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The vanadium-catalyzed oxidative coupling of substituted 2-arylimidiazo[1,2-a]pyridines to N-methylmorpholine oxide, which acts as both a coupling partner and an oxidant, has been achieved. This reaction was applied to various substituted imidiazo[1,2-a]pyridine and indole substrates, resulting in yields as high as 90%. Mechanistic investigations indicate that the reaction may proceed via a Mannich-type process. This work demonstrates how oxidative aminomethylation can be used as a useful method to introduce tertiary amines into heterocycles, thus providing an alternative method for conventional Mannich-type reactions.

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