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Hallucinogen-like effects of 2-([2-(4-cyano-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethylamino]methyl)phenol (25CN-NBOH), a novel N-benzylphenethylamine with 100-fold selectivity for 5-HT2A receptors, in mice

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2-([2-(4-cyano-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethylamino]methyl)phenol (25CN-NBOH) is structurally similar to N-benzyl substituted phenethylamine hallucinogens currently emerging as drugs of abuse. 25CN-NBOH exhibits dramatic selectivity for 5-HT2A receptors in vitro, but has not been behaviorally characterized.


25CN-NBOH was compared to the traditional phenethylamine hallucinogen R(-)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) using mouse models of drug-elicited head twitch behavior and drug discrimination.


Drug-elicited head twitches were quantified for 10 min following administration of various doses of either DOI or 25CN-NBOH, with and without pretreatments of 0.01 mg/kg 5-HT2A antagonist M100907 or 3.0 mg/kg 5-HT2C antagonist RS102221. The capacity of 25CN-NBOH to attenuate DOI-elicited head twitch was also investigated. Mice were trained to discriminate DOI or M100907 from saline, and 25CN-NBOH was tested for generalization.


25CN-NBOH induced a head twitch response in the mouse that was lower in magnitude than that of DOI, blocked by M100907, but not altered by RS102221. DOI-elicited head twitch was dose-dependently attenuated by 25CN-NBOH pretreatment. 25CN-NBOH produced an intermediate degree of generalization (55 %) for the DOI training dose, and these interoceptive effects were attenuated by M100907. Finally, 25CN-NBOH did not generalize to M100907 at any dose, but ketanserin fully substituted in these animals.


25CN-NBOH was behaviorally active, but less effective than DOI in two mouse models of hallucinogenic effects. The effectiveness with which M100907 antagonized the behavioral actions of 25CN-NBOH strongly suggests that the 5-HT2A receptor is an important site of agonist action for this compound in vivo.

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We thank the UAMS Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine for expert husbandry services. This research was generously supported, in part, by an NIGMS IDeA Program award (GM110702), by the UAMS Translational Research Institute (RR029884), and by the Lundbeck Foundation. DS received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics which funded his time in the laboratory conducting the head twitch experiments described herein. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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Correspondence to William E. Fantegrossi.

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Fantegrossi, W.E., Gray, B.W., Bailey, J.M. et al. Hallucinogen-like effects of 2-([2-(4-cyano-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethylamino]methyl)phenol (25CN-NBOH), a novel N-benzylphenethylamine with 100-fold selectivity for 5-HT2A receptors, in mice. Psychopharmacology 232, 1039–1047 (2015).

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