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Effects of treatment with Banisteriopsis caapi extract on the modulation of emotional learning in animals with Locus coeruleus depletion

Grant number: 21/06490-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): October 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal Investigator:Ariadiny de Lima Caetano
Grantee:Santhiago Calvelo Graça
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo (FCMSCSP). Fundação Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The human brain is composed of numerous signaling pathways, which are related to several molecules and are responsible for maintaining body homeostasis. In this context, memory is one of the human capacities that most associate signaling pathways in order to have proper functioning. Therefore, the locus coeruleus is responsible for coordinating the actions of the Hippocampus and the Amygdala, which are the main structures related to the memorization process. The locus coeruleus is the only norepinephrine product or site of the central nervous system (CNS). Through this molecule, which has two forms of triggering -tonic and phasic -, happens the control of the sleep-wake cycle and the concentrated attention. By stimulating the thalamus and cortical fibers, the locuscoeruleus contributes to the maintenance of brain excitation, modulating memory formation through actions in the amygdala and hippocampus. Notwithstanding, many degenerative diseases - which are increasingly present in our society due to greater longevity -, are characterized by the degeneration of this part of the CNS (for an instance, Parkinson's disease). Consequently, several pathways are affected, compromising the learning process and memory construction. So, studies that aim to maintain the good functioning of locus coeruleus are of great value. Along with that, Ayahuasca (especially one of its composts – the Banisteriopsis caapi) - has been studied and used in animal models with depletion of the locus coeruleus. It is known that Banisteriopsis caapi activates brain regions related to emotional learning and memory processes, such as the parahippocampal gyrus, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the amygdala. That said, this research aims to study the effects of treatment with the extractor B. caapi in the modulation of emotional learning in animals with a selective lesion of Locus coeruleus. (AU)

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