UNRAVELing the synergistic effects of psilocybin and environment on brain-wide immediate early gene expression in mice.
Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
The effects of context on the subjective experience of serotonergic psychedelics have not been fully examined in human neuroimaging studies, partly due to limitations of the imaging environment. Here, we administered saline or psilocybin to mice in their home cage or an enriched environment, immunofluorescently-labeled brain-wide c-Fos, and imaged iDISCO+ cleared tissue with light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) to examine the impact of environmental context on psilocybin-elicited neural activity at cellular resolution. Voxel-wise analysis of c-Fos-immunofluorescence revealed clusters of neural activity associated with main effects of context and psilocybin-treatment, which were validated with c-Fos+ cell density measurements. Psilocybin increased c-Fos expression in subregions of the neocortex, caudoputamen, central amygdala, and parasubthalamic nucleus while it decreased c-Fos in the hypothalamus, cortical amygdala, striatum, and pallidum in a predominantly context-independent manner. To gauge feasibility of future mechanistic studies on ensembles activated by psilocybin, we confirmed activity- and Cre-dependent genetic labeling in a subset of these neurons using TRAP2+/-;Ai14+ mice. Network analyses treating each psilocybin-sensitive cluster as a node indicated that psilocybin disrupted co-activity between highly correlated regions, reduced brain modularity, and dramatically attenuated intermodular co-activity. Overall, our results indicate that main effects of context and psilocybin were robust, widespread, and reorganized network architecture, whereas context×psilocybin interactions were surprisingly sparse.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41386-023-01613-4
View details for PubMedID 37248402
View details for PubMedCentralID 7007572