UFP-101 antagonizes the spinal antinociceptive effects of nociceptin/orphanin FQ: behavioral and electrophysiological studies in mice
Nazzaro C, Rizzi A, Salvadori S, Guerrini R,
Regoli D, Zeilhofer HU, Calo G.
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine,
Section of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Center,
via Fossato di Mortara 19, 44100 Ferrara, Italy.
Peptides. 2007 Mar;28(3):663-9.


Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) modulates various biological functions, including nociception, via selective stimulation of the N/OFQ peptide receptor (NOP). Here we used the NOP selective antagonist UFP-101 to characterize the receptor involved in the spinal antinociceptive effects of N/OFQ evaluated in the mouse tail withdrawal assay and to investigate the mechanism underlying this action by assessing excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSC) in laminas I and II of the mouse spinal cord dorsal horn with patch-clamp techniques. Intrathecal (i.t.) injection of N/OFQ in the range of 0.1-10 nmol produced a dose dependent antinociceptive effect, which was prevented by UFP-101, but not by naloxone. In contrast the antinociceptive effect of the mu-opioid peptide receptor agonist endomorphin-1 was blocked by naloxone but not by UFP-101. Moreover, N/OFQ and endomorphin-1 induced a significant antinociceptive effect in wild type mice while in mice knockout for the NOP receptor gene only endomorphin-1 was found to be active. In mouse spinal cord slices 1 microM N/OFQ reduced EPSC to 60+/-4% of control values. This inhibitory effect was reversed in a concentration dependent manner by UFP-101 (pA2 value 6.44). The present results demonstrate that N/OFQ-induced spinal antinociception in vivo and inhibition of spinal excitatory transmission in vitro are mediated by receptors of the NOP type.

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