In vitro and in vivo studies on UFP-112, a novel potent and long lasting agonist selective for the nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor.Peptides 2007; 28(6):1240-51P
[(pF)Phe(4)Aib(7)Arg(14)Lys(15)]N/OFQ-NH(2) (UFP-112) has been designed as a novel ligand for the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) peptide receptor (NOP) by combining into the same peptide different chemical modifications reported to increase N/OFQ potency. In vitro data obtained in the electrically stimulated mouse vas deferens demonstrated that UFP-112 behaved as a high potency (pEC(50) 9.43) full agonist at the NOP receptor. UFP-112 effects were sensitive to the NOP antagonist UFP-101 but not to naloxone and no longer evident in tissues taken from NOP(-/-) mice. In vitro half life of UFP-112 in mouse plasma and brain homogenate was 2.6- and 3.5-fold higher than that of N/OFQ. In vivo, in the mouse tail withdrawal assay, UFP-112 (1-100pmol, i.c.v.) mimicked the actions of N/OFQ producing pronociceptive effects after i.c.v. administration and antinociceptive effects when given i.t.; in both cases, UFP-112 was approximately 100-fold more potent than the natural peptide and produced longer lasting effects. UFP-112 also mimicked the hyperphagic effect of N/OFQ producing a bell shaped dose response curve with the maximum reached at 10pmol. The hyperphagic effects of N/OFQ and UFP-112 were absent in NOP(-/-) mice. Equi-effective high doses of UFP-112 (0.1nmol) and N/OFQ (10nmol) were injected i.c.v. in mice and spontaneous locomotor activity recorded for 16h. N/OFQ produced a clear inhibitory effect which lasted for 60min while UFP-112 elicited longer lasting effects (>6h). In conscious rats, UFP-112 (0.1 and 10nmol/kg, i.v.) produced a marked and sustained decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and urinary sodium excretion and a profound increase in urine flow. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that UFP-112 behaves in vitro and in vivo as a highly potent and selective ligand able to produce full and long lasting activation of NOP receptors.