Behavioral, Neurochemical, and Pharmaco-EEG Profiles of 2C-B in Rats

Tomas Palenicek

Abstract: 2C-B (4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenylethylamine) is a synthetic phenylethylamine, first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin in the 1970s. Shulgin also described its psychedelic and entactogenic properties in a human study for the first time; the compound later became popular as an adjunct to psychotherapy as well as a recreational drug. Even though 2C-B has gained its popularity over the decades we have had almost no knowledge about its pharmacology, potential toxicity, or safety until recently. We performed several preclinical experiments with this compound comparing them to the effects of well-known hallucinogens and MDMA (3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine; ecstasy). In behavioral experiments, 2C-B shows a profile more similar to hallucinogenic compounds than to MDMA. Further behavioral studies with antagonists and agonists of various receptors showed its mechanism of action is related mainly to the activation of serotonin and dopamine systems. Our findings indicate that 2C-B is closely related to hallucinogenic drugs and also shares some of the effects of entactogens like MDMA. This work was supported by the projects VG20122015075, NT/13897, RVO-PCP/2012, and VG20122015080 (Czech Republic).

Tomas Palenicek completed his MD in 2001 and his PhD degree in neuroscience in 2009, both at 3rd medical faculty of Charles University in Prague. In 2001 he has started his scientific career as a researcher and psychiatrist at Prague Psychiatric Center. Since the beginning he was interested in the effects and neurobiology of psychedelics, new synthetic/designer drugs including 2C-B and in the neurobiology of schizophrenia. He was a principal investigator of 6 research projects and co-investigator of several others until recently. Initially his research was mainly in the preclinical field; however since 2010 he has started to conduct first clinical trials with ketamine in human volunteers in the Czech Republic. The last two years he is a principle investigator of the first human research project with psilocybin in human volunteers in his country. During the present time his scientific interest is in the quantitative analysis of EEG signal, especially on brain connectivity measures in psychedelics and schizophrenia. His work has been published in several peer reviewed journals and also awarded at several international conferences.

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