Synthesis, radiolabeling and biodistribution of morphine glucuronide (mor-glu)

  • H. Enginar
  • P. Unak
  • F. Z. Biber Müftüler
  • F. Y. Lambrecht
  • E. I. Medine
  • S. Yolcular
  • A. Yurt Kilcar
  • B. Seyitoğlu
  • I. Bulduk


The aim of this study was to synthesize a glucuronide conjugated morphine derivative which could be labeled with 131I, as a radiopharmaceutical, and to investigate its radiopharmaceutical potential using biodistribution studies in male Albino Wistar rats. Morphine was extracted from dry capsules of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). It was conjugated with UDP-glucuronic acid by using UDP-glucuronyl transferase (UDPGT) enzyme rich microsomes, purified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared (IR) spectroscopy and liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS). Normal and receptor blockage biodistribution studies were performed in male Albino Wistar rats. The results of the tissue distribution studies showed that 131I labeled morphine glucuronide (131I-mor-glu) uptake in the small intestine, large intestine and urinary bladder was higher than in the other tissues of the rats in the blocked receptor and unblocked receptor. A greater uptake of the radio labeled substance was observed in the hypothalamus and mid brain than in the other branches of the rats’ brains.


Morphine glucuronide Radiolabeling 131Biodistribution 131I labeled morphine-glucuronide (131I-mor-glu) 



The authors thank for the financial supports from The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK, Project number 2004-104T187) and T.R Prime Ministry State Planning Organization (DPT, Project Number 2006 DPT 06).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Enginar
    • 1
  • P. Unak
    • 2
  • F. Z. Biber Müftüler
    • 2
  • F. Y. Lambrecht
    • 2
  • E. I. Medine
    • 2
  • S. Yolcular
    • 2
  • A. Yurt Kilcar
    • 2
  • B. Seyitoğlu
    • 2
  • I. Bulduk
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryAfyon Kocatepe UniversityAfyonkarahisarTurkey
  2. 2.Institute of Nuclear ScienceEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Bolvadin Alkaloid FactoryAfyonkarahisarTurkey

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