This study was undertaken to examine the presence of functional nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) receptors in the immune system. Receptor mRNA signals were detected by RT-PCR in porcine thymus, lymph nodes, spleen and freshly-isolated splenocytes; the distribution of prepro-nociceptin/-orphanin FQ (PP-N/-OFQ) mRNA was similar, with the exception of lymph nodes. However, specific [3H]nociceptin binding sites were not detected in rat or porcine lymphoid tissues, and 0.1-100 nM nociceptin had no effect on forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP concentrations in porcine splenocytes. Thus, it appears that nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor mRNA, but not a functional receptor protein is expressed in the immune system.
- MRNA-protein mismatch