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brain receptors

Sandra L Wegert sandraw at U.Arizona.EDU
Sun Nov 26 13:10:14 EST 1995

> I am interested in the seemingly taboo subject on the the interaction 
> of psychedelic drugs with brain receptors. Much of the current research 
> seems to be to prove a link between such drugs and brain damage, 
> whereas few groups seem to study how the drugs mediate their bizarre 
> effects. I remember seeing a TV programme (lay-mans stuff) that the 
> drug MDMA interacts with at least 5 brain receptors (probably 5 
> different 5-HT receptors). This would allow the wide spectrum of 
> effects between the different psychedelics. Unfortunately I cannot seem 
> to locate the any papers which suggest this. I would be grateful if 
> anyone could direct me to the relevant papers and inform me whether 
> there are structures for any of the proposed receptors. I appologise 
> for posting such a controversial topic onto the newsgroup but I would 
> be grateful for any assistance.
It's NOT a terribly taboo subject, not among scientists anyway; we discuss 
this sort of thing at meetings all the time.  Now to address your 
questions:  I don't know much about MDMA.  I seem to remember it being 
neurotoxic (unlike LSD).  
There are structures known for all (14? and counting) serotonin 
receptors.  And they have agonists and antagonists for most of them.  LSD 
binds to maybe 4 of the 14, but it's probably more selective than MDMA.
Try a medline search for 5-hydroxytryptamine, or look for a review by 
Martin. G.R. and Humphrey, P.P.A (1994).

Best regards, Sandra

sandraw at U.Arizona.EDU

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