78. Are Psychedelics Anti-inflammatory? with Dr Charles Nichols


Join us on this enlightening episode of the Drug Science podcast as we delve into the fascinating world of serotonergic pathways and their potential applications in treating psychiatric disorders and combating inflammation. Our special guest, Charles Nichols, a distinguished professor of pharmacology at LSU New Orleans, shares his groundbreaking research on the psychedelic 5-HT2A serotonin receptor.

During our conversation, we explore the intricate relationship between the 5-HT2A receptor and its role in both anti-inflammation and the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Charles Nichols guides us through the mechanisms behind these processes, shedding light on how psychedelics like LSD can play a crucial role in modulating the 5-HT2A receptor.
Drawing from his innovative studies, Charles Nichols reveals a surprising avenue of research involving the administration of LSD to depressed fruit flies. We uncover the intriguing results of these experiments and discuss the implications they hold for understanding the neural mechanisms underlying depression and potential treatments.

As we venture further into our conversation, we explore the broader implications of Charles Nichols’ work, touching on the potential of psychedelics in revolutionizing mental health treatments and redefining our understanding of brain function. We examine the challenges and prospects of translating this research into practical therapies for individuals suffering from psychiatric disorders.

Tune in to this thought-provoking episode of the Drug Science podcast to discover the cutting-edge advancements in psychedelic research, and gain a deeper appreciation for the therapeutic potential of serotonergic pathways in treating mental health disorders and combating inflammation.


Serotonin 5-HT2a receptor


David Nichols






Elaine Sanders-Bush


5-HT2C receptor


Functional selectivity


Porsolt forced swimming test














2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI)




Interleukin 6 (IL6)


Stephania Cormier


Timothy Foster