Electrophysiological Actions of N/OFQ

  • Bryony L. WintersEmail author
  • Macdonald J. Christie
  • Christopher W. Vaughan
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 254)


Whilst the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) receptor (NOP) has similar intracellular coupling mechanisms to opioid receptors, it has distinct modulatory effects on physiological functions such as pain. These actions range from agonistic to antagonistic interactions with classical opioids within the spinal cord and brain, respectively. Understanding the electrophysiological actions of N/OFQ has been crucial in ascertaining the mechanisms by which these agonistic and antagonistic interactions occur. These similarities and differences between N/OFQ and opioids are due to the relative location of NOP versus opioid receptors on specific neuronal elements within these CNS regions. These mechanisms result in varied cellular actions including postsynaptic modulation of ion channels and presynaptic regulation of neurotransmitter release.


Electrophysiology G-protein coupled receptors Nociceptin/orphanin FQ Opioids Pain 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryony L. Winters
    • 1
    Email author
  • Macdonald J. Christie
    • 2
  • Christopher W. Vaughan
    • 1
  1. 1.Pain Management Research Institute, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and HealthThe University of Sydney and Royal North Shore HospitalSt LeonardsAustralia
  2. 2.Discipline of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and HealthThe University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

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