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Eur J Nucl Med. 1986;12(3):141-6.

In vivo kinetics and displacement study of a carbon-11-labeled hallucinogen, N,N-[11C]dimethyltryptamine.


The endogenous hallucinogen, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), was labeled with carbon-11 and its regional distribution in rat brain studied. [11C]DMT showed higher accumulation in the cerebral cortex, caudate putamen, and amygdaloid nuclei. Studies of the subcellular distribution of [11C]DMT revealed the specific localization in the fractions enriched with serotonin receptors only when a very low dose was injected into rats. The proportions of the radioactivity in receptor-rich fractions were greatly enhanced by pretreatment with the monoamine oxidase inhibitor, pargyline. Specific binding of [11C]DMT to serotonin receptors in dog brain was demonstrated by a positron emission tomographic study in which 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine caused approximately 20% displacement of the radioligand from the receptors.

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