We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Substance present in ayahuasca brew stimulates generation of human neural cells
News

Substance present in ayahuasca brew stimulates generation of human neural cells

Substance present in ayahuasca brew stimulates generation of human neural cells
News

Substance present in ayahuasca brew stimulates generation of human neural cells

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Substance present in ayahuasca brew stimulates generation of human neural cells "

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Brazilian study suggests that harmine increases the number of neural progenitors, cells that give rise to neurons -


Ayahuasca is a powerful herbal beverage that has been used for centuries by Native South-Americans. Studies suggest that it exhibits anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in humans. One of the main substances present in the beverage is harmine, a beta-carboline which potential therapeutic effects for depression has been recently described in mice.


See Also: Healthy intestinal flora keeps the mind sharp—with some help from the immune system


"It has been shown in rodents that antidepressant medication acts by inducing neurogenesis. So we decided to test if harmine, an alkaloid with the highest concentration in the psychotropic plant decoction ayahuasca, would trigger neurogenesis in human neural cells", said Vanja Dakic, PhD student and one of the authors in the study.


In order to elucidate these effects, researchers from the D'Or Institute for Research and Education and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro exposed human neural progenitors to this beta-carboline. After four days, harmine led to a 70% increase in proliferation of human neural progenitor cells.


Researchers were also able to identify how the human neural cells respond to harmine. The described effect involves the inhibition of DYRK1A, which is located on chromosome 21 and is over activated in patients with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease.


Don't Miss: Epilepsy has been found to reduce the generation of new neurons


"Our results demonstrate that harmine is able to generate new human neural cells, similarly to the effects of classical antidepressant drugs, which frequently are followed by diverse side effects. Moreover, the observation that harmine inhibits DYRK1A in neural cells allows us to speculate about future studies to test its potential therapeutic role over cognitive deficits observed in Down syndrome and neurodegenerative diseases", suggests researcher Stevens Rehen.


Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


D'Or Institute for Research and Education


Publication

Dakic V et al. Harmine stimulates proliferation of human neural progenitors.   PeerJ, Published December 6 2016. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2727


Advertisement