Lysergic Acid

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lysergic acid

[lə′sər·jīk ′as·əd]
(organic chemistry)
C16H16N2O2 A compound that crystallizes in the form of hexagonal plates that melt and decompose at 240°C; derived from ergot alkaloids; used as a psychotomimetic agent.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lysergic Acid


an organic acid of complex structure (C16H16O2N2) containing an indole residue. Lysergic acid crystals have a melting point of 238°C.

Lysergic acid is found in a number of ergot-generated alkaloids (ergoalkaloids), from which it can be isolated by alkaline hydrolysis. The first complete synthesis of lysergic acid was accomplished in 1954 by R. Woodward. The characteristic biological action of lysergic acid—the contraction of the uterine muscles—is expressed more weakly with lysergic acid itself than with the ergoalkaloids. On entering the organism, lysergic acid diethylamide, known as LSD, is an antagonist of serotonin, a central nervous system regulator. LSD has a strong hallucinogenic effect and is used in the treatment of certain mental diseases.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.