Phencyclidine (angle dust)/σ'opiate' receptor: Visualization by tritium-sensitive film

R. Quirion, R. P. Hammer, M. Herkenham, C. B. Pert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

287 Scopus citations


[3H]Phencyclidine ([3H]PCP) binds specifically to an apparently single class of binding sites on slide-mounted sections of rat olfactory bulb (Kd=46 nM; Bmax=10.5 fmol per slice). Bound [3H]PCP can be displaced by nonradioactive PCP and a series of its analogs with relative potencies that correlate closely (P<0.001) with values determined in a rat discrimination test that utilized PCP as a cue. Although morphine, naloxone, and opiate peptides do not displace bound [3H]PCP, psychotomimetic benzomorphans, classed as 'σ opiates', are quite potent displacers in vitro and have PCP-like behavioral properties in vivo. These results suggest that phencyclidine and the σ opiates act at the same sites. [3H]PCP binding sites were visualized by using tritium-sensitive LKB film analyzed by computerized densitometry and color coding. The [3H]PCP binds most densely to cortical areas, diffusely in neocortex, and somewhat heterogeneously in the laminae of the hippocampal formation and dentate gyrus. Most of the brainstem and spinal cord show low specific [3H]PCP binding, with gray matter generally showing more binding than white.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5881-5885
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9 II
StatePublished - 1981

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