Effects of morphone on choline acetyltransferase levels in the caudate nucleus of the rat

Datta, K. ; Thal, L. ; Wajda, I. J. (1971) Effects of morphone on choline acetyltransferase levels in the caudate nucleus of the rat British Journal of Pharmacology, 41 (1). pp. 84-93. ISSN 0007-1188

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1. Choline acetyltransferase (choline-o-acetyltransferase concentrations were determined in the caudate nucleus, thalamus, and cortex of control and morphine treated rats. The enzyme was assayed using a modified radiochemical method on a number of selected days, one hour after the last injection of 30 mg/kg of morphine and also during the subsequent phase of abstinence from morphine.2. Significant lowering of choline acetyltransferase activity in the caudate nucleus area was found in two cases, one hour after the first dose of morphine and upon subsequent abstinence from morphine.3. The enzyme activity in the two other parts of the brain remained at the normal levels.4. The presence of endogenous inhibitors formed during morphine administration was excluded.5. The relationship of a possible effect of morphine on the tissue binding of the enzyme and the subsequent lowering of its activity was tested by homogenization of the caudate nucleus area in different media. The decrease in enzyme activity occurred in all extraction media one hour after morphine administration.6. Inhibitory effects of in vitro addition of morphine to caudate nucleus homogenate, obtained from normal and morphine treated rats, were found to occur only at very high concentrations of the drug, negating the possibility of direct inhibitory effects of morphine.7. These experiments suggest two possible causes of the observed effects, which can be responsible for the lowering of enzyme activity, and can be operative simultaneously: (1) a negative feedback mechanism of accumulated acetylcholine, occurring after the first dose of morphine, and (2) the possible changes in enzyme configuration produced by morphine treatment.

Item Type:Article
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