Neurochemical Research

, Volume 31, Issue 10, pp 1255–1261 | Cite as

Neurochemical Changes in Brain Induced by Chronic Morphine Treatment: NMR Studies in Thalamus and Somatosensory Cortex of Rats

  • Yun Xiang
  • Hongchang Gao
  • Hang Zhu
  • Ninglei Sun
  • Yuanye MA
  • Hao Lei
Original Paper


To investigate the effects of chronic morphine treatment and its cessation on thalamus and the somatosensory cortex, an ex vivo high resolution (500 MHz) 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMRS), in the present study, was applied to detect multiple alterations of neurochemicals and/or neurometabolites in the rats. Ten days of chronic morphine administration was observed to markedly increase the total amount of lactate (Lac), myo-inositol (my-Ins) (each < 0.01) and aspartate (Asp) (< 0.05), and significantly decrease that of glutamate (Glu) and glutamine (Gln) in the rats thalamus (each < 0.05). In the somatosensory cortex, chronic morphine was shown to increase the level of Lac and my-Ins, and decrease that of Glu (each < 0.05). Interestingly, the ratio of Glu/GABA was found to decrease in these two brain areas after chronic morphine treatment, and among the detectable neurochemicals in those two cerebral areas, only taurine (Tau) showed to result in a significant increment in thalamus during the process of morphine discontinuation (< 0.05). Moreover, the alterations of multiple neurochemicals due to chronic morphine exhibited a tendency of recovery to the normal level over the course of morphine withdrawal. The results suggested that, in thalamus and the somatosensory cortex, chronic morphine administration and its cessation could induce multiple neurochemical changes, which may involve in the brain energy metabolism, activity and transition of neurotransmitters.


Morphine Withdrawal 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy Neurochemicals Thalamus Somatosensory cortex 



This work was supported by Chinese National Science Foundation (30470553, 10234070 and 30370419) and Chinese Academy of Sciences Grants (KSCX2-SW for M.Y.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yun Xiang
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Hongchang Gao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hang Zhu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ninglei Sun
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yuanye MA
    • 2
  • Hao Lei
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance and Atomic and Molecular Physics, Wuhan Institute of Physics and MathematicsThe Chinese Academy of SciencesWuhanPeoples Republic of China
  2. 2.Section of Cognitive Brain Research, Kunming Institute of ZoologyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesKunmingPeoples Republic of China
  3. 3.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeoples Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Medicine & Life ScienceJianghan UniversityWuhanPeoples Republic of China

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