Effect of uranyl nitrate-induced renal failure on morphine disposition and antinociceptive response in rats

Jacoba T. Van Crugten, Andrew A. Somogyi, Roger L. Nation

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1. The aims of the present study were to administer morphine (14.0 μmol/kg, s.c.) to male Hooded Wistar rats and to determine the effect of uranyl nitrate-induced renal failure on: (i) the antinociceptive effect of morphine; (ii) the pharmacokinetics of morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide (M3G); and (iii) the relationship between antinociceptive effect and the pharmacokinetics of morphine in plasma and brain. 2. Renal failure was induced by a single s.c. injection of uranyl nitrate and kinetic/dynamic studies were performed 10 days after its administration, when creatinine clearance was 17% of the control group. Antinociceptive effect was measured by the tail-flick method at various times up to 2 h post-drug administration. Concentrations of morphine and M3G in plasma and brain and concentrations of creatinine in urine and serum were determined by specific HPLC methods. 3. After morphine administration, the area under the antinociceptive effect-time curve was decreased by 44 % in renal failure rats. There were no differences between control and renal failure rats in: (i) plasma morphine concentration- time curves; (ii) brain morphine concentration-time curves; and (iii) plasma M3G concentration-time curves. Morphine-6-glucuronide was not detected in any plasma or brain sample from rats administered morphine and no M3G was detected in brain. 4. For both control and renal failure rats, the relationships between antinociceptive effect and plasma morphine concentration were characterized by counterclockwise hysteresis loops, probably reflecting a delay for the relatively polar morphine to cross the blood-brain barrier. The relationship between antinociceptive effect and brain morphine concentration in control rats revealed no evidence of acute tolerance and was described by a sigmoidal function. In contrast, the relationship in renal failure rats was characterized by clockwise hysteresis, which is consistent with acute tolerance development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Acute tolerance
  • Concentration- effect
  • Morphine
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Rat
  • Renal failure

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