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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Relationship of CNS tryptaminergic processes and the action of LSD-like hallucinogens.

Tryptamine produces pharmacologic effects in man and the chronic spinal dog which are similar to those produced by LSD, mescaline, psilocin, DMT, DOM and DOB. These effects include tachycardia, tachypnea, mydriasis, hyperreflexia, behavioral changes and in man, hallucinations. Chronic spinal dogs treated chronically with LSD became tolerant to its ability to produce mydriasis, tachycardia, tachypnea and hyperreflexia, and were cross tolerant to the ability of tryptamine, psilocin, mescaline, DMT, DOM and DOB to produce these same effects. Further, it was found that the brain and spinal cord contained tryptamine and could release it. Further tryptamine levels were higher in the brainstem and spinal cord above the level of transection in the chronic spinal dog that in intact dogs, and the same in the spinal cord below the level of transection. These observations suggested that there were both ascending and descending tryptaminergic pathways. Supporting this hypothesis were the observations that L-tryptophan also produced hyperreflexia in the acute, but not the chronic, spinal dog and cat, and that L-tryptophan hyperreflexia was antagonized by alpha-methyldopa but not pCPA. These observations and others argue that the spinal cord and brain have tryptaminergic mechanisms which are distinct from serotoninergic mechanisms, and that LSD-like hallucinogens act in part through a tryptaminergic mechanism.[1]


  1. Relationship of CNS tryptaminergic processes and the action of LSD-like hallucinogens. Martin, W.R., Sloan, J.W. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. (1986) [Pubmed]
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