Wender indole synthesis

What is Wender indole synthesis?

The Wender indole synthesis is a synthetic approach for producing indole derivatives. It involves the ortho lithiation of N-acyl aniline, followed by the reaction of the resulting dianion with α-haloketone. This is then followed by cyclization and dehydration.

Wender indole synthesis - general reaction scheme
Wender indole synthesis

The Wender indole synthesis was first described by Wender in 1981, and has since become a widely recognized method for synthesizing indole derivatives.


Wender, P. A., and White, A. W. (1983). Methodology for the facile and regio-controlled synthesis of indoles. Tetrahedron, 39(22), 3767-3776. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0040-4020(01)88618-X