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CAS number 61-54-1 7pxY
PubChem 1150
IUPHAR ligand 125
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C10H12N2
Molar mass Script error g mol−1
Appearance white to orange crystalline powder[1]
Melting point 113-116˚C[1]
Boiling point 137˚C[1]
Solubility in water negligible solubility in water[1]
Flash point 185˚C[1]
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 14pxN (verify) (what is: 10pxY/10pxN?)
Infobox references

Tryptamine is a monoamine alkaloid found in plants, fungi, and animals. It contains an indole ring structure, and is structurally similar to the amino acid tryptophan, from which it derives its name. Tryptamine is found in trace amounts in the brains of mammals and is believed to play a role as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter.[2]

The tryptamine chemical structure is the backbone for a group of compounds termed collectively tryptamines. This group includes many biologically active compounds, including neurotransmitters and psychedelic drugs.

The concentration of tryptamine in rat brains is about 3.5 pmol/g.[3]

Plants containing tryptamine

Many plants contain small amounts of tryptamine, for example, as a possible intermediate in one biosynthetic pathway to the plant hormone indole-3-acetic acid.[4] Higher concentrations can be found in many Acacia species.

Role in vertebrates

Tryptamine acts as a serotonin releasing agent[5] and a serotonergic activity enhancer.[6] It is metabolised by MAO-A and MAO-B.[7]

Tryptamine has also been observed to be a noncompetitive inhibitor of 5HT-N-acetyltransferase in mosquitoes.[8] 5HT-NAT catalyzes the anabolic metabolism of serotonin into the immediate precursor for melatonin, N-Acetylserotonin.

Tryptamine derivatives

Well-known tryptamines include serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, and melatonin, a hormone involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Tryptamine alkaloids found in fungi, plants and animals are sometimes used by humans and other animals, notably, the Jaguar,[9] for their psychotropic effects. Prominent examples of tryptamines include psilocybin (from "Psilocybin mushrooms") and DMT (from numerous plant sources, e.g. chacruna, often used in ayahuasca brews). Many synthetic tryptamines have also been made, including the migraine drug sumatriptan and its relatives. The tables below list some tryptamines.

General structure of substituted tryptamines

The tryptamine structure, in particular its indole ring, may be part of the structure of some more complex compounds, for example: LSD, ibogaine and yohimbine. A thorough investigation of dozens of tryptamine compounds was published by Ann and Alexander Shulgin under the title TiHKAL.

