Anna Rusek

Anna Rusek, PhD candidate

Jegiellonian University & Maj Institute of Pharmacology of Polish Academy of Sciences

Psychedelics produce antidepressant-like effects in TST in mice


Introduction – Currently available antidepressants (AD) should be taken for 3-4 weeks to get the desiredeffect. That is why drugs with fast and long-lasting effects are in demand. The results ofclinical studies indicate that psilocybin may be such an alternative treatment method fordepression. LSD was also examined in the clinic but the results are not conclusive.Considering these data, the purpose of this experiment was to determine the potentialantidepressant properties of LSD and psilocybin.

Methods – The antidepressant activity of was determined using in vivo screening testes: the forced swimtest (FST) and the tail suspension test (TST) in mice. The study included two variables: doseand duration of action. Psilocybin was administered at doses of 2, 1 and 0.5 mg/kgintraperitoneally while LSD at doses of 0.5, 0.3 and 0.1 mg / kg subcutaneously. 24 hoursafter administration of the compounds, the TST test was performed and 72 hours after theadministration, the FST test was performed.

Results – Psilocybin administered at 2 and 1 mg/kg significantly reduced the immobilization time ofmice in the TST, 24hr after administration (p<0.05; p<0.0001). Also, LSD showedstatistically significant antidepressant activity in TST at the dose of 0.3 and 0.1 mg/kg 24hrafter the treatment (p<0.0003; p<0.0001). No effect of psilocybin and LSD was observed inFST 72hr after administration.

Conclusion – Our results confirm the antidepressant activity of psychedelics and its potential in thetreatment of depression in humans


I have degree in veterinary medicine. My fascination about pharmacology leaded me to Phd studies. I’m on PhD course: “interdisciplinarity for innovative medicine” that incorporates two disciplines: chemistry on Chemistry Faculty of Jegiellonian University in Kraków and pharmacology on Maj Institute of Pharmacology of Polish Academy of Sciences. I’m interested in psychodelic’s mechanism of action and their influence on whole spectrum of disorders starting from depression leading to alcoholism and drug addiction ending with authism spectrum. In my work I try to work with hypothesis of 5ht2a receptor correlation with depression disorders using behavioral test on mice and chemical analysis such as mass spectometry



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