In the G-protein-coupled receptor superfamily, the opioid receptor subfamily is constituted of the three distinct opioid receptors (namely δ-, μ- and κ-subtypes) and the receptor for nociceptin (also designated orphaninFQ). The members of the opioid receptor subfamily were known to mediate a variety of cellular inhibitory effects. The three opioid receptors are known to play central roles in mediating analgesia and many other physiological activities; however, the nociceptin receptor was identified recently and less is known about its physiological roles. Here we report the generation and characterization of mice lacking the nociceptin receptor. The knockout mice showed no significant differences in nociceptive threshold and locomotor activity compared with control mice, but they lost nociceptin-induced behavioral responses. These results indicate that the nociceptin system is not essential for regulation of nociception or locomotor activity. On the other hand, we found insufficient recovery of hearing ability from the adaptation to sound exposure in the mutant mice. Thus, the nociceptin system appears to participate in the regulation of the auditory system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)