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The serotonin hallucinogen 5-MeO-DMT alters cortico-thalamic activity in freely moving mice: Regionally-selective involvement of 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors

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Abstract

5-MeO-DMT is a natural hallucinogen acting as serotonin 5-HT1A/5-HT2A receptor agonist. Its ability to evoke hallucinations could be used to study the neurobiology of psychotic symptoms and to identify new treatment targets. Moreover, recent studies revealed the therapeutic potential of serotonin hallucinogens in treating mood and anxiety disorders. Our previous results in anesthetized animals show that 5-MeO-DMT alters cortical activity via 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors. Here, we examined 5-MeO-DMT effects on oscillatory activity in prefrontal (PFC) and visual (V1) cortices, and in mediodorsal thalamus (MD) of freely-moving wild-type (WT) and 5-HT2A-R knockout (KO2A) mice. We performed local field potential multi-recordings evaluating the power at different frequency bands and coherence between areas. We also examined the prevention of 5-MeO-DMT effects by the 5-HT1A-R antagonist WAY-100635. 5-MeO-DMT affected oscillatory activity more in cortical than in thalamic areas. More marked effects were observed in delta power in V1 of KO2A mice. 5-MeO-DMT increased beta band coherence between all examined areas. In KO2A mice, WAY100635 prevented most of 5-MeO-DMT effects on oscillatory activity. The present results indicate that hallucinatory activity of 5-MeO-DMT is likely mediated by simultaneous alteration of prefrontal and visual activities. The prevention of these effects by WAY-100635 in KO2A mice supports the potential usefulness of 5-HT1A receptor antagonists to treat visual hallucinations. 5-MeO-DMT effects on PFC theta activity and cortico-thalamic coherence may be related to its antidepressant activity.
Riga, M. S., Lladó-Pelfort, L., Artigas, F., & Celada, P. (2017). The serotonin hallucinogen 5-MeO-DMT alters cortico-thalamic activity in freely moving mice: Regionally-selective involvement of 5-HT 1A and 5-HT 2A receptors. Neuropharmacology. 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.11.049

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