Analysis of the enantiomers of 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDE, "Eve") and its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) in rat brain
Hegadoren KM, Baker GB, Coutts RT.
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Alberta,
Edmonton, Canada
J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods 1995 Oct;34(2):117-23


The methylenedioxy analogues of amphetamine are used recreationally despite concerns raised regarding potential neurotoxicity of the parent compounds and a number of metabolites. Much has been written regarding 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDE; "Eve"), despite recent reports indicating the abuse of this drug and its potentially serious side effects. An assay procedure was developed for the simultaneous quantitation of both enantiomers of MDE and its metabolite MDA; the method involves derivatization with an optically pure reagent and analysis on a gas chromatograph equipped with a capillary column and a nitrogen-phosphorus detector. Brain levels of the enantiomers of MDE and MDA were examined in the rat at different time periods after acute i.p. injections of racemic MDE and the results were compared with levels of MDMA and MDA obtained after i.p. injection of MDMA in a previous study from our laboratories. The levels of the enantiomers of MDE and MDA achieved at 1, 4, and 8 hr were lower than in the case of MDMA. Stereoselective differences in brain levels of enantiomers of the parent drug and metabolite were much less marked with MDE than with MDMA, but where these small differences did exist in the case of MDE, the (R)-(-) vs (S)-(+) relationship was opposite to that reported for MDMA.

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