The effects of [Arg14, Lys15] nociceptin/orphanin FQ, a highly potent agonist of the NOP receptor, on in vitro and in vivo gastrointestinal functions.Peptides 2005; 26(9):1590-7P
Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) administered into the lateral left cerebral ventricle of rats has been reported to inhibit in vivo gut motor and secretory functions. Recently, a novel N/OFQ analog, [Arg14, Lys15] N/OFQ, was synthesized and demonstrated to behave as a highly potent agonist at the human recombinant N/OFQ peptide (NOP) receptors and to produce long-lasting effects in vivo in mice compared with the natural ligand N/OFQ. In the present study, the pharmacological profile of [Arg14, Lys15] N/OFQ was further evaluated and compared with that of N/OFQ in vitro on guinea pig exocrine pancreas and in vivo on gastric emptying, colonic propulsion and gastric acid secretion in rats. [Arg14, Lys15] N/OFQ and N/OFQ significantly decreased the KCl-evoked amylase secretion from isolated pancreatic lobules of the guinea pig. In in vivo experiments, [Arg14, Lys15] N/OFQ mimicked the effects of N/OFQ, inducing, after intracerebroventricular injection, a delay (up to 70%) in the gastric emptying of a phenol red meal, an increase (about 40 times) of the mean bead colonic expulsion time and a decrease (up to 90%) of gastric acid secretion in water loaded rats after 90 min pylorus ligature. In all these assays, [Arg14, Lys15] N/OFQ was more effective than N/OFQ, and its effective doses were at least 10-fold lower than N/OFQ effective doses. The highly selective NOP receptor antagonist, UFP-101, decreased the efficacy of [Arg14, Lys15] N/OFQ in in vitro and in vivo assays above reported. These findings: (a) show that pancreatic NOP receptors mediate an in vitro inhibitory effect on stimulated guinea pig amylase secretion; (b) confirm that the stimulation of central NOP receptors exerts an inhibitory control on gastric emptying, colonic motility and gastric secretion in rats and (c) put in evidence that [Arg14, Lys15] N/OFQ, being more potent and effective than the natural ligand N/OFQ, represents a new pharmacological tool for the study of the physiological and pharmacological roles mediated by the N/OFQ-NOP receptor system.