The orphan opioid receptor and its endogenous ligand--nociceptin/orphanin FQ

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1997 Aug;18(8):293-300.


Following the elucidation of the amino acid sequences of the mu-, delta- and kappa-opioid receptors, a new 'orphan opioid receptor' was cloned with a high degree of homology to the 'classical' opioid receptors. The endogenous opioid peptides show little or no activity at this new receptor; however, a novel endogenous peptide for the orphan opioid receptor has been isolated and sequenced. Here, Graeme Henderson and Sandy McKnight review recent findings on this new receptor and its endogenous ligand, and address the contentious issue of whether activation of this receptor results in hyperalgesia or analgesia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia
  • Animals
  • Behavior / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Nociceptin
  • Opioid Peptides / metabolism*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Opioid / metabolism
  • Receptors, Opioid / physiology*


  • Ligands
  • Opioid Peptides
  • Receptors, Opioid