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Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Jun 5;18(12). pii: pyv065. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyv065.

Salvinorin-A Induces Intense Dissociative Effects, Blocking External Sensory Perception and Modulating Interoception and Sense of Body Ownership in Humans.

Author information

1
Human Neuropsychopharmacology Group. Sant Pau Institute of Biomedical Research (IIB-Sant Pau). Sant Antoni María Claret, Barcelona, Spain (Drs Maqueda and Riba); Centre d'Investigació de Medicaments, Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain (Drs Valle, Antonijoan, Puntes, Coimbra, Ballester, Garrido, González, Claramunt, and Riba); Departament de Farmacologia i Terapèutica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain (Drs Valle, Antonijoan, and Riba); Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Barcelona, Spain (Drs Valle, Antonijoan, and Riba); Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Modelling and Simulation, IIB Sant Pau. Sant Antoni María Claret, 167, 08025 Barcelona, Spain (Dr Valle); Medical Informatics, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT (Dr Addy); Medical Informatics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (Dr Addy); Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive at River Road, Baton Rouge, LA (Dr Barker); Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5510 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD (Drs Johnson and Griffiths); Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (Dr Griffiths).
2
Human Neuropsychopharmacology Group. Sant Pau Institute of Biomedical Research (IIB-Sant Pau). Sant Antoni María Claret, Barcelona, Spain (Drs Maqueda and Riba); Centre d'Investigació de Medicaments, Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain (Drs Valle, Antonijoan, Puntes, Coimbra, Ballester, Garrido, González, Claramunt, and Riba); Departament de Farmacologia i Terapèutica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain (Drs Valle, Antonijoan, and Riba); Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Barcelona, Spain (Drs Valle, Antonijoan, and Riba); Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Modelling and Simulation, IIB Sant Pau. Sant Antoni María Claret, 167, 08025 Barcelona, Spain (Dr Valle); Medical Informatics, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT (Dr Addy); Medical Informatics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (Dr Addy); Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive at River Road, Baton Rouge, LA (Dr Barker); Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5510 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD (Drs Johnson and Griffiths); Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (Dr Griffiths). jriba@santpau.cat.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Salvinorin-A is a terpene with agonist properties at the kappa-opioid receptor, the binding site of endogenous dynorphins. Salvinorin-A is found in Salvia divinorum, a psychoactive plant traditionally used by the Mazatec people of Oaxaca, Mexico, for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Previous studies with the plant and salvinorin-A have reported psychedelic-like changes in perception, but also unusual changes in body awareness and detachment from external reality. Here we comprehensively studied the profiles of subjective effects of increasing doses of salvinorin-A in healthy volunteers, with a special emphasis on interoception.

METHODS:

A placebo and three increasing doses of vaporized salvinorin-A (0.25, 0.50, and 1mg) were administered to eight healthy volunteers with previous experience in the use of psychedelics. Drug effects were assessed using a battery of questionnaires that included, among others, the Hallucinogen Rating Scale, the Altered States of Consciousness, and a new instrument that evaluates different aspects of body awareness: the Multidimensional Assessment for Interoceptive Awareness.

RESULTS:

Salvinorin-A led to a disconnection from external reality, induced elaborate visions and auditory phenomena, and modified interoception. The lower doses increased somatic sensations, but the highest dose led to a sense of a complete loss of contact with the body.

CONCLUSIONS:

Salvinorin-A induced intense psychotropic effects characterized by a dose-dependent gating of external audio-visual information and an inverted-U dose-response effect on body awareness. These results suggest a prominent role for the kappa opioid receptor in the regulation of sensory perception, interoception, and the sense of body ownership in humans.

KEYWORDS:

Body ownership; dissociative effects; dynorphins; human; interoception; kappa opioid receptor; salvia divinorum.; salvinorin-A

PMID:
26047623
PMCID:
PMC4675976
DOI:
10.1093/ijnp/pyv065
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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