Selected tryptamines (see also Table of naturally occurring tryptamines)
Short Name Origin Rα R4 R5 RN1 RN2 Full Name
Tryptamine Natural H H H H H 3-(2-aminoethyl)indole / 2-(1H-indol-3-yl)ethanamine
Bufotenin Natural H H OH CH3 CH3 5-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Nω-methylserotonin (norbufotenin) Natural H H OH CH3 H 5-hydroxy-N-methyltryptamine
Serotonin Natural H H OH H H 5-hydroxytryptamine
DMT Natural H H H CH3 CH3 N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Melatonin Natural H H OCH3 O=C-CH3 H 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine
5-Bromo-DMT Natural H H Br CH3 CH3 5-bromo-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
5-MeO-DMT Natural H H OCH3 CH3 CH3 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
5-MeO-NMT Natural H H OCH3 CH3 H 5-methoxy-N-methyltryptamine
NMT Natural H H H H CH3 N-methyltryptamine
Norbaeocystin Natural H OPO3H2 H H H 4-phosphoryloxy-tryptamine
Baeocystin Natural H OPO3H2 H CH3 H 4-phosphoryloxy-N-methyl-tryptamine
Psilocybin Natural H PO4 H CH3 CH3 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Psilocin Natural H OH H CH3 CH3 4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Tryptophan Natural COOH H H H H α-carboxyltryptamine
αET artificial CH2CH3 H H H H α-ethyltryptamine
αMT artificial CH3 H H H H α-methyltryptamine
DALT artificial H H H H2C=CH-CH2 H2C=CH-CH2 N,N-diallyltryptamine
DET artificial H H H CH2CH3 CH2CH3 N,N-diethyltryptamine
DiPT artificial H H H CH(CH3)2 CH(CH3)2 N,N-diisopropyltryptamine
DPT artificial H H H CH2CH2CH3 CH2CH2CH3 N,N-dipropyltryptamine
5-MeO-αMT artificial CH3 H OCH3 H H 5-methoxy-α-methyltryptamine
5-MeO-DALT artificial H H OCH3 H2C=CH-CH2 H2C=CH-CH2 5-methoxy-N,N-diallyltryptamine
4-HO-DET artificial H OH H CH2CH3 CH2CH3 4-hydroxy-N,N-diethyltryptamine
4-AcO-DMT artificial H OCOCH3 H CH3 CH3 4-acetoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
4-HO-MET artificial H OH H CH3 CH2CH3 4-hydroxy-N-methyl-N-ethyltryptamine
4-HO-DIPT artificial H OH H CH(CH3)2 CH(CH3)2 4-hydroxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine
5-MeO-DIPT artificial H H OCH3 CH(CH3)2 CH(CH3)2 5-methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine
4-HO-MiPT artificial H OH H CH(CH3)2 CH3 4-hydroxy-N-isopropyl-N-methyltryptamine
Sumatriptan artificial H H CH2SO2NHCH3 CH3 CH3 5-(methylaminosulfonylmethylene)-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Zolmitriptan artificial H H -(CHNHC=OOCH2) CH3 CH3 5-( 4-(S)-1,3-oxazolidin-2-one)-N,N-dimethyltryptamine
Short Name Origin Rα R4 R5 RN1 RN2 Full Name


The Abramovitch–Shapiro tryptamine synthesis is an organic reaction for the synthesis of tryptamines.[10]

General structure of substituted tryptamines

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 ""
  2. Jones R.S. (1982). "Tryptamine: a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter in mammalian brain?". Progress in neurobiology 19 (1–2): 117–139. doi:10.1016/0301-0082(82)90023-5. 
  3. Jiang, Zhen; Mutch, Elaine; Blain, Peter G.; Williams, Faith M. (2006). "Conversion of trichloroethylene to chloral using occupationally relevant levels". Toxicology 226: 76. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2006.05.102. 
  4. Nobutaka Takahashi (1986). Chemistry of Plant Hormones. CRC Press. ISBN 9780849354700. 
  5. Wölfel, Reinhard; Graefe, Karl-Heinz (1992). "Evidence for various tryptamines and related compounds acting as substrates of the platelet 5-hydroxytryptamine transporter". Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology 345 (2): 129–36. PMID 1570019. doi:10.1007/BF00165727. 
  6. Shimazu, S; Miklya, I (2004). "Pharmacological studies with endogenous enhancer substances: Beta-phenylethylamine, tryptamine, and their synthetic derivatives". Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry 28 (3): 421–7. PMID 15093948. doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2003.11.016. 
  7. Sullivan, James P.; McDonnell, Leonard; Hardiman, Orla M.; Farrell, Michael A.; Phillips, Jack P.; Tipton, Keith F. (1986). "The oxidation of tryptamine by the two forms of monoamine oxidase in human tissues". Biochemical Pharmacology 35 (19): 3255–60. PMID 3094536. doi:10.1016/0006-2952(86)90421-1. 
  9. Robin Rood (2011). "Reassessing the Cultural and Psychopharmacological Significance of Banisteriopsis caapi: Preparation, Classification and Use Among the Piaroa of Southern Venezuela". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 40 (3): 301–307. 
  10. Abramovitch, R. A.; Shapiro, D. (1956). "880. Tryptamines, carbolines, and related compounds. Part II. A convenient synthesis of tryptamines and ?-carbolines". Journal of the Chemical Society (Resumed): 4589. doi:10.1039/JR9560004589. 

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