Opiate Receptor Mechanisms

  • Solomon H. Snyder
  • Gavril W. Pasternak
  • Candace B. Pert
Part of the Handbook of Psychopharmacology book series (HBKPS, volume 5)


Research directed at identifying mechanisms whereby drugs exert their therapeutic actions is inherently difficult. It is easy for pharmacologists to describe many “effects” of drugs on physiological and biochemical processes. Uncertainties crop up when one endeavors to conclude that a particular effect represents the mechanism of action of the drug. Opiates, like most other drugs, produce myriad effects on biological organisms, on energy metabolism, protein synthesis, nucleic acid disposition, neuronal firing patterns, and neurotransmitter disposition. Some of these effects are clearly irrelevant pharmacologically, because they are elicited by drugs that have no opiate-like pharmacological actions. However, even for effects which correlate with the relative pharmacological potency of various opiates, one cannot readily ascertain whether the effects are primary or are simply secondary consequences of some other, more fundamental drug action.


Physical Dependence Opiate Receptor Opiate Antagonist Spiny Dogfish Medial Thalamus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Solomon H. Snyder
    • 1
  • Gavril W. Pasternak
    • 1
  • Candace B. Pert
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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