Morphine and codeine from mammalian brain

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Dec;83(24):9784-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.83.24.9784.


Recently, we described the presence of six immunoreactive (ir) morphinans in bovine adrenal and hypothalamus and identified one as morphine [Goldstein, A., Barrett, R. W., James, I. F., Lowney, L. I., Weitz, C. J., Knipmeyer, L. L. & Rapaport, H. (1985) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82, 5203-5207]. We now report that ir morphinans corresponding to the previously reported peak 1 (morphine), peak 4, and peak 5 are consistently present in extracts of bovine hypothalamus and variably present in extracts of bovine adrenal and rat brain. We no longer detect the previously reported peaks 2, 3, or 6, and we have established that they were contamination artifacts. Peak 1 is coeluted with morphine in two distinct reversed-phase HPLC systems, as is peak 4 with codeine. We have purified peak 1 and peak 4 compounds from bovine hypothalamus and determined their identities by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS): peak 1 is confirmed to be morphine and peak 4 is codeine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / analysis
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Codeine / analysis*
  • Endorphins / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hypothalamus / analysis
  • Morphine / analysis*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Rats


  • Endorphins
  • Morphine
  • Codeine