Behavioral characterization of 2-O-desmethyl and 5-O-desmethyl metabolites of the phenylethylamine hallucinogen DOM

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jul;75(4):845-52. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00159-x.


The present investigation was undertaken to test the hypothesis that known metabolites of the phenylethylamine hallucinogen 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOM) are pharmacologically active. This hypothesis was tested by evaluating the ability of racemic DOM metabolites 2-O-desmethyl DOM (2-DM-DOM) and 5-O-desmethyl DOM (5-DM-DOM) to substitute for the stimulus properties of (+)lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). The data indicate that both metabolites are active in LSD-trained subjects and are significantly inhibited by the selective 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonist M100907. Full generalization of LSD to both 2-DM-DOM and 5-DM-DOM occurred, and 5-DM-DOM was slightly more potent than 2-DM-DOM. Similarly, 5-DM-DOM had a slightly higher affinity than 2-DM-DOM for both 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors. Additionally, it was of interest to determine if the formation of active metabolite(s) resulted in a temporal delay associated with maximal stimulus effects of DOM. We postulated that if metabolite formation resulted in the aforementioned delay, direct administration of the metabolites might result in maximally stable stimulus effects at an earlier pretreatment time. This hypothesis was tested by evaluating (1) the time point at which DOM produces the greatest degree of LSD-appropriate responding, (2) the involvement of 5-HT(2A) receptor in the stimulus effects of DOM at various pretreatment times by administration of M100907 and (3) the ability of 2-DM-DOM and 5-DM-DOM to substitute for the stimulus properties of LSD using either 15- or 75-min pretreatment time. The data indicate that (a) the DOM stimulus produces the greatest degree of LSD-appropriate responding at the 75-min time point in comparison with earlier pretreatment times and (b) the stimulus effects of DOM are differentially antagonized by M100907 and this effect is a function of DOM pretreatment time prior to testing. Both 2-DM-DOM and 5-DM-DOM were found to be most active, at all doses tested, using a 75-min versus a 15-min pretreatment time. The present data do not permit unequivocal acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis that active metabolites of (-)-DOM provide a full explanation of the observed discrepancy between brain levels of (-)-DOM and maximal stimulus effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-Methylamphetamine / metabolism*
  • 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-Methylamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hallucinogens / metabolism*
  • Hallucinogens / pharmacology*
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Phenethylamines / metabolism
  • Phenethylamines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Reaction Time / drug effects*
  • Reaction Time / physiology


  • Hallucinogens
  • Phenethylamines
  • 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-Methylamphetamine
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide