Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ and Urinary Bladder

  • Patrizia AngelicoEmail author
  • Marco Barchielli
  • Massimo Lazzeri
  • Remo Guerrini
  • Girolamo Caló
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 254)


Following identification as the endogenous ligand for the NOP receptor, nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) has been shown to control several biological functions including the micturition reflex. N/OFQ elicits a robust inhibitory effect on rat micturition by reducing the excitability of the afferent fibers. After intravesical administration N/OFQ increases urodynamic bladder capacity and volume threshold in overactive bladder patients but not in normal subjects. Moreover daily treatment with intravesical N/OFQ for 10 days significantly reduced urine leakage episodes. Different chemical modifications were combined into the N/OFQ sequence to generate Rec 0438 (aka UFP-112), a peptide NOP full agonist with high potency and selectivity and long-lasting duration of action. Rec 0438 mimicked the robust inhibitory effects of N/OFQ on rat micturition reflex; its action is solely due to NOP receptor stimulation, does not show tolerance liability after 2 weeks of treatment, and can be elicited by intravesical administration. Collectively the evidence summarized and discussed in this chapter strongly suggests that NOP agonists are promising innovative drugs to treat overactive bladder.


Micturition reflex N/OFQ NOP receptor Overactive bladder Rec 0438 


Declaration of Interests

PA and MB are employed by Recordati S.p.A. RG and GC are among the funders of the University of Ferrara spin-off company UFPeptides s.r.l., the assignee of the patent covering Rec 0438.

Details of Author Contributions PA, ML, and GC wrote the first draft of the chapter, and MB and RG critically revised it. All authors approved the final version of the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrizia Angelico
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marco Barchielli
    • 1
  • Massimo Lazzeri
    • 2
  • Remo Guerrini
    • 3
  • Girolamo Caló
    • 4
  1. 1.Pharmaceutical R&D DivisionRecordati S.p.A.MilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of UrologyIstituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Clinical and Research Hospital, RozzanoMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and LTTAUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  4. 4.Section of Pharmacology, Department of Medical Sciences, and National Institute of NeurosciencesUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly

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