Psychotomimetic opiate receptors labeled and visualized with (+)-[3H]3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-N-(1-propyl)piperidine

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Aug;81(15):4983-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.81.15.4983.


3-(3-Hydroxyphenyl)-N-(1-propyl)piperidine (3-PPP) has been proposed as a selective dopamine autoreceptor agonist in the central nervous system. This report describes the pharmacology and localization of specific high-affinity binding sites for (+)-[3H]3-PPP in brain. The drug specificity of (+)-[3H]3-PPP binding is identical to that of sigma receptors, which may mediate psychotomimetic effects of some opiates. Haloperidol and the opioid derivatives, pentazocine, cyclazocine, and SKF 10,047 are potent inhibitors of (+)-[3H]3-PPP binding. Stereoselectivity is exhibited for the (+) isomers of cyclazocine and SKF 10,047 at the sigma site, opposite to the stereoselectivity seen at mu, delta, and kappa opiate receptors. (+)-[3H]3-PPP does not label dopamine receptors, as potent dopamine agonists and antagonists are weak inhibitors of binding and the localization of specific (+)-[3H]3-PPP binding sites does not parallel that of dopamine neurons. Discrete localizations of (+)-[3H]3-PPP binding sites in many brain areas including limbic, midbrain, brainstem, and cerebellar regions may explain psychotomimetic actions of opiates and behavioral effects of 3-PPP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain Stem / metabolism
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Haloperidol / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Limbic System / metabolism
  • Mesencephalon / metabolism
  • Piperidines / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Dopamine / metabolism
  • Receptors, Opioid / metabolism*
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Piperidines
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Receptors, Opioid
  • preclamol
  • Haloperidol