OPEN Foundation

T. Prisinzano

The Acute Effects of the Atypical Dissociative Hallucinogen Salvinorin A on Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain

Abstract

Salvinorin A (SA) is a κ-opioid receptor agonist and atypical dissociative hallucinogen found in Salvia divinorum. Despite the resurgence of hallucinogen studies, the effects of κ-opioid agonists on human brain function are not well-understood. This placebo-controlled, within-subject study used functional magnetic resonance imaging for the first time to explore the effects of inhaled SA on strength, variability, and entropy of functional connectivity (static, dynamic, and entropic functional connectivity, respectively, or sFC, dFC, and eFC). SA tended to decrease within-network sFC but increase between-network sFC, with the most prominent effect being attenuation of the default mode network (DMN) during the first half of a 20-min scan (i.e., during peak effects). SA reduced brainwide dFC but increased brainwide eFC, though only the former effect survived multiple comparison corrections. Finally, using connectome-based classification, most models trained on dFC network interactions could accurately classify the first half of SA scans. In contrast, few models trained on within- or between-network sFC and eFC performed above chance. Notably, models trained on within-DMN sFC and eFC performed better than models trained on other network interactions. This pattern of SA effects on human brain function is strikingly similar to that of other hallucinogens, necessitating studies of direct comparisons.

Doss, M. K., May, D. G., Johnson, M. W., Clifton, J. M., Hedrick, S. L., Prisinzano, T. E., Griffiths, R. R., & Barrett, F. S. (2020). The Acute Effects of the Atypical Dissociative Hallucinogen Salvinorin A on Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain. Scientific reports, 10(1), 16392. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-73216-8

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Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist Mesyl Sal B Attenuates Behavioral Sensitization to Cocaine with Fewer Aversive Side-Effects than Salvinorin A in Rodents.

Abstract

The acute activation of kappa opioid receptors (KOPr) produces antinociceptive and anti-cocaine effects, however, their side-effects have limited further clinical development. Mesyl Sal B is a potent and selective KOPr analogue of Salvinorin A (Sal A), a psychoactive natural product isolated from the plant Salvia divinorum. We assessed the antinociceptive, anti-cocaine, and side-effects of Mesyl Sal B. The anti-cocaine effects are evaluated in cocaine-induced hyperactivity and behavioral sensitization to cocaine in male Sprague Dawley rats. Mesyl Sal B was assessed for anhedonia (conditioned taste aversion), aversion (conditioned place aversion), pro-depressive effects (forced swim test), anxiety (elevated plus maze) and learning and memory deficits (novel object recognition). In male B6.SJL mice, the antinociceptive effects were evaluated in warm-water (50 °C) tail withdrawal and intraplantar formaldehyde (2%) assays and the sedative effects measured with the rotarod performance task. Mesyl Sal B (0.3 mg/kg) attenuated cocaine-induced hyperactivity and behavioral sensitization to cocaine without modulating sucrose self-administration and without producing aversion, sedation, anxiety, or learning and memory impairment in rats. However, increased immobility was observed in the forced swim test indicating pro-depressive effects. Mesyl Sal B was not as potent as Sal A at reducing pain in the antinociceptive assays. In conclusion, Mesyl Sal B possesses anti-cocaine effects, is longer acting in vivo and has fewer side-effects when compared to Sal A, however, the antinociceptive effects are limited.
Kivell, B., Paton, K., Kumar, N., Morani, A., Culverhouse, A., Shepherd, A., … & Prisinzano, T. (2018). Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist Mesyl Sal B Attenuates Behavioral Sensitization to Cocaine with Fewer Aversive Side-Effects than Salvinorin A in Rodents. Molecules23(10), 2602., 10.3390/molecules23102602
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Addressing Structural Flexibility at the A-Ring on Salvinorin A: Discovery of a Potent Kappa-Opioid Agonist with Enhanced Metabolic Stability

Abstract

Previous structure-activity studies on the neoclerodane diterpenoid salvinorin A have demonstrated the importance of the acetoxy functionality on the A-ring in its activity as a κ-opioid receptor agonist. Few studies have focused on understanding the role of conformation in these interactions. Herein we describe the synthesis and evaluation of both flexible and conformationally restricted compounds derived from salvinorin A. One such compound, spirobutyrolactone 14, was synthesized in a single step from salvinorin B and had similar potency and selectivity to salvinorin A (EC50 = 0.6 ± 0.2 nM at κ; >10000 nM at μ and δ). Microsomal stability studies demonstrated that 14 was more metabolically resistant than salvinorin A. Evaluation of analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties revealed similar in vivo effects between 14 and salvinorin A. To our knowledge, this study represents the first example of bioisosteric replacement of an acetate group by a spirobutyrolactone to produce a metabolically resistant derivative.
Sherwood, A. M., Crowley, R. S., Paton, K. F., Biggerstaff, A., Neuenswander, B., Day, V. W., … & Prisinzano, T. E. (2017). Addressing Structural Flexibility at the A-Ring on Salvinorin A: Discovery of a Potent Kappa-Opioid Agonist with Enhanced Metabolic Stability. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry60(9), 3866-3878. 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00148
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Time course of pharmacokinetic and hormonal effects of inhaled high-dose salvinorin A in humans.

