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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Aug 2022 - 26 Aug 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Aug 22

Eur J Pharmacol

The role of kappa opioid receptors in immune system – An overview.


Szczepaniak A, Machelak W, Fichna J, Zielińska M
Eur J Pharmacol. 2022 Aug 22:175214.
PMID: 36007608.


Opioids are one of the most effective anti-nociceptive agents used in patients with cancer pain or after serious surgery in most countries. The endogenous opioid system participates in pain perception, but recently its role in inflammation was determined. κ-opioid receptors (KOP receptors), a member of the opioid receptor family, are expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system as well as on the surface of different types of immune cells, e.g. T cells, B cells and monocytes. In this review, we focused on the involvement of KOP receptors in the inflammatory process and described their function in a number of conditions in which the immune system plays a key role (e.g. inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, vascular dysfunction) and inflammatory pain. We summed up the application of known KOP ligands in pathophysiology and we aimed to shed new light on KOP receptors as important elements during inflammation.