Fruitfly Research Model Finds That Single Psilocybin Dose Has Long-Lasting Antidepressant-Like Effects

August 2, 2022 12:22:57

A new study has looked into the effects of psilocybin at a genetic and cellular level using fruit flies, because their neurotransmitter systems are similar to those of mammals. This has led to the discovery that one dose of the active compound produces a long-lasting, antidepressant-like effect in fruit flies.

Psilocybin is the active compound found in magic mushrooms that produces changes in time perception, sensory perception, mood and sense of self. This can alter the way an individual experiences the world around them. Preliminary studies have shown that administering psilocybin in conjunction with psychotherapy may result in lasting improvements in major depressive disorder patients.

For their study, the researchers used the forced swim test in the fruit flies, leading them to discover that repeated citalopram doses decreased the flies’ immobility. Citalopram is a common antidepressant (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) that is prescribed to manage depression while the forced swim test is usually used in animal models to evaluate antidepressant effects. This test records the behavior of rodents that face an unavoidable adversity.

The researchers explained that the effect observed in the fruit flies was similar to the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in humans, where continual dosing was necessary to produce an antidepressant effect. They also discovered that psilocybin, which was administered a couple of days before the test, induced an antidepressant-like effect. Professor Charles Nichols, the author of the study, stated that serotonin receptors in flies were involved in a number of key behaviors shared with humans and mammals, including various aspects of memory, learning and social interaction.

The findings, he explained, showed that fruit flies could be used in genetic experiments to discover key mechanisms underlying how psilocybin modified behaviors, similar to antidepressants. This, he noted, would help develop and refine the use of psychedelics in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Meghan Hibicke, the study’s first author, used her expertise in rodent models of depression and behavioral pharmacology to design and run the study’s experiments.

The study used fruit flies instead of rodents because, unlike the latter, fruit flies have a short lifespan and reproduce rapidly, which allows for quicker research. However, their use was also limiting because, unlike humans, fruit flies don’t get depressed.

Nichols highlighted open areas for further studies, which include identifying which neurotransmitter receptors moderate psilocybin’s effects and whether other receptors that activate this target had similar effects.

The study’s findings were reported in the “Scientific Reports” journal.

Such studies shed light on how the different psychedelic compounds being championed by companies such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) work once they are introduced into the body for therapeutic purposes. The world will learn a lot more about these substances as the years go by and more studies are completed.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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