Acute behavioural and neurotoxic effects
of MDMA plus cocaine in adolescent mice

Daza-Losada M, Rodríguez-Arias M, Maldonado C, Aguilar MA, Guerri C, Miñarro J.
Unidad de Investigación Psicobiología de las Drogodependencias,
Departamento de Psicobiología,
Facultad de Psicología, Universitat de Valencia,
Valencia, 46010, Spain.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2008 Jul 27.


The poly-drug pattern is the most common among those observed in MDMA users, with cocaine being a frequently associated drug. This study evaluates the acute effects of MDMA (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg), alone or in combination with cocaine (25 mg/kg), on motor activity, anxiety (elevated plus maze and social interaction test), memory and brain monoamines in adolescent mice. Both drugs, administered alone or concurrently, produced hyperactivity and a decrease in social contacts. However, an anxiolytic effect, studied by means of the elevated plus maze and expressed as an increase in the time spent on the open arms, was observed only in those animals treated with cocaine and MDMA. The passive avoidance task was affected only with the highest MDMA dose (20 mg/kg). Mice treated with MDMA did not present significant changes in brain monoamines, while those receiving MDMA and cocaine showed a decrease in DA in the striatum, which was accompanied by an increase in the serotonin concentration in the striatum and cortex 30 min after acute administration. In conclusion, the combined use of MDMA and cocaine produces a predominance of serotonin over DA, which is associated with an anxiolytic profile, defensive behaviours and fewer social contacts.

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