A hallucinogen formerly used as a veterinary anesthetic, and briefly as a general anesthetic for humans. Phencyclidine is similar to ketamine in structure and in many of its effects. Like ketamine, it can produce a dissociative state. It exerts its pharmacological action through inhibition of NMDA receptors (receptors, N-methyl-D-aspartate). As a drug of abuse, it is known as PCP and Angel Dust. [PubChem]
Humans and other mammals
Phencyclidine works primarily as an NMDA receptor antagonist, which blocks the activity of the NMDA Receptor.
Mechanism of action
The N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a type of ionotropic receptor, is found on the dendrites of neurons and receives signals in the form of neurotransmitters. It is a major excitatory receptor in the brain. Normal physiological function requires that the activated receptor fluxes positive ions through the channel part of the receptor. PCP enters the ion channel from the outside of the neuron and binds, reversibly, to a site in the channel pore, blocking the flux of positive ions into the cell. PCP therefore inhibits depolarization of neurons and interferes with cognitive and other functions of the nervous system. [Wikipedia]
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