Mitragynine is an indole alkaloid isolated from the Thai medicinal plant Mitragyna speciosa. We previously reported the morphine-like action of mitragynine and its related compounds in the in vitro assays. In the present study, we investigated the opioid effects of 7-hydroxymitragynine, which is isolated as its novel constituent, on contraction of isolated ileum, binding of the specific ligands to opioid receptors and nociceptive stimuli in mice. In guinea-pig ileum, 7-hydroxymitragynine inhibited electrically induced contraction through the opioid receptors. Receptor-binding assays revealed that 7-hydroxymitragynine has a higher affinity for micro-opioid receptors relative to the other opioid receptors. Administration of 7-hydroxymitragynine (2.5-10 mg/kg, s.c.) induced dose-dependent antinociceptive effects in tail-flick and hot-plate tests in mice. Its effect was more potent than that of morphine in both tests. When orally administered, 7-hydroxymitragynine (5-10 mg/kg) showed potent antinociceptive activities in tail-flick and hot-plate tests. In contrast, only weak antinociception was observed in the case of oral administration of morphine at a dose of 20 mg/kg. It was found that 7-hydroxymitragynine is a novel opioid agonist that is structurally different from the other opioid agonists, and has potent analgesic activity when orally administered.