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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1997 Aug;282(2):834-8.

Rapid and reversible effects of methamphetamine on dopamine transporters.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.


Reactive oxygen species decrease dopamine transporter (DAT) function in vitro. Because of this, and the finding that METH administration causes oxygen radical formation in vivo, the effects of METH administration on DAT activity in rat striatum were investigated. A single METH injection caused a dose-dependent (0-15 mg/kg) decrease in [3H]dopamine uptake into striatal synaptosomes prepared 1 h after METH administration; an effect attributable to a decreased Vmax of [3H]dopamine uptake. Similarly, multiple high-dose administrations of METH (10 mg/kg/dose; four doses at 2-h intervals) decreased DAT function. The decreases in DAT activity after either single or multiple METH administrations were reversed 24 h after treatment. [3H]5HT transport into striatal synaptosomes was also affected by METH treatment. Taken together, these data suggest that METH decreases DAT activity, perhaps through a reactive oxygen species-mediated mechanism. These findings may have important implications regarding the role of oxidative events in the physiological regulation of monoaminergic systems.

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