31st FEBS Congress, İstanbul, Turkey, 24 - 29 June 2006, pp.361-362
Salvinorin A, the first known naturally occurring non-nitrogenous full agonist at j-opioid receptors, is the psychoactive component of the hallucinogenic mint Salvia divinorum (1). Salvia divinorum, or any of its active ingredients are not specifically listed in the Controlled Substances Act and it is currently used as a legal alternative to controlled substances. Usually smoking the dried leaf or absorption in buccal mucosa by chewing the fresh leaves, doses of approximately 200 mcg can produce profound hallucinogenic effects of short duration. The mechanism of action of salvinorin A is at the j-opioid receptor. Little data is available on the psychopharmacological effects of this substance so animal behavioral studies were undertaken to explore the open field locomotor activity effects of this substance in rats. Using Hall’s Open Field Test, a dosage of 4 mg/kg purified salvinorin A was administered intraperitoneally to rats. Squares entered, rearing up on hind legs, holes explored, and length of immobility were recorded. The data was evaluated by Sigmastat Statistic Program, using paired t-test. Salvinorin A, caused a statistically significant decrease in open field locomotor activity, rearing and exploratory behaviour. These results show that, Salvinorin A inhibits the locomotor activity and exploratory behaviour.
1. Chavkin et al. (2004). J Pharmacol Exp Ther , 308:1197–1203.