Novel psychoplastogen DM506 reduces cue-induced heroin-seeking and inhibits tonic GABA currents in the Prelimbic Cortex

Kassandra Looschen, Shailesh Narayan Khatri, Malabika Maulik, Colin Salisbury, Alaina F. Carman, Katilyn Corriveau, Colton Smith, Dina Manetti, Maria Novella Romanelli, Hugo R. Arias, Cassandra D. Gipson, Swarup Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Opioid use disorder is a major public health crisis that is manifested by persistent drug-seeking behavior and high relapse frequency. Most of the available treatments rely on targeting opioid receptors using small molecules that do not provide sustained symptom alleviation. Psychoplastogens are a novel class of non-opioid drugs that produce rapid and sustained effects on neuronal plasticity, intended to produce therapeutic benefits. Ibogalogs are synthetic derivatives of iboga alkaloids that lack hallucinogenic or adverse side effects. In the current study, we examine the therapeutic potential of DM506, a novel ibogalog lacking any cardiotoxic or hallucinogenic effects, in cue-induced seeking behavior following heroin self-administration. At a single systemic dose of 40 mg/kg, DM506 significantly decreased cue-induced seeking in both male and female rats at abstinence day 1 (AD1) following heroin self-administration. Upon re-testing for cue-induced seeking at AD14, we found that males receiving DM506 continued to show decreased cue-induced seeking, an effect not observed in females. Since there is evidence of psychedelics influencing tonic GABA currents, and opioid and psychoplastogen-mediated neuroadaptations in the medial prefrontal cortex (PrL) underlying its functional effects, we performed patch-clamp recordings on PrL slices of drug-naïve rats with an acute application or chronic incubation with DM506. Tonic GABA current was decreased in slices incubated with DM506 for 2 h. qPCR analysis did not reveal any differences in the mRNA levels of GABAA receptor α and δ subunits at AD14 in heroin and saline self-administered animals that received vehicle or DM506 at AD1. Overall, our data indicate that DM506 attenuates cue-induced heroin seeking and inhibits tonic GABA current in the prelimbic cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105785
JournalNeurochemistry International
StatePublished - Sep 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cue-induced seeking
  • DM506
  • Heroin
  • Psychoplastogens
  • Rats
  • Tonic GABA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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