Psychedelic Drug Activity: Electronic, Steric and Biochemical Correlates

  • Solomon H. Snyder


Discerning the interaction of any drug and its receptors is difficult . Before a direct attack on a molecular system that mediates a drug’s action is possible, indirect approaches are important . One of the most fruitful is to corre-late the varying pharmacological potencies of different analogues with varying activities on a test system. As a model of drug-receptor interactions, psychedelic agents present some tempting possibilities as well as almost insuperable difficulties. For instance, d-Lysergicacid diethylamide (d-LSD) is so extra-ordinarily potent, producing effects in man at doses as little as 20 micrograms per 70kg, that one can readily postulate a high degree of affinity for its receptor. Also, there are fairly extensive series of psychedelic drugs which, although apparently differing in structure, produce closely similar effects and seem to be acting on the same receptorsite which raises the question of just what psychotropic effects should be labeled“psychedelic”.


Squirrel Monkey Serotonin Neuron Methoxy Substituent Psychedelic Drug Psychotropic Activity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Solomon H. Snyder
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Psychiatry and the Behavioral SciencesThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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