Phencyclidine. Physiological actions, interactions with excitatory amino acids and endogenous ligands

Mol Neurobiol. 1987 Fall;1(3):191-211. doi: 10.1007/BF02936608.


Phenycyclidine (PCP) produces many profound effects in the central nervous system. PCP has numerous behavioral and neurochemical effects such as inhibiting the uptake and facilitating the release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. PCP also interacts with sigma, mu opioid, muscarinic, and nicotinic receptors. However, the psychotomimetic effects induced by PCP are believed to be mediated by specific PCP receptors, where PCP binds with greater potency than sigma compounds. Electrophysiological, behavioral, and neuro-chemical evidence strongly suggests that at least some of the many PCP actions result from antagonism of excitatory amino acid-induced responses via PCP receptors. The recent isolation and partial characterization of the alpha and beta endopsychosins and the identification of other endogenous ligands for the PCP and sigma receptors, is another promising area of research in the elucidation of the physiological role of an endogenous PCP and sigma system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Phencyclidine / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism
  • Receptors, Phencyclidine


  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Receptors, Phencyclidine
  • Phencyclidine