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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1997 Dec;283(3):1350-5.

Role of endogenous dopamine in the neurochemical deficits induced by methcathinone.

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


Multiple administrations of methcathinone caused persistent deficits in monoaminergic systems, as reflected by decreases in dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine uptake capacity, tissue content and associated rate-limiting synthetic enzyme activities. Because dopamine has been implicated in mediating such effects after administration of related amphetamine analogs, its role in effecting methcathinone-induced monoaminergic neuronal impairment was assessed. A single high-dose administration of methcathinone increased striatal dopamine release, as measured by microdialysis in conscious rats and reflected by increases in striatal neurotensin-like immunoreactivity. Dopaminergic deficits observed 18 hr after a multiple-dose treatment with methcathinone were prevented by pretreatment with the selective D1 antagonist SCH23390 and D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride, but 5-hydroxytryptaminergic deficits were not altered. 5-Hydroxytryptaminergic changes did not occur in animals depleted of striatal dopamine by 6-hydroxydopamine lesions. These results indicate that dopaminergic systems are profoundly affected by methcathinone administration and that dopamine likely contributes to the monoaminergic effects of this stimulant.

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