Hallucinogenic poison of a toad

We don’t know of any substance that cures illnesses like depression or anxiety. However, in recent years, experts have found substances that can help us in these processes in an unexpected place: psychedelic drugs. The last to join would be the poison secreted by an American species of toad.

Toad poison. A group of American researchers A substance is found Which could be a new antidepressant drug. They found this by analyzing the secretions of a toad, a potentially toxic compound but with hallucinogenic properties known as 5-MeO-DMT.

The toad in question is the Sonoran desert toad, Colorado river toad, or Bufo toad (Incilius Alvarius) The alleged antidepressant and anxiolytic properties of this toxin were already known, but now the American team was able to create a new compound from it, which is more effective in binding to human hormone receptors.

“(Psychedelic substances) like LSD and psilocybin have entered clinical trials with promising early results, although we still don’t understand how they interact with different molecular targets in the brain.” As noted by Audrey Warren, first author of the work. “Our study highlights, for the first time, how serotonin receptors (…) possibly modulate the subjective effects of psychedelic experiences and play a role (…) in its observed therapeutic outcomes.”

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5-HT1A. Some of the originals are in the receiver Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is called 5-HT1A. Our body has various receptors with which this hormone can exert its biochemical functions.

Much of the research focuses on antidepressants 5-HT2A receptorsHowever, Warren and his team’s work focuses on 5-HT1A, a lesser-known but equally valid target for therapy against depression and anxiety.

The team synthesized and tested a dozen variants of 5-MeO-DMT and found one of them to bind better to the 1A receptor instead of the 2A. This compound is 4-F, 5-MeO-PyrT and is “most selective” in binding to the desired receptor. Job details published recently in an article in the magazine the nature.

No hallucinations. If anyone thought, no. The authors clarified that the new molecule does not have the hallucinogenic properties of the compound from which it is synthesized. That is, this new compound is able to achieve the antidepressant properties of its analogs without these side effects.

Experiments on rats. For now this compound has only been tested in animal models, so we have to wait before it becomes a drug itself. Human experimentation with controlled substances such as psychoactive drugs more controlled than testing with other substances, which represents an additional hurdle to the already slow verification and approval process to which pharmacological products are subject.

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