1-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-2-aminopropane: A Potent Serotonin 5-HT2A/2C Agonist

David E. Nichols, Stewart Frescas, Danuta Marona-Lewicka, Xuemei Huang, Bryan L. Roth, Gary A. Gudelsky, J. Frank Nash

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A method was found to synthesize 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-2-aminopropane, 5, and its des-α-methyl congener 2-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)aminoethane, 6, the trifluoromethyl analogs of substituted hallucinogenic phenethylamine derivatives such as 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (3, DOI) that are potent 5-HT2A/2C agonists. In our hands, 5 and 6 have proven to have affinity for [3H]ketanserin or [125I]-3-labeled 5-HT2A/2C sites in rat cortex comparable to or higher than the analogous bromo or iodo analogs. Similarly, 5 and 6 had potency comparable to or slightly greater than that of their bromo or iodo congeners in the two-lever drug discrimination assay in rats trained to discriminate saline from LSD tartrate. The agonist properties of 5 and 6 were evaluated by measuring the accumulation of [3H]inositol monophosphate in cultured cells selectively expressing either 5-HT2A or 5-HT2C receptors. In comparison to serotonin (5-HT), compounds 3 (DOI), 5, and 6 were equally efficacious and full agonists at the 5-HT2C receptor. Similarly, 3 and 5 produced equivalent responses at the 5-HT2A receptor as compared to 5-HT. In contrast, 6, the α-desmethyl analog of 5, was only half as potent at stimulating inositol monophosphate accumulation at the 5-HT2A receptor. In conclusion, the title compound 5 and its α-desmethyl congener 6 appear to be the most potent of the so-called hallucinogenic amphetamine 5-HT agonists reported to date. Further, the reduced efficacy of 6 at the 5-HT2A receptor may offer at least a partial explanation for the observed higher in vivo potencies of α-methyl-substituted compounds in this series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4346-4351
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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