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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Mar;24(3):107-9.

Salvinorin A: the "magic mint" hallucinogen finds a molecular target in the kappa opioid receptor.

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Department of Biochemistry, Case Western Reserve University Medical School, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Salvinorin A, a neoclerodane diterpene, is the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen known and rivals the synthetic hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide in potency. Recently, the molecular target of salvinorin A was identified as the kappa opioid receptor (KOR). Salvinorin A represents the only known non-nitrogenous KOR selective agonist. Based on the selectivity of salvinorin A for the KOR, this receptor represents a potential molecular target for the development of drugs to treat disorders characterized by alterations in perception, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and bipolar disorder.

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