receptors, opioidmedical dictionary

Cell membrane proteins that bind opioids and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behaviour of cells. The endogenous ligands for opioid receptors in mammals include three families of peptides, the enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins. The receptor classes include mu, delta, and kappa receptors. Sigma receptors bind several psychoactive substances, including certain opioids, but their endogenous ligands are not known.

(12 Dec 1998)