Stress-related mental disorders such as depression are a major cause of disability and mortality world-wide. Presently available therapeutic interventions do not adequately treat symptoms in all patients. Recent studies have suggested that psychedelics may induce rapid and long-lasting anti-depressive effects in combination with psychotherapy, but it is poorly understood through which mechanisms these drugs may exert such effects. Moreover, effective blinding of patients in clinical studies is typically compromised by the psychedelic effects of the administered drugs. We aim to investigate the role of the serotonin 2a (5HT2a) receptor in the effects of psychedelics on depressive-like symptoms in a preclinical mouse model for stress-coping. We will study the expression of the 5HT2a receptor at the cell surface and its signalling in response to stress exposure and psychedelic treatment. Moreover, we will adopt an innovative strategy based on disruption of 5HT2a interaction with postsynaptic membrane proteins using membrane-penetrating peptidyl mimetics to directly assess the potential of altering 5HT2a receptor function to treat depressive symptoms.
|Short title or EU acronym||Backup mandate|
|Effective start/end date||1/01/20 → 31/10/20|
Flemish discipline codes
- Pharmacology not elsewhere classified