hallucinogen-like effects in vivo. LSM-775 did not induce the head twitch response unless 5-HT1A receptors were blocked by pretreatment with the antagonist WAY-100,635 (1 mg/kg, subcutaneous). These findings suggest that 5-HT1A activation by LSM-775 masks its ability to induce the head twitch response, which is potentially consistent with reports in the literature indicating that LSM-775 is only capable of producing weak LSD-like effects in humans.
Brandt, S. D., Kavanagh, P. V., Twamley, B., Westphal, F., Elliott, S. P., Wallach, J., … & Halberstadt, A. L. (2017). Return of the lysergamides. Part IV: Analytical and pharmacological characterization of lysergic acid morpholide (LSM‐775). Drug Testing and Analysis. 10.1002/dta.2222
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An ontogenic study of the behavioral effects of chronic intermittent exposure to ayahuasca in mice

Abstract

Ayahuasca is a beverage obtained from decoctions of the Banisteriopsis caapi plus Psychotria viridis. In religious contexts, ayahuasca is used by different age groups. However, little is known of the effects of ayahuasca during ontogenic development, particularly with regard to the functional characteristics of the central nervous system. Animal models are useful for studying the ontogenic effects of ayahuasca because they allow exclusion of the behavioral influence associated with the ritualistic use. We investigated the effects of exposure to ayahuasca (1.5 mL/kg, orally, twice a week) on memory and anxiety in C57BL/6 mice, with the post-natal day (PND) being used as the ontogenic criterion for classification: childhood (PND21 to PND35), adolescence (PND35 to PND63), adulthood (PND90-PND118), childhood-adolescence (PND21 to PND63), childhood-adulthood (PND21 to PND118) and adolescence-adulthood (PND35 to PND118). One day after the last ayahuasca exposure, the mice were subjected to the Morris water maze (MWM), open field and elevated plus maze tasks (EPM). Ayahuasca did not affect locomotion in the open field or open arms exploration in the EPM, but increased the risk assessment behavior in the childhood group. Ayahuasca did not cause any change in acquisition of spatial reference memory in the MWM task, but decreased the time spent on the platform quadrant during the test session in the adolescence group. These results suggest that, in mice, exposure to ayahuasca in childhood and adolescence promoted anxiety and memory impairment, respectively. However, these behavioral changes were not long-lasting since they were not observed in the childhood-adulthood and adolescence-adulthood groups.
Correa-Netto, N. F., Masukawa, M. Y., Nishide, F., Galfano, G. S., Tamura, F., Shimizo, M. K., … & Linardi, A. (2017). An ontogenic study of the behavioral effects of chronic intermittent exposure to ayahuasca in mice. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research50(7). 10.1590/1414-431×20176036
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Chronic intermittent exposure to ayahuasca during aging does not affect memory in mice

Abstract

The Quechua term ayahuasca refers to a beverage obtained from decoctions of the liana Banisteriopsis caapi with leaves of Psychotria viridis. The ritualistic use of ayahuasca is becoming a global phenomenon, with some individuals using this beverage throughout life, including in old age. Cognitive impairment is a common manifestation during aging. There are conflicting reports on the ability of some ayahuasca compounds to exert neuroprotective or neurotoxic effects that could improve or impair learning and memory. Animal models provide a relevant and accessible means of investigating the behavioral effects of ayahuasca without the environmental conditions associated with the ritualistic use of the beverage. In this study, we investigated the influence of chronic ayahuasca exposure throughout aging on the spatial reference and habituation memories of mice. Twenty-eight male c57bl/6 mice (6 months old) received ayahuasca or water (1.5 mL/kg, orally) twice a week for 12 months and were tested in the Morris water maze (MWM), open field and elevated plus maze (EPM) tasks before and after treatment. During aging, there was significant impairment in the evocation (but not acquisition) of spatial reference memory and in habituation to the open field. There was also a decrease in locomotor activity in the open field and EPM tests, whereas the anxiety parameters were unaltered. Ayahuasca treatment did not alter any of these parameters associated with aging. These findings indicate that chronic exposure to ayahuasca during aging did not affect memory in mice.
Correa-Netto, N. F., Coelho, L. S., Galfano, G. S., Nishide, F., Tamura, F., Shimizu, M. K., … & Linardi, A. (2017). Chronic intermittent exposure to ayahuasca during aging does not affect memory in mice. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research50(7). 10.1590/1414-431×20176037
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Potential Therapeutic Effects of Psilocybin

Abstract

Psilocybin and other 5-hydroxytryptamine2A agonist classic psychedelics have been used for centuries as sacraments within indigenous cultures. In the mid-twentieth century they were a focus within psychiatry as both probes of brain function and experimental therapeutics. By the late 1960s and early 1970s these scientific inquires fell out of favor because classic psychedelics were being used outside of medical research and in association with the emerging counter culture. However, in the twenty-first century, scientific interest in classic psychedelics has returned and grown as a result of several promising studies, validating earlier research. Here, we review therapeutic research on psilocybin, the classic psychedelic that has been the focus of most recent research. For mood and anxiety disorders, three controlled trials have suggested that psilocybin may decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety in the context of cancer-related psychiatric distress for at least 6 months following a single acute administration. A small, open-label study in patients with treatment-resistant depression showed reductions in depression and anxiety symptoms 3 months after two acute doses. For addiction, small, open-label pilot studies have shown promising success rates for both tobacco and alcohol addiction. Safety data from these various trials, which involve careful screening, preparation, monitoring, and follow-up, indicate the absence of severe drug-related adverse reactions. Modest drug-related adverse effects at the time of medication administration are readily managed. US federal funding has yet to support therapeutic psilocybin research, although such support will be important to thoroughly investigate efficacy, safety, and therapeutic mechanisms.
Johnson, M. W., & Griffiths, R. R. (2017). Potential Therapeutic Effects of Psilocybin. Neurotherapeutics, 1-7. 10.1007/s13311-017-0542-y
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22 May - Delivering Effective Psychedelic Clinical Trials

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