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Eur J Pharmacol. 1986 Aug 22;128(1-2):41-8.

The effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) on monoaminergic systems in the rat brain.


The effects of two amphetamine-like designer drugs, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), on dopaminergic and serotonergic systems in the rat brain were investigated and compared to those of methamphetamine (METH). Like METH, single or multiple 10 mg/kg doses of either drug caused marked reductions in both tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) activity and concentrations of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, in several serotonergic nerve terminal regions. In all regions examined, the reduction in 5-HT content corresponded to the depression of TPH activity. Unlike multiple METH administrations, which induced pronounced deficits in dopaminergic neuronal markers, repeated doses of MDA or MDMA did not alter striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activities or reduce striatal dopamine concentrations. A single dose of MDA or MDMA significantly elevated striatal dopamine content; however, after repeated drug administrations dopamine concentrations were comparable to control values. At this time, striatal levels of homovanillic acid were significantly elevated suggesting that both drugs influence dopamine turnover. The effects of MDA or MDMA administration in the rat brain are reminiscent of those elicited by p-chloroamphetamine, a presumed serotonergic neurotoxin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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