NMR spectroscopy of 6-acetylmorphine (6-AM), a chloroform-soluble model compound for the hydrophilic, highly potent analgesic drug morphine-6-glucoronide (M6G), in a hydrophobic solvent indicates one hydrogen bonded water molecule per molecule of 6-AM. By analysis of nuclear Overhauser enhancements (NOEs) we find a 6-AM dimer in which the monomers are linked by two water molecules. Molecular modeling studies underscore the stability of such dimeric structures involving water molecules for 6-AM and point out their more lipophilic character allowing penetration of the blood-brain barrier.
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The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11378376