Psychotomimetic N-Methylated Tryptamines: Formation in Brain in vivo and in vitro

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Science  24 Mar 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4028, pp. 1365-1366
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4028.1365


The use of a sensitive enzymatic assay demonstrates that tryptamine occurs normally in rat brain. Intracisternal administration of [14C]tryptamine results in the formation of N-methyl-and dimethyltryptamine(a psychotomimetic compound)in the rat brain. An enzyme that converts tryptamine and N-methyl-tryptamine to N-methyl-and dimethyltryptamine was found to be present in rat and human brain. The N-methylation of tryptamine was inhibited by normally occurring compounds present in rat brain.