Desole, Maria Speranza and Esposito, Giovanni and Fresu, Luigia Grazia and Migheli, Rossana and Enrico, Paolo and Mura , Maria A. and De Natale, Guglielmo and Miele, Egidio and Miele, Maddalena (1996) Effects of morphine treatment and withdrawal on striatal and limbic monoaminergic activity and ascorbic acid oxidation in the rat. Brain Research, Vol. 723 (1-2), p. 154-161. ISSN 0006-8993. Article.
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Since ascorbic acid (AA) reportedly suppresses tolerance to and dependence on morphine in humans and rodents, levels of dopamine (DA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA), 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), AA, dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA), uric acid, xanthine, hypoxanthine, glutamate and γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in the striatum and in the limbic forebrain of the rat following morphine treatment (single or repeated) and withdrawal. Single morphine administration (20 mg/kg s.c.) increased DOPAC + HVA/DA, 5-HIAA/5-HT and DHAA/AA ratios, uric acid levels, and decreased xanthine, hypoxanthine, glutamate and GABA levels in both regions. 3-MT levels were decreased in the striatum and increased in the limbic forebrain. After 7 days of morphine treatment, striatal DOPAC + HVA/DA and DHAA/AA ratios and uric acid levels were still higher and striatal and limbic xanthine levels still lower than in controls, while all other parameters were in the range of control values in both regions. Morphine treatment also increased the glutamate/GABA ratio in the striatum. In all morphine-treated rats, individual striatal DOPAC + HVA/DA and DHAA/AA ratio values were directly correlated. After a 48 h withdrawal period, both striatal AA oxidation and glutamate/GABA ratio further increased; limbic 3-MT levels further decreased, while all other parameters did not differ from control values. We conclude that: (i) tolerance to morphine-induced increase in hypoxanthine, xanthine and AA oxidation develops in the limbic forebrain faster than in the striatum; (ii) the morphine-induced increase in striatal and limbic AA oxidation may be considered a consequence of increased formation of reactive oxygen species due to increased DA, hypoxanthine and xanthine oxidative metabolism; (iii) a striatal excitotoxic imbalance characterizes the withdrawal state and may be taken into account to explain the further increase in striatal AA oxidation.
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