The heptadecapeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) is reported to be metabolized by aminopeptidase N and endopeptidase 24.15. In the present study, N/OFQ C-terminal fragments elicited nociceptive responses in the peripheral nociceptors and in the spinal cord, whereas N-terminal fragments had no significant nociception. The nociceptive effect of N/OFQ (13-17) was most potent and remained unchanged in N/OFQ peptide receptor (NOPR) gene knockout mice, indicating that N/OFQ (13-17)-induced nociception is mediated through a novel mechanism independent of the activation of NOPR. This finding was further confirmed by in vitro guanosine 5′-O-(3-[35S]thio)triphosphate binding experiments, in which N/OFQ (13-17) showed no significant binding activity in baculovirus/ sf21 cells expressing NOPR together with G protein αi1-, β1 -, and γ2-subunits, whereas N/OFQ showed stimulation in a concentration-dependent manner. On the other hand, although a typical bell-shaped dose-response relationship was observed with a wide range of N/OFQ doses in both peripheral and central nociception tests, N/OFQ (13-17) did not show bell-shaped dose-response relationship in the central nociception test. This finding indicates that N/OFQ (13-17), in contrast to N/OFQ, lacks the postsynaptic antinociceptive actions modulating substance P signaling in the spinal cord. Together, our results suggest that C-terminal fragments of N/OFQ have potent nociceptive actions, and N/OFQ (13-17) could have the potential to mediate its actions through a novel mechanism independent of the activation of NOPR in the nociceptors and in spinal synapses.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|State||Published - Oct 9 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine