Anxiety-like behavior induced by salicylate depends on age and can be prevented by a single dose of 5-MeO-DMT

Exp Neurol. 2020 Apr;326:113175. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113175. Epub 2020 Jan 8.


Salicylate intoxication is a cause of tinnitus and comorbidly associated with anxiety in humans. In a previous work, we showed that salicylate induces anxiety-like behavior and hippocampal type 2 theta oscillations (theta2) in mice. Here we investigate if the anxiogenic effect of salicylate is dependent on age and previous tinnitus experience. We also tested whether a single dose of DMT can prevent this effect. Using microwire electrode arrays, we recorded local field potential in young (4-5- month-old) and old (11-13-month-old) mice to study the electrophysiological effect of tinnitus in the ventral hippocampus (vHipp) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in an open field arena and elevated plus maze 1h after salicylate (300mg/kg) injection. We found that anxiety-like behavior and increase in theta2 oscillations (4-6 Hz), following salicylate pre-treatment, only occurs in young (normal hearing) mice. We also show that theta2 and slow gamma oscillations increase in the vHipp and mPFC in a complementary manner during anxiety tests in the presence of salicylate. Finally, we show that pre-treating mice with a single dose of the hallucinogenic 5-MeO-DMT prevents anxiety-like behavior and the increase in theta2 and slow gamma oscillations after salicylate injection in normal hearing young mice. This work further support the hypothesis that anxiety-like behavior after salicylate injection is triggered by tinnitus and require normal hearing. Moreover, our results show that hallucinogenic compounds can be effective in treating tinnitus-related anxiety.

Keywords: 5-MeO-DMT and anxiety; Tinnitus; Type 2 theta; Ventral hippocampus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / chemically induced*
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem
  • Hallucinogens / therapeutic use*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / complications
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Methoxydimethyltryptamines / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microelectrodes
  • Motor Activity
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Salicylates* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tinnitus / chemically induced
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology
  • Tinnitus / psychology


  • Hallucinogens
  • Methoxydimethyltryptamines
  • Salicylates