Chronic, Intermittent Microdoses of the Psychedelic N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Produce Positive Effects on Mood and Anxiety in Rodents

Lindsay P. Cameron, Charlie J. Benson, Brian C. Defelice, Oliver Fiehn, David Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drugs capable of ameliorating symptoms of depression and anxiety while also improving cognitive function and sociability are highly desirable. Anecdotal reports have suggested that serotonergic psychedelics administered in low doses on a chronic, intermittent schedule, so-called "microdosing", might produce beneficial effects on mood, anxiety, cognition, and social interaction. Here, we test this hypothesis by subjecting male and female Sprague Dawley rats to behavioral testing following the chronic, intermittent administration of low doses of the psychedelic N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The behavioral and cellular effects of this dosing regimen were distinct from those induced following a single high dose of the drug. We found that chronic, intermittent, low doses of DMT produced an antidepressant-like phenotype and enhanced fear extinction learning without impacting working memory or social interaction. Additionally, male rats treated with DMT on this schedule gained a significant amount of body weight during the course of the study. Taken together, our results suggest that psychedelic microdosing may alleviate symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders, though the potential hazards of this practice warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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N,N-Dimethyltryptamine
Hallucinogens
Rodentia
Anxiety
Interpersonal Relations
Cognition
Rats
Appointments and Schedules
Anxiety Disorders
Mood Disorders
Short-Term Memory
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Antidepressive Agents
Fear
Sprague Dawley Rats
Hazards
Body Weight
Learning
Depression
Phenotype

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • DMT
  • microdosing
  • neural plasticity
  • Psychedelic
  • PTSD
  • subhallucinogenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Chronic, Intermittent Microdoses of the Psychedelic N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Produce Positive Effects on Mood and Anxiety in Rodents. / Cameron, Lindsay P.; Benson, Charlie J.; Defelice, Brian C.; Fiehn, Oliver; Olson, David.

In: ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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