Evidence suggests that the antinociceptive effects of selective delta-opioid receptor agonists may involve an activation of the mu-receptor in some experimental conditions. The aim of this study was to clarify the receptors involved in the antinociceptive responses of the selective and systemically active delta-opioid receptor agonist Tyr-D-Ser-(O-tert-butyl)-Gly-Phe-Leu-Thr-(O-tert-butyl) (BUBU). The antinociception induced by systemic (i.v.) or central (i.c.v.) administration of BUBU was measured in the hot plate (jumping and paw lick latencies) and tail immersion tests in mice. In both tests, the responses were more intense when BUBU was administered by central route. The pre-treatment with the mu-opioid receptor antagonist cyprodime blocked the effects induced by central BUBU in the hot plate and tail immersion tests. The delta-opioid receptor antagonist naltrindole had no effect on BUBU-induced antinociception in the hot plate but decreased BUBU responses in the tail immersion test. Further evidence for this dual receptor action of BUBU was demonstrated by using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides. Thus, a reduction in central BUBU-induced antinociception was observed in the tail immersion test after the administration of antisense probes that selectively blocked the expression of mu- or delta-opioid receptors. These findings clearly indicate using a dual pharmacological and molecular approach that BUBU mediates its antinociceptive effects via activation of both mu- and delta-opioid receptors.