Send to

Choose Destination
Physiol Behav. 2003 Jun;79(1):121-8.

The nociceptin/orphanin FQ/NOP receptor system as a target for treatment of alcohol abuse: a review of recent work in alcohol-preferring rats.

Author information

Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Experimental Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Scalzino 3, 62032 (MC), Camerino, Italy.


The intracerebroventricular administration of the 17 amino acid peptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), the endogenous ligand of the NOP receptor (previously referred to as ORL-1 or OP4 receptor), reduces voluntary 10% ethanol intake in genetically selected Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring (msP) rats. Studies aimed at the pharmacological characterization of the receptor, which mediates the effect, have shown that the C-terminal 13 amino acid sequence is crucial for activity and that the selective NOP receptor antagonist [Nphe(1)]N/OFQ(1-13)NH(2) blocks the effect of N/OFQ on ethanol drinking. In place conditioning studies, N/OFQ abolishes the conditioned place preference (CPP) induced by ethanol in msP rats, or by morphine in nonselected Wistar rats; these findings suggest that N/OFQ is able to abolish the rewarding properties of ethanol and morphine. Moreover, N/OFQ inhibits reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behavior induced to electric footshock stress, as well as reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behavior induced by ethanol-paired cues. Together, these findings suggest that N/OFQ and its receptor may represent an interesting target for pharmacological treatment of alcohol abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center