The spinal antinociceptive potency of the delta-opioid receptor agonist, Tyr-D-Ser(otbu)-Gly-Phe-Leu-Thr (DSTBULET), was studied in rats. The tail flick test was used as nociceptive stimulus and the rotarod test was used to detect any motor or sedative effects. A dose-response curve was also made for the mu-opioid receptor agonist, morphine. The ED50 for DSTBULET was 0.3 micrograms (0.4 nmol) and a near 100% maximum effect was achieved with 5 micrograms (7.5 nmol). No motor or sedative effects were detected. Antinociception by DSTBULET was antagonized by s.c. naltrindole (1 mg/kg), a selective delta-opioid receptor antagonist, and naloxone (1 mg/kg), a non-selective opioid receptor antagonist. The ED50 for morphine was 0.5 micrograms (1.0 nmol) and the antinociceptive effects were not antagonized by naltrindole (1 mg/kg). The results evidence further the important role of the delta-opioid receptor in spinal nociceptive processing.