Tryptamine is a monoamine alkaloid that can be synthesized by decarboxylation of the amino acid tryptophan. Notably, tryptamine can be found in fungi, plants, Amphibia, animals, and microbes.
Tryptamine has an indole ring structure and a fused double ring that is composed of a benzene ring and a pyrrole ring, linked to an amino group by 2-carbon side chain. The indole ring is the vital nucleus of many complex natural products that have significance in drug discovery as well as some synthetic and non-synthetic drugs that are based on tryptamine skeleton.
The chemical’s distinct structure is an approximation to the neurotransmitter serotonin as well-known drugs and hallucinogens. Tryptamine’s significance as psychedelic drugs, neuromodulator, and neurotransmitter is well understood due to its presence in mammalian brain in small amounts.
Analogs of tryptamine that are typically produced by its synthetic modification play a significant role in individuals due to the introduction of functionalities that are biologically active in its nucleus that may cause changes in the mental and physical status of the human brain.
Substitutions on the indole ring at nitrogen and C-2 of its side chain produce numerous neuroactive compounds ranging from anti-migraine drugs to toxic substances, such as rizatriptan, sumatriptan, and zolmitriptan. A small amount of tryptamine is required due to its fatalities and intoxication for several reasons.
Plants Containing Tryptamine
In plants, tryptamine in small amounts acts as a promising phase to the plant hormone indole-3-acetic acid in one biosynthetic pathway. N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a tryptamine derivative that is an active constituent for the hallucinogenic effect of brew known as the “vine of the souls.” Indigenous Amazonian tribes have traditionally used the drink for therapeutic purposes for effective treatment of some physical maladies and abuse disorders. Magic mushrooms are the most common fungi that contain tryptamine derivatives.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), which is a natural derivative of tryptamine is a significant signaling hormone that helps in the modulation and regulation of numerous processes within the central nervous system, for instance, cognition, sleep, temperature regulation, memory, and behavior. The mammalian brain contains small traces of tryptamine, which generally act as a modulator or neurotransmitter by releasing serotonin agents. It is also an enhancer of serotonergic activity. Only one minute is required for tryptamine to produce psychotropic phenomena when used recreationally. It has been associated with fatalities and intoxications for multiple reasons including low toxic concentrations
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