Abstract

Salvinorin A is a kappa opioid agonist and the principal psychoactive constituent of the Salvia divinorum plant, which has been used for hallucinogenic effects. Previous research on salvinorin A pharmacokinetics likely underestimated plasma levels typically resulting from the doses administered due to inefficient vaporization and not collecting samples during peak drug effects. Six healthy adults inhaled a single high dose of vaporized salvinorin A (n = 4, 21 mcg/kg; n = 2, 18 mcg/kg). Participant- and monitor-rated effects were assessed every 2 min for 60 min post-inhalation. Blood samples were collected at 13 time points up to 90 min post-inhalation. Drug levels peaked at 2 min and then rapidly decreased. Drug levels were significantly, positively correlated with participant and monitor drug effect ratings. Significant elevations in prolactin were observed beginning 5 min post-inhalation and peaking at 15 min post-inhalation. Cortisol showed inconsistent increases across participants. Hormonal responses were not well correlated with drug levels. This is the first study to demonstrate a direct relationship between changes in plasma levels of salvinorin A and drug effects in humans. The results confirm the efficacy of an inhalation technique for salvinorin A.

Johnson, M. W., MacLean, K. A., Caspers, M. J., Prisinzano, T. E., & Griffiths, R. R. (2016). Time course of pharmacokinetic and hormonal effects of inhaled high-dose salvinorin A in humans. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881116629125

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Synthesis and κ-opioid receptor activity of furan-substituted salvinorin A analogues

Abstract

The neoclerodane diterpene salvinorin A, found in the leaves of Salvia divinorum, is a potent κ-opioid receptor agonist, making it an attractive scaffold for development into a treatment for substance abuse. Although several successful semisynthetic studies have been performed to elucidate structure-activity relationships, the lack of analogues with substitutions to the furan ring of salvinorin A has prevented a thorough understanding of its role in binding to the κ-opioid receptor. Herein we report the synthesis of several salvinorin A derivatives with modified furan rings. Evaluation of these compounds in a functional assay indicated that sterically less demanding substitutions are preferred, suggesting the furan ring is bound in a congested portion of the binding pocket. The most potent of the analogues successfully reduced drug-seeking behavior in an animal model of drug-relapse without producing the sedation observed with other κ-opioid agonists.

Riley, A. P., Groer, C. E., Young, D., Ewald, A. W., Kivell, B. M., & Prisinzano, T. E. (2014). Synthesis and Kappa Opioid Receptor Activity of Furan-Substituted Salvinorin A Analogues. Journal of medicinal chemistry. https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm501521d
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Human psychopharmacology and dose-effects of salvinorin A, a kappa opioid agonist hallucinogen present in the plant Salvia divinorum

Abstract

Salvinorin A is a potent, selective nonnitrogenous kappa opioid agonist and the known psychoactive constituent of Salvia divinorum, a member of the mint family that has been used for centuries by Mazatec shamans of Mexico for divination and spiritual healing. S. divinorum has over the last several years gained increased popularity as a recreational drug. This is a double-blind, placebo controlled study of salvinorin A in 4 psychologically and physically healthy hallucinogen-using adults. Across sessions, participants inhaled 16 ascending doses of salvinorin A and 4 intermixed placebo doses under comfortable and supportive conditions. Doses ranged from 0.375 μg/kg to 21 μg/kg. Subject-rated drug strength was assessed every 2 min for 60 min after inhalation. Orderly time- and dose-related effects were observed. Drug strength ratings peaked at 2 min (first time point) and definite subjective effects were no longer present at approximately 20 min after inhalation. Dose-related increases were observed on questionnaire measures of mystical-type experience (Mysticism Scale) and subjective effects associated with classic serotonergic (5-HT2A) hallucinogens (Hallucinogen Rating Scale). Salvinorin A did not significantly increase heart rate or blood pressure. Participant narratives indicated intense experiences characterized by disruptions in vestibular and interoceptive signals (e.g., change in spatial orientation, pressure on the body) and unusual and sometimes recurring themes across sessions such as revisiting childhood memories, cartoon-like imagery, and contact with entities. Under these prepared and supportive conditions, salvinorin A occasioned a unique profile of subjective effects having similarities to classic hallucinogens, including mystical-type effects.

Johnson, M. W., Maclean, K.A., Reissig, C. R., Prisinzano, T. E., & Griffiths, R. R. (2010). Human psychopharmacology and dose-effects of salvinorin A, a kappa opioid agonist hallucinogen present in the plant Salvia divinorum. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 115(1-2), 150-155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.11.005

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22 May - Delivering Effective Psychedelic Clinical Trials

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