Unrestrained nociceptive response and disregulation of hearing ability in mice lacking the nociceptin/orphaninFQ receptor

Miyuki Nishi, Takeshi Houtani, Yukihiro Noda, Takayoshi Mamiya, Kazuo Sato, Tadashi Doi, Junko Kuno, Hiroshi Takeshima, Toshihide Nukada, Toshitaka Nabeshima, Toshio Yamashita, Tetsuo Noda, Tetsuo Sugimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

249 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1858-1864
Number of pages7
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15-04-1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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