Send to

Choose Destination
IUBMB Life. 2004 May;56(5):249-55.

Methamphetamine and MDMA (ecstasy) neurotoxicity: 'of mice and men'.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and the Neuroscience Program, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.


Methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-meythylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') are currently major drugs of abuse. One of the major concerns of amphetamines abuse is their potential neurotoxic effect on dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons. Although data from human studies are somewhat limited, compelling evidence suggests that these drugs cause neurotoxicity in rodents and primates. Recent studies in transgenic and knockout mice identified the role of dopamine transporters, nitric oxide, apoptotic proteins, and inflammatory cytokines in amphetamines neurotoxicity. Further research into the mechanisms underlying the dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotoxicity and the behavioral corollaries of these neuronal insults could facilitate our understanding of the consequences of human abuse of METH and MDMA on cognition, drug-seeking behavior, extinction and relapse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center