Stevens Rehen
Stem cell biologist

Biological Effects of Psychedelics in Human Neural Stem Cells and Brain Organoids

The effects of harmine, NN-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT in human brain tissue differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells will be presented. Harmine and NN-DMT increased the pool of neural progenitors through the inhibition of DYRK1A and the activation of 5HT2A receptor, respectively. These results suggest that both compounds influence neurogenesis, which may be associated with the antidepressant effects of Ayahuasca in patients. Human neurons exposed to NN-DMT increased the expression of synaptophysin, while analyses of human brain organoids exposed to 5-MeO-DMT revealed proteins broadly distributed on cellular protrusion, microtubule dynamics and cytoskeletal reorganization. These data suggest that neuroplasticity signaling pathways are influenced by dimethyltryptamines.

This research is part of the Beckley/Brazil Programme.

Stevens Rehen is a stem cell biologist, Professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Head of Research at D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), Brazil. He is an Affiliated Member of the Latin American Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and a Former President of the Brazilian Society for Neuroscience and Behavior. His goal is to push the boundaries of neuroscience by applying new cellular models. We have been successfully studying several aspects of neurogenesis using organoids. Notably, considerable research efforts have been dedicated to the impacts of Zika virus infection and psychedelics for the human brain tissue.