Aisling Spain1, Alexandre Khrapitchev1, Trevor Sharp2, Nicola R. Sibson1, Chris Martin1
1Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom; 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Existing pharmacological treatments for affective disorders suffer from a lack of acute efficacy. Hallucinogenic drugs are potentially useful as treatments for depression and anxiety disorders, however further investigation of their physiological effects is necessary. To understand the acute effects of hallucinogen administration in vivo, 4 male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered the serotonin 2A receptor agonist, psilocyn and underwent BOLD imaging. Increases in BOLD signal were observed in prefrontal and subcortical areas, in structures implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. These results illustrate the utility of fMRI in screening drugs for acute efficacy in mood disorders.