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This article is part of the Research Topic

Current Topics in Opioid Research

Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00157

Cutting-edge search for safer opioid pain relief: retrospective review of salvinorin A and its analogs

  • 1Division of Pharmacognosy, Department of BioMolecular Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, United States
  • 2Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil
  • 3Departamento de Farmacologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil
  • 4Departamento de Ciências Fisiológica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil
  • 5McLean Imaging Center, McLean Hospital, United States
  • 6Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Dom Bosco (UCDB), Brazil
  • 7Centro de Análises Proteômicas e Bioquímicas, Pós-graduação em Ciências Genômicas e Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica de Brasília, Brazil
  • 8Programa de Pós-graduação em Patologia Molecular, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil
  • 9Centro Universitário de Anápolis, Brazil

Over the years, pain has contributed to low life quality, poor health and economic loss. Opioids are very effective analgesic drugs for treating mild, moderate or severe pain. Therapeutic application of opioids has been limited by short and long-term side effects. These side effects and opioid-overuse crisis has intensified interest in the search for new molecular targets and drugs. The present review focuses on salvinorin A and its analogs with the aim of exploring their structural and pharmacological profiles as clues for the development of safer analgesics. Ethnopharmacological reports and growing preclinical data have demonstrated the antinociceptive effect of salvinorin A and some of its analogs. The pharmacology of analogs modified at C-2 dominates the literature when compared to the ones from other positions. The distinctive binding affinity of these analogs seems to correlate with their chemical structure and in vivo antinociceptive effects. The high susceptibility of salvinorin A to chemical modification makes it an important pharmacological tool for cellular probing and developing analogs with promising analgesic effects. Additional research is still needed to draw reliable conclusions on the therapeutic potential of salvinorin A and its analogs.

Keywords: analgesic, side effects, opioid receptors, salvinorin A, derivatives

Received: 22 Jul 2018; Accepted: 04 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Nazzareno Cannella, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Health Products, University of Camerino, Italy

Reviewed by:

Jinhua Wu, Florida Atlantic University, United States
Taline Khroyan, Cytogen Research and Development Inc., United States
Lawrence Toll, Florida Atlantic University, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Zjawiony, Machado, Menegatti, Ghedini, Costa, Pedrino, Lukas, Franco, Silva and Fajemiroye. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Jordan K. Zjawiony, Division of Pharmacognosy, Department of BioMolecular Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, Jackson, United States, jordan@olemiss.edu
Dr. James O. Fajemiroye, Departamento de Ciências Fisiológica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiania, Brazil, olulolo@yahoo.com