International journal of molecular medicine vol:7 issue:4 pages:419-22
Human atria contain the opiate alkaloids morphine and morphine 6 glucuronide as determined by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrochemical detection. This method found endogenous morphine and morphine 6 glucuronide at 106.28+/-61.58 and 48.32+/-24.63 (+/- SD) ng/gm wet weight, respectively. Identification of these opiates was confirmed by nano electrospray ionization double quadrupole orthogonal acceleration time of flight mass spectrometry. Furthermore, human saphenous vein fragments did not contain morphine as determined by these methods. Fragmentation from a selected precursor ion by collision-induced dissociation of endogenous morphine 6 glucuronide (462.14 da) yields morphine (286.14 Da) obtained from the heart tissues and with the authentic material, further demonstrating the presence of endogenous morphine. Thus, vascular tissues appear to contain endogenous opiate alkaloids.