Mu-, delta-, kappa-opioid receptors and their subtypes. A critical review with emphasis on radioligand binding experiments

Neurochem Int. 1994 May;24(5):401-26. doi: 10.1016/0197-0186(94)90089-2.


Since the early 1970's, when specific binding sites for opiates were first described, there has been a vast literature on opiate receptors, their subtypes, and even the multiplicity of these subtypes. In the present review, the signal transduction pathways, structure, and brain and spinal cord localization of the established subtypes (mu, delta, kappa) are reviewed. In addition, evidence suggesting heterogeneity of these subtypes, in particular from radioligand binding studies, is discussed critically.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / chemistry
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Narcotic Antagonists / metabolism
  • Narcotic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Narcotics / chemical synthesis
  • Narcotics / metabolism
  • Narcotics / pharmacology
  • Opioid Peptides / physiology
  • Organ Specificity
  • Protein Binding
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Receptors, Opioid / classification*
  • Receptors, Opioid / drug effects
  • Receptors, Opioid / metabolism
  • Receptors, Opioid / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Narcotics
  • Opioid Peptides
  • Receptors, Opioid