Psychedelic compound shows promise in stress relief for socially aggressive mice

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A caller study published successful nan diary Neuropharmacology reports nan effectiveness of a psychedelic compound successful improving stress-related behaviors of mice exposed to repeated societal aggression.

 G-Stock workplace / Shutterstock.comStudy: Single management of a psychedelic [(R)-DOI] influences coping strategies to an escapable societal stress. Image Credit: G-Stock workplace /

Depression and stress

Depressive temper disorders are highly prevalent intelligence wellness conditions, arsenic they impact astir 322 cardinal individuals worldwide. These conditions are typically associated pinch worry and post-traumatic accent upset (PTSD).

Serotonin aliases norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and benzodiazepines are considered first-line therapeutic interventions for depressive temper disorders and anxiety. However, these treatments often nutrient inadequate results, induce dependency, and origin superior broadside effects.   

Chronic vulnerability to socially stressful conditions is simply a starring contributor to nan improvement of slump and anxiety. Stress-mediated induction successful signaling wrong accent neural networks, sustained elevation successful accent hormone levels, and chronic inflammation are immoderate of nan mechanisms that person been implicated successful these intelligence wellness conditions.

In nan existent study, scientists analyse whether a azygous dose of a psychedelic compound (R)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine [(R)-DOI] tin amended stress-coping strategies successful mice exposed to escapable and repeated societal aggression. 

Psychedelic compounds are serotonergic hallucinogens that tin exert progressive and beardown stress-coping behaviors successful humans and rodents. The psychedelic compound utilized successful nan existent study is simply a selective partial agonist of nan serotonin receptor.

Study design

Male mice betwixt six and 8 weeks of property were subjected to nan Stress Alternatives Model (SAM), an escapable societal accent paradigm successful which experimental animals create either move aliases reactive coping strategies. A group of older antheral mice astir six months of property were utilized to supply societal aggression to nan experimental mice.   

In nan move coping strategy, mice tin flight nan accent done holes, whereas mice that utilize nan reactive coping strategy stay successful nan SAM area. These mice were different referred to arsenic nan ‘Escape’ and ‘Stay’ mice, respectively.

Experimental mice were initially exposed to societal aggression for 2 days to abstracted them into nan stress-vulnerable and stress-resilient groups, which were wished based connected whether nan mice chose nan move aliases reactive coping strategies, respectively. Subsequently, a azygous high, middle, aliases debased dose of (R)-DOI was administered to nan mice, followed by monitoring immoderate changes successful their stress-coping behaviors successful consequence to societal aggression.  

Important observations

Following a low-dose curen pinch (R)-DOI, a importantly higher proportionality of Stay mice escaped successful consequence to societal aggression compared to placebo-treated Stay animals. Phenotypic behaviors remained unchangeable passim nan research successful placebo-treated Escape mice.

Regarding nan clip spent pinch fierce mice, some middle—and low-dose treatments importantly reduced flight latency successful Stay mice compared to placebo-treated mice.

Existing grounds indicates that Escape mice grounds faster flight latency from nan SAM complete time, frankincense reflecting a successful learning process. In nan existent study, Escape mice from each curen groups showed a akin spatial learning response.

Regarding nan clip spent freezing successful nan SAM successful consequence to societal aggression, middle-dose curen of (R)-DOI importantly reduced nan freezing long successful Stay animals compared to placebo-treated mice. The low-dose curen besides reduced nan freezing duration, though this effect was insignificant.

In Escape mice, some high- and low-dose treatments importantly reduced freezing long compared to placebo-treated Escape mice.

Regarding attraction to nan flight route, low-dose curen of (R)-DOI importantly accrued nan clip spent attentive to nan flight routes successful Stay mice arsenic compared to placebo-treated mice. However, nary important effect of (R)-DOI treatments connected clip spent attentive to nan flight routes was observed successful Escape mice.  

Effect of psychedelic compound connected plasma proinflammatory cytokine levels

Significantly accrued plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were observed successful Stay mice successful consequence to societal aggression. A mean summation successful TNF-α levels was besides observed successful stress-exposed Escape mice.

Among different curen groups, nan debased dose of (R)-DOI successful Stay mice and high—or low-dose treated Escape mice showed important reductions successful plasma TNF-α levels successful consequence to societal stress. This uncovering highlights nan anti-inflammatory effects of (R)-DOI.

The transcriptomic study of nan anterior basolateral amygdala, a captious encephalon region for stress-related signaling, exhibited accrued look of genes associated pinch aggression-induced accent responsivity successful stress-exposed mice. Stay mice besides exhibited much potent effects than Escape mice.

The study of TNF-α look successful different encephalon regions revealed that nan low-dose curen led to a simplification successful stress-induced TNF-α look successful nan basolateral amygdala and prefrontal cortex successful some Stay and Escape mice.

Study significance

The psychedelic compound (R)-DOI was recovered to amended stress-coping behaviors successful stress-vulnerable mice. Moreover, (R)-DOI efficaciously reduced plasma and encephalon levels of nan proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α.  

Journal reference:

  • Krupp, K. T., Yaeger, J. D. W., Ledesma, L. J., et al. (2024). Single management of a psychedelic [(R)-DOI] influences coping strategies to an escapable societal stress. Neuropharmacology. doi:10.1016/j.neurpharm.2024.109949.