LC/MS/MS analysis of the endogenous dimethyltryptamine hallucinogens, their precursors, and major metabolites in rat pineal gland microdialysate

Biomed Chromatogr. 2013 Dec;27(12):1690-700. doi: 10.1002/bmc.2981. Epub 2013 Jul 23.


We report a qualitative liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) method for the simultaneous analysis of the three known N,N-dimethyltryptamine endogenous hallucinogens, their precursors and metabolites, as well as melatonin and its metabolic precursors. The method was characterized using artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) as the matrix and was subsequently applied to the analysis of rat brain pineal gland-aCSF microdialysate. The method describes the simultaneous analysis of 23 chemically diverse compounds plus a deuterated internal standard by direct injection, requiring no dilution or extraction of the samples. The results demonstrate that this is a simple, sensitive, specific and direct approach to the qualitative analysis of these compounds in this matrix. The protocol also employs stringent MS confirmatory criteria for the detection and confirmation of the compounds examined, including exact mass measurements. The excellent limits of detection and broad scope make it a valuable research tool for examining the endogenous hallucinogen pathways in the central nervous system. We report here, for the first time, the presence of N,N-dimethyltryptamine in pineal gland microdialysate obtained from the rat.

Keywords: LC/MS/MS; N,N-dimethyltryptamines; microdialysis; pineal gland; rat brain.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Drug Stability
  • Hallucinogens / analysis*
  • Hallucinogens / isolation & purification
  • Limit of Detection
  • Male
  • Microdialysis
  • N,N-Dimethyltryptamine / analysis*
  • N,N-Dimethyltryptamine / isolation & purification
  • Pineal Gland / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Hallucinogens
  • N,N-Dimethyltryptamine