Part of the Neuron Affected, Inhibitory or Excitatory Potential Changes and Ion Channels Affected by Psilocybin

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Part of the Neuron Affected, Inhibitory or Excitatory Potential Changes and Ion Channels Affected by Psilocybin Psilocybin belongs to the classification of drugs called hallucinogens. Hallucinogens typically act by stimulating serotonin receptors at different times or for longer durations than serotonin itself would (Kalat 2004). When psilocybin enters the brain, the enzyme alkaline breaks down one of its phosphate groups through hydrolysis. It then becomes psilocin, an even stronger hallucinogen (Psilocybin 2003). It is particularly potent due to the position of its hydroxyl group (Jacobs 1984). Psilocin is a postsynaptic serotonin receptor agonist. In other words, its similar structure allows it to mimic…show more content…
The other is to suppress sensory systems during the waking state (Powell 2004). When psilocin binds to the 5HT2A receptors, it inhibits the uptake of serotonin, thereby decreasing inhibitory serotonin activity. This results in an increase of alertness and arousal. Another theory asserts that the important activity of psilocin takes place at the proximal dendrites of level V pyramidal cells, as this is the area of the brain with the highest concentration of 5HT2A receptors. In support of this theory, this is the only area of the brain where directly applies serotonin excites cells. The receptors do not activate pyramidal cells directly but through action potential. This is demonstrated by the fact that drugs that stop the action potential prevent the 5HT2A induced excitation. While action potential is required for such excitation, stimulation of the 5HT2A receptors does not result in increased action potential. The excitation mechanism can also be blocked by presynaptic inhibitors, showing that activity in the presynaptic 5HT2A receptors that connect with pyramidal cells is also crucial (Connely 2004). According to Marek and Aghajanian 1998, page 1123, "An enhancement of asynchronous evoked [excitatory postsynaptic potentials] via 5HT2A receptors provides a possible synaptic mechanism for the hallucinogenic effects of these drugs." Psilocybin is an indoleamine, in the same chemical group with serotonin and

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