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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 132741-81-2
ATC code  ?
PubChem 125558
Chemical data
Formula C 10H11NO2  
Mol. mass 177.1998 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Half life  ?
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.  ?
Legal status legal
Routes  ?

5,6-Methylenedioxy-2-aminoindane (MDAI), is a drug and research chemical developed in the 1990s by a team led by David E. Nichols at Purdue University. It acts as a non-neurotoxic and highly selective serotonin releasing agent (SSRA) in animals and a putative empathogen in humans. It is closely related to MMAI and MDMAI, and MDAT.



The chemical structure of MDAI is indirectly derived from that of the illicit drug MDA, but the alpha-methyl group of the alkylamino amphetamine side chain has been bound back to the benzene nucleus to form an indane ring system, which changes its pharmacological properties substantially.[1]


The family of drugs typified by MDMA produce their effects through multiple mechanisms of action in the body, and consequently produce three distinct cues which animals can be trained to respond to: a stimulant cue typified by drugs such as methamphetamine, a hallucinogen cue typified by drugs such as LSD and DOM, and an "entactogen-like" cue which is produced by drugs such as MDAI and MBDB. These drugs cause drug-appropriate responses in animals trained to recognize the effects of MDMA, but do not produce responses in animals trained selectively to respond to stimulants or hallucinogens. Because these compounds selectively release serotonin in the brain but have little effect on dopamine or noradrenaline levels, they can produce empathogenic effects but without any stimulant action, instead being somewhat sedating.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Use in scientific research

MDAI and other similar drugs have been widely used in scientific research, as they are able to replicate many of the effects of MDMA, but without causing the neurotoxicity which may be associated with MDMA and some related drugs.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

See also


  1. ^ Monte AP, Marona-Lewicka D, Cozzi NV, Nichols DE. Synthesis and pharmacological examination of benzofuran, indan, and tetralin analogues of 3,4-(methylenedioxy)amphetamine. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 1993 Nov 12;36(23):3700-6. PMID 8246240
  2. ^ Steele TD, Nichols DE, Yim GK. Stereochemical effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and related amphetamine derivatives on inhibition of uptake of [3H]monoamines into synaptosomes from different regions of rat brain. Biochemical Pharmacology. 1987 Jul 15;36(14):2297-303. PMID 2886126
  3. ^ Oberlender R, Nichols DE. Drug discrimination studies with MDMA and amphetamine. Psychopharmacology (Berlin). 1988;95(1):71-6. PMID 2898791
  4. ^ Nichols DE. Differences between the mechanism of action of MDMA, MBDB, and the classic hallucinogens. Identification of a new therapeutic class: entactogens. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 1986 Oct-Dec;18(4):305-13. PMID 2880944
  5. ^ Oberlender R, Nichols DE. (+)-N-methyl-1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-butanamine as a discriminative stimulus in studies of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine-like behavioral activity. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 1990 Dec;255(3):1098-106. PMID 1979813
  6. ^ Oberlender R, Nichols DE. Structural variation and (+)-amphetamine-like discriminative stimulus properties. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour. 1991 Mar;38(3):581-6. PMID 2068194
  7. ^ Marona-Lewicka D, Nichols DE. Behavioral effects of the highly selective serotonin releasing agent 5-methoxy-6-methyl-2-aminoindan. European Journal of Pharmacology. 1994 Jun 2;258(1-2):1-13. PMID 7925587
  8. ^ Kovar KA. Chemistry and pharmacology of hallucinogens, entactogens and stimulants. Pharmacopsychiatry. 1998 Jul;31 Suppl 2:69-72. PMID 9754836
  9. ^ Nichols DE, Brewster WK, Johnson MP, Oberlender R, Riggs RM. Nonneurotoxic tetralin and indan analogues of 3,4-(methylenedioxy)amphetamine (MDA). Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 1990 Feb;33(2):703-10. PMID 1967651
  10. ^ Nichols DE, Johnson MP, Oberlender R. 5-Iodo-2-aminoindan, a nonneurotoxic analogue of p-iodoamphetamine. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour. 1991 Jan;38(1):135-9. PMID 1826785
  11. ^ Johnson MP, Frescas SP, Oberlender R, Nichols DE. Synthesis and Pharmacological Examination of 1-(3-Methoxy-4-methylphenyl)-2-aminopropane and 5-Methoxy-6-methyl-2-aminoindan: Similarities to 3,4-(Methylenedioxy)methamphetamine (MDMA). Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 1991;34:1662-1668.
  12. ^ Johnson MP, Huang XM, Nichols DE. Serotonin neurotoxicity in rats after combined treatment with a dopaminergic agent followed by a nonneurotoxic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) analogue. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour. 1991 Dec;40(4):915-22. PMID 1726189
  13. ^ Nichols DE, Marona-Lewicka D, Huang X, Johnson MP. Novel serotonergic agents. Drug Design and Discovery. 1993;9(3-4):299-312. PMID 8400010
  14. ^ Sprague JE, Johnson MP, Schmidt CJ, Nichols DE. Studies on the mechanism of p-chloroamphetamine neurotoxicity. Biochemical Pharmacology. 1996 Oct 25;52(8):1271-7. PMID 8937435
  15. ^ Cozzi NV, Frescas S, Marona-Lewicka D, Huang X, Nichols DE. Indan analogs of fenfluramine and norfenfluramine have reduced neurotoxic potential. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour. 1998 Mar;59(3):709-15. PMID 9512076


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