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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1985 Jun;233(3):539-44.

Role of dopamine in the neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine.


Multiple administrations of high doses of methamphetamine to rats cause long-term depression of both dopamine and serotonin synthesis. Coadministration of the catecholamine synthesis inhibitor, alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine, antagonizes this effect of methamphetamine on both neurotransmitter systems. However, when catecholamine synthesis was maintained by the administration of L-dopa and the peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor R04-4602, alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine no longer prevented the effects of methamphetamine on either dopamine or serotonin synthesis. In addition, the administration of the specific dopamine uptake blocker, amfonelic acid, significantly attenuated the changes in the serotonin synthesizing enzyme, tryptophan hydroxylase, resulting from multiple high doses of methamphetamine. The ability of a single administration of methamphetamine to depress tryptophan hydroxylase was also dependent on catecholamine synthesis. These results suggest that dopamine plays an important role in the changes mediated by the administration of methamphetamine in both the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems.

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