Disposition of morphine in the rat isolated perfused kidney: Concentration ranging studies

Kathryn M. Shanahan, Allan M. Evans, Roger L. Nation

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The rat isolated perfused kidney was used to investigate the linearity of the renal disposition of morphine and its potential oxidative and glucuronidative metabolism by the kidney. In a set of single-dose experiments, morphine was administered to recirculating perfusion medium to achieve initial concentrations of 0.2, 2 and 20 μM (n = 4 at each concentration). In a set of multiple-dose experiments, morphine was administered to perfusate as sequential bolus doses to achieve concentrations of 0.2, 2, 20 and 200 μM (n = 6). HPLC was used to determine the concentration of morphine in perfusate and urine. Normorphine, morphine-3- glucuronide and morphine-6-glucuronide could not be detected in perfusate or urine, a result that suggests an absence of oxidative and glucuronidative metabolism of morphine by the rat kidney. The volume of distribution of morphine within the kidney was high (31 ± 3 ml/g at 0.2 ♂), which indicates extensive accumulation, and remained constant with increasing perfusate concentration. The ratio of unbound renal excretory clearance to glomerular filtration rate was always greater than unity for all kidneys, which indicates that the renal excretion of morphine involves net tubular secretion. This ratio was constant (P > .05) over the 100-fold concentration range of the single-dose study. In the multiple-dose study, the ratio was marginally but significantly (P < .05) higher at concentrations of 2, 20 and 200 μM than at 0.2 μM, a difference that cannot be explained by saturation of tubular secretion. The results suggest that the tubular secretion of morphine is not saturated over a wide range of concentrations (0.2-200 μM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1518-1525
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1997

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