Therapeutic psychedelics in mental health
Psychedelics have recently re-emerged as promising therapeutics for several neuropsychiatric disorders. Clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of ketamine for the treatment of depression and suggest potential therapeutic properties of psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug produced by more than 200 fungi. While psychedelics could transform the landscape of treatments for many disorders, this field of research is still in its infancy. One of the main problems at the heart of modern psychedelic clinical research is that participants might easily be able to tell whether they have been given a placebo as compared to receiving hallucinogenic compounds. In this regard, preclinical studies harbor several advantages including the possibility to conduct well-controlled experiments as well as using innovative tools to better understand the biological mechanisms mediating the behavioural effects. However, only a few studies have examined the effects of psilocybin in rodent disease models.
Using relevant animal models, we aim to demonstrate potential roles for psilocybin in the treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Our study will also look at potential mechanisms driving the therapeutical effect of psilocybin treatment
- Behavioural testing
Take part in this project
Students who are applying to study at The Florey can register their interest in this project. Refer to our step-by-step guide to help you with your application.
- Acute administration of the NMDA receptor antagonists ketamine and MK-801 reveals dysregulation of glutamatergic signalling and sensorimotor gating in the Sapap3 knockout mouse model of compulsive-like behaviour. Gattuso JJ, Wilson C, Hannan AJ, Renoir T. Neuropharmacology. 2023 Nov 15;239:109689.
- Mechanisms of pathogenesis and environmental moderators in preclinical models of compulsive-like behaviours. Wilson C, Gattuso JJ, Hannan AJ, Renoir T. Neurobiol Dis. 2023 Sep;185:106223
- Antidepressant-like effects of ketamine in a mouse model of serotonergic dysfunction. Wilson C, Li S, Hannan AJ, Renoir T. Neuropharmacology. 2020 May 15;168:107998.
- Differential long-term effects of MDMA on the serotoninergic system and hippocampal cell proliferation in 5-HTT knock-out vs. wild-type mice. Renoir T, Païzanis E, El Yacoubi M, Saurini F, Hanoun N, Melfort M, Lesch KP, Hamon M, Lanfumey L. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Dec;11(8):1149-62.