Basic opioid pharmacology: an update.
Opioids are a group of analgesic agents commonly used in clinical practice. There are three classical opioid receptors (DOP, KOP and MOP), while the novel NOP receptor is considered to be a non-opioid branch of the opioid receptor family. Opioids can act at these receptors as agonists, antagonists or partial agonists. Opioid agonists bind to G-protein coupled receptors to cause cellular hyperpolarisation. Most clinically relevant opioid analgesics bind to MOP receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system in an agonist manner to elicit analgesia. Opioids may also be classified according to their mode of synthesis into alkaloids, semi-synthetic and synthetic compounds.
Williams, John P