The Use of Bifunctional NOP/Mu and NOP Receptor Selective Compounds for the Treatment of Pain, Drug Abuse, and Psychiatric Disorders

Author(s): Lawrence Toll

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 19 , Issue 42 , 2013

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The NOP receptor, the fourth receptor in the opioid receptor family, is found throughout the brain and is involved in a variety of CNS systems and pathways. The endogenous ligand for NOP receptors, nociceptin/orphanin FQ (now called N/OFQ), was originally thought to increase a painful stimulus since intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of this heptadecapeptide led to a decrease in tail-flick and hot-plate latency in mice. Further studies suggested that N/OFQ blocks opiate analgesia when administered i.c.v. but potentiates opiate analgesia and has antinociceptive activity when administered intrathecally. I.c.v. administration of N/OFQ has other beneficial actions including inhibition of reward induced by several different abused drugs, as well as anti-anxiety activity. Recent work has demonstrated that individual small molecules that activate both NOP and mu receptors possess mu-mediated antinociceptive activity with reduced reward, as determined by conditioned place preference tests. Furthermore, selective NOP receptor agonists appear to be active in certain chronic pain models and reduce both drug craving and anxiety. NOP receptor antagonists may also have therapeutic benefits since both peptide and small molecule antagonists have anti-depressant activity in two different animal models. Therefore, both selective NOP receptor compounds and non-selective compounds, with both NOP receptor and mu opioid receptor activity, appear to have potential for clinical use for several neurological and psychiatric disorders including acute and chronic pain, drug abuse, anxiety and depression.

Keywords: Nociceptin/orphanin FQ, NOP receptor, antinociception, drug abuse, anxiety, antidepressant, Parkinson’s disease.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [7451 - 7460]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/13816128113199990354
Price: $65

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