Morphine pre- and post-conditioning exacerbates apoptosis in rat hippocampus cells in a model of homocysteine-induced oxidative stress

[Speaker] Amin Ataie:1
[Co-author] Ramin Ataee:2, Ahmad Karkhah:1
1:pharmacology, Babol Medical science University, Department of Pharmacology, Iran, 2:Mazandaran Medical Science University, Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Iran

Recent investigations indicated that morphine has
protective effects in different ischemia/reperfusion models
and may protect against neuronal cell death, while other
evidence showed that morphine induces apoptosis in neurons.
Therefore, the current study was conducted to investigate pre-
and post-conditioning effects of morphine on hippocampal
cell apoptosis in a rat model of homocysteine (Hcy)-induced
oxidative stress. In the present study, 0.5 µmol/µl Hcy was
injected into bilateral intrahipocampal in the rat brain and
morphine at a therapeutic dose of 10 mg/kg was injected intra-
peritoneally 5 days before and after Hcy injection in rats. The
left and right rat hippocampus were removed for biochemical
and histopathological analysis. In addition, hippocampal
cell apoptosis was assayed by the TUNEL kit. Our results
indicated that malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide
anion (SOA) levels in the Hcy group were increased signifi-
cantly compared to the control group (P<0.001). In addition,
morphine pre-and post-treatment increased the MDA and
SOA levels significantly in rat hippocampus compared with
other groups (P<0.001). It was found that Hcy alone induced
apoptosis in hippocampus cells and significantly increased
the number of TUNEL-positive cells in rat hippocampus
compared to the other group (P<0.001). Notably, our results
indicated that pre- and post-treatment by morphine increased
apoptosis in hippocampus cells compared with the other
group (P<0.001). In conclusion, morphine neuroprotection and
neurotoxicity needs to be further investigated to determine
morphine side-effects in medical applications and to identify
new targets for potential therapies

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