OPEN Foundation

J. Costa

Kinetic profile of N,N-dimethyltryptamine and β-carbolines in saliva and serum after oral administration of ayahuasca in a religious context

Ayahuasca is a beverage obtained from Banisteriopsis caapi plus Psychotria viridis. B. caapi contains the β-carbolines harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine that are monoamine oxidase inhibitors and P. viridis contains N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) that is responsible for the visionary effects of the beverage. Ayahuasca use is becoming a global phenomenon, and the recreational use of DMT and similar alkaloids has also increased in recent years; such uncontrolled use can lead to severe intoxications. In this investigation, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to study the kinetics of alkaloids over a 24 h period in saliva and serum of 14 volunteers who consumed ayahuasca twice a month in a religious context. We compared the area under the curve (AUC), maximum concentration (Cmax ), time to reach Cmax (Tmax ), mean residence time (MRT), and half-life (t1/2 ), as well as the serum/saliva ratios of these parameters. DMT and β-carboline concentrations (Cmax ) and AUC were higher in saliva than in serum and the MRT was 1.5-3.0 times higher in serum. A generalized estimation equations (GEEs) model suggested that serum concentrations could be predicted by saliva concentrations, despite large individual variability in the saliva and serum alkaloid concentrations. The possibility of using saliva as a biological matrix to detect DMT, β-carbolines, and their derivatives is very interesting because it allows fast noninvasive sample collection and could be useful for detecting similar alkaloids used recreationally that have considerable potential for intoxication.

Lanaro, R., Mello, S. M., da Cunha, K. F., Silveira, G., Corrêa-Neto, N. F., Hyslop, S., Cabrices, O. G., Costa, J. L., & Linardi, A. (2021). Kinetic profile of N,N-dimethyltryptamine and β-carbolines in saliva and serum after oral administration of ayahuasca in a religious context. Drug testing and analysis, 13(3), 664–678. https://doi.org/10.1002/dta.2955

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Effect of Ritualistic Consumption of Ayahuasca on Hepatic Function in Chronic Users.

Abstract

Ayahuasca is a beverage obtained from decoctions of the liana Banisteriopsis caapi plus the shrub Psychotria viridis. This beverage contains a combination of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine) and N,N-dimethyltryptamine, the main substance responsible for its visionary effect. The ritualistic use of ayahuasca is becoming a global phenomenon. Most members of ayahuasca churches consume this beverage throughout their life, and many reports have discussed the therapeutic potential of this beverage. Ayahuasca is consumed orally, and the liver, as the major organ for the metabolism and detoxification of xenobiotics absorbed from the alimentary tract, may be susceptible to injury by compounds present in the ayahuasca decoction. In this study, we evaluated biochemical parameters related to hepatic damage in the serum of 22 volunteers who consumed ayahuasca twice a month or more for at least one year. There was no significant alteration in the following parameters: alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, bilirubin, creatinine, urea, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transferase. These findings indicate that chronic ayahuasca consumption in a religious context apparently does not affect hepatic function.
Mello, S. M., Soubhia, P. C., Silveira, G., Corrêa-Neto, N. F., Lanaro, R., Costa, J. L., & Linardi, A. (2018). Effect of Ritualistic Consumption of Ayahuasca on Hepatic Function in Chronic Users. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 1-9., 10.1080/02791072.2018.1557355
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Ayahuasca and Its DMT- and β-carbolines – Containing Ingredients Block the Expression of Ethanol-Induced Conditioned Place Preference in Mice: Role of the Treatment Environment

Abstract

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic beverage produced from the decoction of Banisteriopsis caapi (Bc) and Psychotria viridis (Pv), β-carboline- and N,N-dimethyltryptamine(DMT)-containing plants, respectively. Accumulating evidence suggests that ayahuasca may have therapeutic effects on ethanol abuse. It is not known, however, whether its effects are dependent on the presence of DMT or if non-DMT-containing components would have therapeutic effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate the rewarding properties of ayahuasca (30, 100, and 300 mg/kg, orally), Bc (132, 440, and 1320 mg/kg, orally) and Pv (3.75, 12.5 and 37.5 mg/kg, i.p.) extracts and their effects on ethanol (1.8 g/kg, i.p.) reward using the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm in male mice. Animals were conditioned with ayahuasca, Bc or Pv extracts during 8 sessions. An intermediate, but not a high, dose of ayahuasca induced CPP in mice. Bc and Pv did not induce CPP. Subsequently, the effects of those extracts were tested on the development of ethanol-induced CPP. Ayahuasca, Bc or Pv were administered before ethanol injections during conditioning sessions. While Bc and Pv exerted no effects on ethanol-induced CPP, pretreatment with ayahuasca blocked the development of CPP to ethanol. Finally, the effects of a post-ethanol-conditioning treatment with ayahuasca, Bc or Pv on the expression of ethanol-induced CPP were tested. Animals were conditioned with ethanol, and subsequently treated with either ayahuasca, Bc or Pv in the CPP environment previously associated with saline or ethanol for 6 days. Animals were then reexposed to ethanol and ethanol-induced CPP was quantified on the following day. Treatment with all compounds in the ethanol-paired environment blocked the expression of ethanol-induced CPP. Administration of an intermediate, but not a high, dose of ayahuasca and Bc, as well as Pv administration, in the saline-paired compartment blocked the expression of ethanol-induced CPP. The present study sheds light into the components underlying the therapeutic effects of ayahuasca on ethanol abuse, indicating that ayahuasca and its plant components can decrease ethanol reward at doses that do not exert abuse liability. Importantly, the treatment environment seems to influence the therapeutic effects of ayahuasca and Bc, providing important insights into clinical practice.
Cata-Preta, E. G., Serra, Y. A., Moreira-Junior, E. D. C., Reis, H. S., Kisaki, N. D., Libarino-Santos, M., … & Costa, J. L. (2018). Ayahuasca and Its DMT-and β-carbolines–Containing Ingredients Block the Expression of Ethanol-Induced Conditioned Place Preference in Mice: Role of the Treatment Environment. Frontiers in pharmacology9. 10.3389/fphar.2018.00561
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21 March - Ketamine Discussion with Celia Morgan, Filip Tylš & Will Barone

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