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Addict Biol. 2008 Mar;13(1):15-25. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Changes in leptin, ghrelin, growth hormone and neuropeptide-Y after an acute model of MDMA and methamphetamine exposure in rats.

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  • 1University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Club drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States. Beyond addiction and toxicity are endocrine effects which are not well characterized. Specifically, the changes in appetite following exposure to drugs of abuse are an interesting but poorly understood phenomenon. Serum hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, growth hormone (GH), and neuropeptide-Y (NP-Y) are known to affect appetite, but have not been studied extensively with drugs of abuse. In this work, we examine the effects of club drugs 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (ecstasy) and methamphetamine (METH) (doses of 5, 20 and 40 mg/kg) on serum concentrations of these hormones in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats 6, 12, 24 and 48 hours after drug administration. In a dose-dependent manner, MDMA was shown to cause transient significant decreases in serum leptin and GH followed by a base line recovery after 24 hours. Conversely, serum ghrelin increased and normalized after 24 hours. Interestingly, serum NP-Y showed a steady decrease in both treatment of MDMA and METH at different time points and dosages. In humans, abuse of these drugs reduces eating. As evident from these data, acute administration of METH and MDMA had significant effects on different serum hormone levels involved in appetite regulation. Future studies should be performed to see how chronic, low dose drug administration would affect hormone levels and try to answer questions about the physiological mechanisms involved in the anorexic paradigm observed in drug use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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