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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Sep;314(3):1087-92. Epub 2005 May 18.

Age-dependent methamphetamine-induced alterations in vesicular monoamine transporter-2 function: implications for neurotoxicity.

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University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 84112, USA.


Tens of thousands of adolescents and young adults have used illicit methamphetamine. This is of concern since its high-dose administration causes persistent dopaminergic deficits in adult animal models. The effects in adolescents are less studied. In adult rodents, toxic effects of methamphetamine may result partly from aberrant cytosolic dopamine accumulation and subsequent reactive oxygen species formation. The vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT-2) sequesters cytoplasmic dopamine into synaptic vesicles for storage and perhaps protection against dopamine-associated oxidative consequences. Accordingly, aberrant VMAT-2 function may contribute to the methamphetamine-induced persistent dopaminergic deficits. Hence, this study examined effects of methamphetamine on VMAT-2 in adolescent (postnatal day 40) and young adult (postnatal day 90) rats. Results revealed that high-dose methamphetamine treatment caused greater acute (within 1 h) decreases in vesicular dopamine uptake in postnatal day 90 versus 40 rats, as determined in a nonmembrane-associated subcellular fraction. Greater basal levels of VMAT-2 at postnatal day 90 versus 40 in this purified fraction seemed to contribute to the larger effect. Basal tissue dopamine content was also greater in postnatal day 90 versus 40 rats. In addition, postnatal day 90 rats were more susceptible to methamphetamine-induced persistent dopaminergic deficits as assessed by measuring VMAT-2 activity and dopamine content 7 days after treatment, even if drug doses were adjusted for age-related pharmacokinetic differences. Together, these data demonstrate dynamic changes in VMAT-2 susceptibility to methamphetamine as a function of development. Implications with regard to methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic deficits, as well as dopamine-associated neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease, are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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