OPEN Foundation

L. Lladó-Pelfort

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

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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Effects of Hallucinogens on Neuronal Activity

Abstract

Hallucinogens evoke sensory, perceptual, affective, and cognitive effects that may be useful to understand the neurobiological basis of mood and psychotic disorders. The present chapter reviews preclinical research carried out in recent years in order to better understand the action of psychotomimetic agents such as the noncompetitive NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) antagonists and serotonergic hallucinogens. Our studies have focused on the mechanisms through which these agents alter cortical activity. Noncompetitive NMDA-R antagonists, such as phencyclidine (PCP) and MK-801 (dizocilpine), as well as the serotonergic hallucinogens DOI and 5-MeO-DMT, produce similar effects on cellular and population activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC); these effects include alterations of pyramidal neuron discharge (with an overall increase in firing), as well as a marked attenuation of the low frequency oscillations (0.2–4 Hz) to which neuronal discharge is coupled in anesthetized rodents. PCP increases cfos expression in excitatory neurons from various cortical and subcortical areas, particularly the thalamus. This effect of PCP involves the preferential blockade of NMDA-R on GABAergic neurons of the reticular nucleus of the thalamus, which provides feedforward inhibition to the rest of thalamic nuclei. It is still unknown whether serotonergic hallucinogens also affect thalamocortical networks. However, when examined, similar alterations in other cortical areas, such as the primary visual cortex (V1), have been observed, suggesting that these agents affect cortical activity in sensory and associative areas. Interestingly, the disruption of PFC activity induced by PCP, DOI and 5-MeO-DMT is reversed by classical and atypical antipsychotic drugs. This effect suggests a possible link between the mechanisms underlying the disruption of perception by multiple classes of hallucinogenic agents and the therapeutic efficacy of antipsychotic agents.

Lladó-Pelfort, L., Celada, P., Riga, M. S., Troyano-Rodríguez, E., Santana, N., & Artigas, F. (2017). Effects of Hallucinogens on Neuronal Activity. 10.1007/7854_2017_473

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