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Gregory Fricchione, Wei Zhu, Patrick Cadet, Kirk J. Mantione, Edward Bromfield, Joseph Madsen, Umberto DeGirolami, Barbara Dworetzky, Bernardino Vaccaro, Peter Black, George B. Stefano
Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(6): CS45-49
We set out to detect whether morphine is present in tissue taken from a patient with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy and to characterize the presence and nature of mu opiate receptor subtypes in this tissue.
Material and Method: In temporal lobe tissue, resected during anteromedial temporal lobectomy for intractable focal epilepsy, morphine was identified by quantitative radioimmunoassay (RIA) coupled to electrochemical detection via high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). In addition, RNA isolated from the medial and lateral temporal lobe specimens was analyzed by conventional and real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the expression of different human receptor gene transcripts. RIA revealed the presence of morphine at 3.4 nanograms per gram of tissue wet weight. Using RT-PCR and a primer specifically set for the mu3 (550 base pair fragment) and mu4 (880 base pair fragment) MOR splice variants, a mu4 splice variant was identified in both brain sections.
Conclusions: This human brain tissue study of a subject with temporal lobe epilepsy documents the presence of endogenous morphine and of a mu4 splice variant. These findings may have implications for our understanding of the mechanism of temporal lobe epilepsy.