eCite Digital Repository

Opioid receptor subtypes: fact or artifact?


Dietis, ND and Rowbotham, DJ and Lambert, DG, Opioid receptor subtypes: fact or artifact?, British Journal of Anaesthesia, 107, (1) pp. 8-18. ISSN 0007-0912 (2011) [Substantial Review]

Not available

DOI: doi:10.1093/bja/aer115


Summary. There is a vast amount of pharmacological evidence favouring the existence of multiple subtypes of opioid receptors. In addition to the primary classification of m (mu: MOP), d (delta: DOP), k (kappa: KOP) receptors, and the nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide receptor (NOP), various groups have further classified the pharmacological m into m13, the d into d12/dcomplexed/non-complexed, and the k into k13. From an anaesthetic perspective, the suggestions that m1 produced analgesia and m2 produced respiratory depression are particularly important. However, subsequent to the formal identification of the primary opioid receptors (MOP/DOP/KOP/NOP) by cloning and the use of this information to produce knockout animals, evidence for these additional subtypes is lacking. Indeed, knockout of a single gene (and hence receptor) results in a loss of all function associated with that receptor. In the case of MOP knockout, analgesia and respiratory depression is lost. This suggests that further sub-classification of the primary types is unwise. So how can the wealth of pharmacological data be reconciled with new molecular information? In addition to some simple misclassification (k3 is probably NOP), there are several possibilities which include: (i) alternate splicing of a common gene product, (ii) receptor dimerization, (iii) interaction of a common gene product with other receptors/signalling molecules, or (iv) a combination of (i)(iii). Assigning variations in ligand activity (pharmacological subtypes) to one or more of these molecular suggestions represents an interesting challenge for future opioid research.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Keywords:opioid receptor subtypes
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Basic pharmacology
Objective Division:Manufacturing
Objective Group:Human pharmaceutical products
Objective Field:Human pharmaceutical products not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dietis, ND (Dr Nikolas Dietis)
ID Code:80396
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:93
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2012-10-31
Last Modified:2015-05-15

Repository Staff Only: item control page