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Life Sci. 2004 Oct 15;75(22):2615-9.

Salvinorin A: a novel and highly selective kappa-opioid receptor agonist.

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Department of Biochemistry, RM W441, Case Western Reserve University Medical School, 2109 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) represent the principal site of action of dynorphin and related neuropeptides. Recently, Salvinorin A--a naturally occurring neoclerodane diterpene hallucinogen was identified to be a highly selective KOR agonist. In this brief review we summarize the known chemistry, pharmacology and biology of salvinorin A. Because salvinorin A profoundly alters human consciousness and perception, a study of how salvinorin A exerts its actions on KORs may yield novel insights into the molecular and cellular basis of uniquely human higher cortical functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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