1. Chronic administration of morphine, nicotine or phenobarbitone has previously been shown to inhibit rat liver tryptophan pyrrolase activity by increasing hepatic [NADPH], whereas subsequent withdrawal enhances pyrrolase activity by a hormonal-type mechanism. 2. It is now shown that this enhancement is associated with an increase in the concentration of serum corticosterone. 3. Chronic administration of the above drugs enhances, whereas subsequent withdrawal inhibits, brain 5-hydroxytryptamine synthesis. Under both conditions, tryptophan availability to the brain is altered in the appropriate direction. 4. The chronic drug-induced enhancement of brain tryptophan metabolism is reversed by phenazine methosulphate, whereas the withdrawal-induced inhibition is prevented by nicotinamide. 5. The chronic morphine-induced changes in liver [NADPH], pyrrolase activity, tryptophan availability to the brain and brain 5-hydroxytryptamine synthesis are all reversed by the opiate antagonist naloxone. 6. It is suggested that the opposite effects on brain tryptophan metabolism of chronic administration and subsequent withdrawal of the above drugs of dependence are mediated by the changes in liver tryptophan pyrrolase activity. 6. Similar conclusions based on similar findings have previously been made in relation to chronic administration and subsequent withdrawal of ethanol. These findings with all four drugs are briefly discussed in relation to previous work and the mechanism(s) of drug dependence.
The role of liver tryptophan pyrrolase in the opposite effects of chronic administration and subsequent withdrawal of drugs of dependence on rat brain tryptophan metabolism
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A A Badawy, N F Punjani, M Evans; The role of liver tryptophan pyrrolase in the opposite effects of chronic administration and subsequent withdrawal of drugs of dependence on rat brain tryptophan metabolism. Biochem J 15 April 1981; 196 (1): 161–170. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj1960161
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