The nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor: a target with broad therapeutic potential

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2008 Aug;7(8):694-710. doi: 10.1038/nrd2572.


Identification of the enigmatic nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide (N/OFQ) in 1995 represented the first successful use of reverse pharmacology and led to deorphanization of the N/OFQ receptor (NOP). Subsequently, the N/OFQ-NOP system has been implicated in a wide range of biological functions, including pain, drug abuse, cardiovascular control and immunity. Although this could be considered a hurdle for the development of pharmaceuticals selective for a specific disease indication, NOP represents a viable drug target. This article describes potential clinical indications and highlights the current status of the very limited number of clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / trends
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / trends*
  • Humans
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / metabolism
  • Receptors, Opioid / metabolism*


  • Analgesics
  • Receptors, Opioid
  • nociceptin receptor