Tobias Buchborn, PhD cand
Introduction to the pharmacodynamics of repeated psychedelic-drug intake
“Once-in-a-while” is usually the preferred pattern of intake for users seeking full-dose psychedelic experiences. However, with the recent emergence of the so-called “microdosing” regimen (i.e., the chronic intake of low doses of psychedelics every other day), things have changed raising questions about the consequences of such frequent intake-patterns. In my talk, we will go through basic concepts of psychedelic pharmacodynamics and discuss why it is important to factor in parameters, such as the receptor binding preferences of a psychedelic, when considering the (safety) implications of its chronic (low-dose) intake. We will speak about the decrease in effect that occurs over time (tolerance) and how it relates to pharmacodynamic changes in the molecular targets of psychedelics, particularly 5-HT2A receptors. Genetic regulation, 5-HT2A internalisation, “membrane bending” phospholipases, and downstream glutamatergic adaptations will be addressed. Aim is to provide the audience with reference points of how to think of chronic intake of psychedelics from a pharmacological point of view.
Tobias Buchborn graduated in Psychology (Dipl.-Psych.) at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany. In his diploma thesis he investigated the antidepressant-like properties of repeated LSD administration in an animal model of depression. Tobias ran his PhD project in Neuroscience at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology Magdeburg, where his research addressed the pharmacodynamics of repeated administration of psychedelics. In 2016, Tobias was awarded an individual Marie Curie Research Fellowship (MSCA) and started to work in the Laboratory for Neuronal Circuit Dynamics (LNCD) at Imperial College London. Ever since, he applies methods of optogenetic electrophysiology to study the cortical embedding of psychedelic drug action.