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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Sep;212(1):13-23. doi: 10.1007/s00213-009-1694-1. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

The serotonin 5-HT(2A) receptor agonist TCB-2: a behavioral and neurophysiological analysis.

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  • 1Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1264, USA.



There are few reports on the high-affinity 5-HT(2A) agonist (4-Bromo-3,6-dimethoxybenzocyclobuten-1-yl)methylamine hydrobromide (TCB-2).


Here we provide the first behavioral and neurophysiological profile of TCB-2 in C57BL/6J mice, with direct comparisons to the 5-HT(2A/2C) agonist (+/-)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl-2-aminopropane (DOI), in addition to determinations of 5-HT(2A) mediation via pretreatment with the selective 5-HT(2A) antagonist MDL 11,939.


In a dose-dependent manner, TCB-2 induced head twitches, decreased food consumption in food-deprived mice, induced hypothermia, and increased corticosterone levels, with no effects on locomotor activity or anxiety-like behaviors in the open field. Similar effects were observed in side-by-side dose-response comparisons with DOI; although at the highest dose tested (5.0 mg/kg), TCB-2 induced significantly fewer head twitches, and a significantly enhanced hypothermic response, versus DOI. Pretreatment with MDL 11,939 blocked head twitches and temperature change following TCB-2 and DOI, confirming 5-HT(2A) mediation of these responses. Although MDL 11,939 pretreatment blocked DOI-induced suppression of feeding, MDL 11,939 had no effect on TCB-2-induced suppression of feeding. Previous studies show that 5-HT(2A) function is altered by changes in serotonin transporter (SERT) expression and function. In SERT knockout (-/-) mice, TCB-2-induced head twitches and hypothermia were greatly diminished compared to SERT wild-type (+/+) mice.


The current studies are important, as they are the first to assess the effects of TCB-2 in mice, and are among the first to report the behavioral and neurophysiological effects of this conformationally restricted phenethylamine analog compound, which has 65-fold greater effects on signaling via the phosphoinositide versus arachidonic acid pathways.

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