In a major breakthrough in consciousness and psychedelic studies, Cottonwood Research Foundation has published a paper (soon to appear in the Journal Biomedical Chromatography) documenting the presence of DMT in the brains of living rats.
For decades researchers have hypothesized that DMT may be one of the neurochemicals responsible for consciousness, dreams and visionary experiences. It’s certainly responsible for these and ever weirder experiences for those who have smoked it or taken Ayahuasca. DMT has been documented as naturally occurring in human blood, but this was not conclusive evidence that it is produced in the brain. DMT is structurally related to Serotonin, Melatonin and Pinoline, so the small traces in human blood could be an enzymatic breakdown product of these precursor molecules.
Now we have clear proof of DMT being manufactured in the living Pineal Glands of rats, and that the genes responsible for this exist in the Pineal Gland and Retina! The first implication is that Yes, it truly is a natural neurochemical responsible for modulating consciousness. It is not a foreign substance to the body & mind of mammals. Also, if found in rats in this context then it is almost certain to function similarly in humans.
From the press release:
We’re excited to announce the acceptance for publication of a paper documenting the presence of DMT in the pineal glands of live rodents. The paper will appear in the journal Biomedical Chromatography and describes experiments that took place in Dr. Jimo Borjigin’s laboratory at the University of Michigan, where samples were collected. These samples were analyzed in Dr. Steven Barker’s laboratory at Louisiana State University, using methods that funding from the Cottonwood Research Foundation helped develop.
The pineal gland has been an object of great interest regarding consciousness for thousands of years, and a pineal source of DMT would help support a role for this enigmatic gland in unusual states of consciousness. Research at the University of Wisconsin has recently demonstrated the presence of the DMT-synthesizing enzyme as well as activity of the gene responsible for the enzyme in pineal (and retina). Our new data now establish that the enzyme actively produces DMT in the pineal.
The next step is to determine the presence of DMT in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that bathes the brain and pineal. CSF is a possible route for pineal-synthesized DMT to effect changes in brain function. Successfully establishing DMT’s presence in this gland adds another link in the chain between the pineal and consciousness and opens new avenues for research.
More info at Cottonwood Research Foundation