Tryptamine (TA) occurs in trace levels in the brain, but its role in the central nervous system is not clear. However, there is evidence that TA may be a neuromodulator since it binds to specific binding sites in the brain. TA was measured as a diheptafluorobutyryl derivative in rat whole brain by capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry using negative chemical ionization (NCI) and single ion monitoring (SIM). d4-TA was used as the internal standard. The ions m/z 532 and m/z 536 were monitored to identify TA and d4-TA, respectively and to calculate the concentration of TA in rat whole brain which was found to be 0.19 ± 0.08 ng g-1(n = 8). The results confirm the earlier TA concentrations measured by GC-MS using positive electron impact ionization. However, NCI improved the signal/noise ratio of the method increasing its sensitivity for TA. © 1988.
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