Psychoplastogenicity of psilocybin – the interplay of serotonergic mechanisms, sleep–wake cycle and neuroplasticity on memory consolidation (20-25349S)

Basic informations

Investigator: doc. RNDr. Zdeňka Bendová, Ph.D.
Main recipient: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research period: 1/1/2020 – 31/12/2022
Total budget: 12,029,000 CZK
Supported by: Czech Science Foundation (GACR)


Serotonergic psychedelic psilocybin is currently extensively studied as a so-called fast-acting antidepressant in the indication of pharmacoresistant depression. One of the most likely mechanisms leading to an antidepressant effect is the induction of synaptic plasticity. In depression cognitive deficits are a common symptom. Previously we have found that psilocin improves spatial memory consolidation in the rat. The aim of the project is therefore to evaluate the effect of 5-HT2A/C and 5-HT1A agonist psilocybin on the hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation in Morris water maze and novel object and place recognition tasks in relation to synaptic plasticity in the rat. In order to evaluate the effect of sleep and sleep deprivation, EEG / EMG and behavioural activity will be continuously recorded in animals via wireless implantable telemetry. Synaptic plasticity will be evaluated in 3D brain organoids derived from animals from cognitive experiments. The role of 5-HT2A/C and 5-HT1A receptors will be assessed using selective antagonists in both in vivo models and organoids.