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3C-PEP structure.png
CAS Number
PubChem CID
Chemical and physical data
Formula C18H21ClN2
Molar mass 300.8 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)

1-(3-Chlorophenyl)-4-(2-phenylethyl)piperazine (3C-PEP) is a research chemical of the piperazine class of chemical substances with psychoactive properties. 3C-PEP is related to meta-cholorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) and phenethylamine that can be thought of as mCPP having a phenylethyl group attached to the nitrogen atom at its 4-position. It was first described in 1994 in a patent[1] disclosing a series of piperazine compounds as sigma receptor ligands. Later, it was discovered to be a highly potent dopamine reuptake inhibitor.[2] Rather serendipitously, since the investigators were looking for compounds that bind to the sigma receptor as sigma ligands have been proposed as potential treatment of psychostimulant abuse including cocaine and methamphetamine abuse.


3C-PEP is one of the most potent dopamine transporter (DAT) ligand reported to date. It is highly selective for the dopamine transporter (DAT dissociation constant Ki = 0.04 nM) with relatively low affinity for the closely related Norepinephrine transporter NET (Ki = 1107 nM ) and the Serotonin Transporter SERT (Ki = 802 nM). In addition, the compound has little or no affinity for D2-like receptor (Ki = 327 nM), Serotonin 5-HT2 receptor, (Ki = 53 nM) Opioid receptor (Ki>10000 nM) and the PCP/NMDA receptor (Ki>10000 nM).[2]

With a DAT dissociation constant Ki of 0.04 nM, 3C-PEP is one of the most potent dopamine transporter ligand described to date in the literature. In comparison, cocaine which is a prototypical DAT ligand and reuptake inhibitor has a dissociation constant Ki of 435 nm thus making 3C-PEP about 10,000 times more potent than cocaine as a dopamine transporter inhibitor in vitro.[2]

Legal status[edit]

United States[edit]

3C-PEP is not scheduled at the federal level in the United States,[3]


3C-PEP is not scheduled under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Glennon, Richard A. "Sigma receptor ligands and the use thereof".
  2. ^ a b c Motel WC, Healy JR, Viard E, Pouw B, Martin KE, Matsumoto RR, Coop A (2013). "Chlorophenylpiperazine analogues as high affinity dopamine transporter ligands". Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 23 (24): 6020–6922. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.09.038. PMC 3919026. PMID 24211020.