Presence of isoquinoline alkaloids in molluscan ganglia.

UNLABELLED: Tetrahydropapaveroline and reticuline, isoquinoline alkaloids, were purified and identified in the pedal ganglia of the marine mollusk Mytilus edulis.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the presence of tetrahydropapaveroline and reticuline, isoquinoline alkaloids, in animal tissues previously shown to express opiate receptors.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This was achieved by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection and finally identified by electro-spray ionization quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (Q-TOF). The expression of these two terahydroisoquinoline alkaloids in the animals neural tissue is at the level of 2.5+/-0.64 ng/ganglion and 1.8+/-0.52 ng/ganglion, respectively.

CONCLUSION: This finding suggests that morphine biosynthesis may occur in Mytilus neural tissues, and that the biosynthesis pathway may be similar to that reported in the poppy plant.