5-Methoxy-2-aminoindane (MEAI) is a psychoactive compound of the aminoindane class, which in recent years has been recreationally used by many people, who reported of a mild euphoric, alcohol-like tipsy experience and reduced desire to consume alcoholic beverages. In the light of these observations it was decided to progress MEAI through a preliminary drug development route and evaluate the acute and subacute toxicity of MEAI administrated orally to Sprague Dawley rats, as well as to determine potential in-vitro cytotoxic and mutagenic effects using state-of-the-art protocols. Furthermore, the interaction of MEAI at the highest non-toxic concentration (100 mg/L) with ethanol at cytotoxic levels of 6% and 7.5% was explored, in order to identify possible additive or synergistic effects.
MEAI showed a good safety profile in rats at 10 and 30 mg/kg body weight, corresponding to the human doses of 1.6 mg/kg and 4.8 mg/kg body weight, respectively. Cytotoxic effect was demonstrated using concentrations of 500 and 1000 mg/L with calculated IC50 value of 368.2 mg/L for rat brain striatum primary neurons and 403.1 mg/L for human primary healthy hepatocytes. The combination of 6% or 7.5% ethanol with 100 mg/L MEAI revealed no statistically significant increase of cytotoxic effect. Further studies, especially long term chronic and addictive behavior studies, are required in-order to assess MEAI safety profile.