Psychedelics Without the Trip Show Antidepressant Potential

Icahn School of Medicine researchers discover new compound while experimenting with 5-MeO-DMT that could have antidepressant benefits without the psychoactive effects.

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount in New York demonstrated that 5-MeO-DMT and similar psychedelics produce antidepressant-like effects by targeting the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A, according to a report on

By analyzing derivatives of 5-MeO-DMT from the Colorado River Toad, the team demonstrated that selectively targeting 5-HT1A rather than 5-HT2A could produce therapeutic effects without the psychoactive side effects.

In their experiment, the researchers discovered a new compound called 4-F, 5-MeO-PyrT. This molecule exhibited antidepressant properties through primary activation of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor in animal models.

The findings, published in Nature, pave the way for developing non-hallucinogenic psychedelic-derived medications to treat depression, anxiety and other neuropsychiatric disorders, the researchers say.

 “We’ve demonstrated that psychedelics have complex physiological effects that span many different receptor types and are now ready to build on that finding to develop improved therapeutics for a range of mental health disorders,” says Audrey Warren, one of the study’s authors and a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Icahn Mount Sinai.“