opioid receptormedical dictionary

<pharmacology> A membrane protein, widely distributed in animal cells, but especially in the brain (enkephalin receptors) and gut. The natural ligands are the opiate peptide neurotransmitters, but the name is given because opiates are potent agonists that occupy the receptors and mimic the action of the natural transmitters.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)