Piperidine is one of the biogenic amines possessing potent pharmacological activity. Recent interest has focused on its possible role as an endogenous hypnogenic substance. Using a mass fragmentographic technique with deuterium-labelled piperidine as an internal standard, piperidine concentrations in brains of waking and deeply anesthetized mice were analyzed to compare piperidine levels in the brain under distinctly different states of consciousness. A rapid and significant increase in piperidine concentrations was found in the brain but not in blood of mice anesthetized with any one of pentobarbital, urethane, ether and halothane. The results, showing that CNS depression is accompanied by accumulation of piperidine in the brain, are consistent with the idea that piperidine may have a close connection with the mechanisms controlling the level of consciousness.
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