Psilocybin: biphasic dose-response effects on the acoustic startle reflex in the rat
Davis M, Walters JK; Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1977 Apr;6(4):427-31.
The startle reflex was measured in 7 groups of 10 rats each after intraperitoneal injection of saline or 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0 or 8.0 mg/kg psilocybin. Low doses (0.75-2.0 mg/kg) increased startle amplitude whereas high doses (4.0-8.0 mg/kg) depressed startle. Selected low (0.71 mg/kg) or high (5.70 mg/kg) doses of psilocin also had a biphasic dose-response effect on startle comparable in magnitude to equimolar doses of psilocybin. This biphasic dose-response relationship of the indole hallucinogen, psilocybin, on startle is consistent with the hypothesis that startle is increased when the firing rates of midbrain raphe neurons are selectively inhibited but is depressed when neurons postsynaptic to raphe cells are also inhibited.
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