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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Human gliomas contain morphine

Peter Olsen, Mads Rasmussen, Wei Zhu, Else Tonnesen, George B. Stefano

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(5): MS18-21

ID: 16154


Background:Morphine has been found in cancer cell lines originating from human and animal cells. Thus, it became important to demonstrate whether or not actual tumours contain this opiate alkaloid.Material/Methods:Human glioma tissues were biochemically treated to isolate and separate endogenous morphine via high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). The HPLC peak corresponding to an authentic morphine standard had its morphine level determined via radioimmune assay. The identity of this material was established by Q-TOF-MS analysis.Results:Each glioma exhibited an endogenous morphine presence. Tumor extractions demonstrated a molecular mass of 286.14 da, identical to authentic morphine. Subsequent fragmentation analysis of this molecule revealed fragment masses of 129.01 da, 183.09 da and 201.07 da, corresponding to authentic morphine fragments. This material was not found in any of the solutions used in the study nor was it present as a residual material in blank HPLC runs.Conclusions:Morphine is present in human gliomas, suggesting that it may exert an action that effects tumour physiology/pathology.

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