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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 741925, 10 pages
Research Article

Effects of Brugmansia arborea Extract and Its Secondary Metabolites on Morphine Tolerance and Dependence in Mice

1Pharmacognosy Unit, School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Via Madonna delle Carceri 9, 62032 Camerino, Italy
2Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Science, University of Salerno, Via Ponte don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Italy

Received 24 September 2011; Revised 23 October 2011; Accepted 23 October 2011

Academic Editor: Raffaele Capasso

Copyright © 2012 Laura Mattioli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the present study was to investigate, in vivo, the effect of a Brugmansia arborea extract (BRU), chromatographic fractions (FA and FNA), and isolated alkaloids on the expression and the acquisition of morphine tolerance and dependence. Substances were acutely (for expression) or repeatedly (for acquisition) administered in mice treated with morphine twice daily for 5 or 6 days, in order to make them tolerant or dependent. Morphine tolerance was assessed using the tail-flick test at 1st and 5th days. Morphine dependence was evaluated through the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms induced by naloxone injection at 6th day. Results showed that BRU significantly reduced the expression of morphine tolerance, while it was ineffective to modulate its acquisition. Chromatographic fractions and pure alkaloids failed to reduce morphine tolerance. Conversely BRU, FA, and pure alkaloids administrations significantly attenuated both development and expression of morphine dependence. These data suggest that Brugmansia arborea Lagerh might have human therapeutic potential for treatment of opioid addiction.