Neoclerodanes as atypical opioid receptor ligands

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22 Scopus citations


The neoclerodane diterpene salvinorin A is the major active component of the hallucinogenic mint plant Salvia divinorum Epling and Játiva (Lamiaceae). Since the finding that salvinorin A exerts its potent psychotropic actions through the activation of opioid receptors, the site of action of morphine and related analogues, there has been much interest in elucidating the underlying mechanisms behind its effects. These effects are particularly remarkable because (1) salvinorin A is the first reported non-nitrogenous opioid receptor agonist and (2) its effects are not mediated through the previously investigated targets of psychotomimetics. This Perspective outlines our research program, illustrating a new direction to the development of tools to further elucidate the biological mechanisms of drug tolerance and dependence. The information gained from these efforts is expected to facilitate the design of novel agents to treat pain, drug abuse, and other central nervous system disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3435-3443
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 9 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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