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Neuropharmacology. 1999 Sep;38(9):1381-7.

Pseudoephedrine, a sympathomimetic agent, induces Fos-like immunoreactivity in rat nucleus accumbens and striatum.

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  • 1Neuro-Behavioural Biology Center, Institute of Science and Technology, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakorn Pathorn, Thailand.


The pharmacological properties of the ephedrine derivative pseudoephedrine were investigated at the nuclear level. Following intraperitoneal injection of Sprague Dawley rats with pseudoephedrine, Fos induction was measured in various brain areas by Western blots and immunocytochemistry. Pseudoephedrine induced Fos-like immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens and striatum in a time and concentration-dependent manner with maximal effect at 60 mg/kg 2 h after injection. Immunocytochemical studies confirmed that the majority of the signal was detectable in the nucleus accumbens and striatum. Pre-injection with the D1 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 partially and completely blocked pseudoephedrine-induced Fos-like immunoreactivity in the striatum and nucleus accumbens, respectively, suggesting that the action of pseudoephedrine is mediated via dopamine release and results in the activation of D1 dopamine receptors. With the exception of the higher doses required, the actions of pseudoephedrine were similar to those previously described for the psychostimulant amphetamine.

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