Can supraspinal δ-opioid receptors mediate antinociception?

Julius S. Heyman, Jeffry L. Vaught, Robert B. Raffa, Frank Porreca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The antinociception mediated by supraspinal opioid receptors has traditionally been thought to arise solely from activation of the μ-opioid receptor subtype. There is a growing body of evidence, however, which suggests that supraspinal δ-opioid receptors may also be able to directly initiate antinociception. Frank Porreca and colleagues review the evidence favoring exclusive involvement of μ-opioid receptors (as well as studies implicating δ-opioid receptors) in supraspinal antinociceptors. They conclude that δ-opioid receptors can be pharmacologically activated to initiate antinociception, suggesting the existence of an alternative mechanism for pain relief which may be of significant clinical importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1988


  • (2s
  • 3r)-(3-Amino-2-hydroxy-4-phenylbutanoyl)-l-Leucine
  • Allyl-Tyr-Aib-Aib-Phe-Leu-OH
  • Bestatin
  • H-Tyr-d-Pen-Gly-Phe-Pen-OH(non-cyclic)
  • ICI-154129
  • ICI-174864
  • LY-198572
  • N
  • N-bisallyl-Tyr-Gly-Gly-ψ-(CHS)-Phe-Leu-OH
  • PLO17
  • Thiorphan
  • [N-Me-Phe
  • d-Promorphiceptin
  • dl-3-mercapto-2-benzylpro-panoyl-glycine
  • where Pen is penicillamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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