Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Pharmacol. 2005 Jan;67(1):140-51.

Amphetamines take two to tango: an oligomer-based counter-transport model of neurotransmitter transport explores the amphetamine action.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Pharmacology, Medical University Vienna, W√§hringer Strasse 13a, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


Amphetamine congeners [e.g., 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA), or "ecstasy"] are substrates for monoamine transporters (i.e., the transporters for serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine); however, their in vivo-action relies on their ability to promote monoamine efflux. The mechanistic basis for this counter transport remains enigmatic. We tested the hypothesis that outward transport is contingent on the oligomeric nature of neurotransmitter transporters by creating a concatemer of the serotonin transporter and the amphetamine-resistant GABA transporter. In cells expressing the concatemer, amphetamine analogs promoted GABA efflux and blunted GABA influx. In contrast, the natural substrates serotonin and GABA only cause mutual inhibition of influx via the other transporter moiety in the concatemer. GABA efflux through the concatemer that was promoted by amphetamine analogs was blocked by the protein kinase C inhibitors GF109203X (bisindoylmaleimide I) and Go6983 (2-[1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-5-methoxyindol-3-yl]-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)maleimide). Thus, based on our observations, we propose that, in the presence of amphetamine analogs, monoamine transporters operate as counter-transporters; influx and efflux occur through separate but coupled moieties. Influx and efflux are coupled via changes in the ionic gradients, but these do not suffice to account for the action of amphetamines; the activity of a protein kinase C isoform provides a second stimulus that primes the inward facing conformation for outward transport.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk