Fourteen aromatic metabolites (6-19) were isolated from an aqueous extract of the solitary tunicate Cnemidocarpa irene collected in Hokkaido, Japan. The structures of the metabolites were determined based on the spectroscopic interpretations, including one- and two-dimensional NMR, mass spectra, UV, and circular dichroism data. The biopterin analogue 10 modulated the behavior of mice after intracerebroventricular injection and showed a weak affinity to ionotropic glutamate receptor subtypes. Analyses of fluorescent coelomic fluid of the tunicate revealed that pterin 12 was responsible for the fluorescence of the blood cells, while β-carbolines 1 and 3 were fluorescent compounds in the serum. The metabolic profiles in adults, juveniles, larvae, and eggs of the animal differed substantially, suggesting that the metabolism of the animal, especially biosynthesis of aromatic secondary metabolites, changes over different life stages.
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