The lack of significant jaundice among infants of heroin-addicted mothers suggested a possible mitigating effect of heroin on bilirubin accumulation in the newborn infant. This possibility was substantiated by the finding of increased bilirubin glucuronyl transferase activity in morphine-addicted mice and the morphologic demonstration of an increase in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum of their liver cells as seen by electron microscopy. The significance of enhanced glucuronyl transferase activity may extend beyond the metabolism of bilirubin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health