Effect of GBR 12909 and fluoxetine on the acute and long term changes induced by MDMA ('ecstasy') on the 5-HT and dopamine concentrations in mouse brain
O'Shea E, Esteban B, Camarero J, Green AR, Colado MI
Departamento de Farmacologia,
Facultad de Medicina,
Universidad Complutense, 28040,
Madrid, Spain
Neuropharmacology 2000 Oct 1; 40(1):65-74


We examined the long term effect of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 10, 20 and 30 mg/kg, i.p.) on the cerebral 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and dopamine content in Swiss Webster mice. Three injections of MDMA (20 or 30 mg/kg, i.p.) given 3 h apart produced a marked depletion in the striatal content of dopamine and its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) 7 days later. None of the doses administered altered the concentration of 5-HT or its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in several brain areas. Pre-treatment with the dopamine uptake inhibitor GBR 12909 (10 mg/kg, i.p.), 30 min before each of the three MDMA (30 mg/kg, i.p.) injections, completely prevented the long term loss in the striatal catechol concentrations. However, GBR 12909 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) not only failed to prevent the acute effects induced by MDMA (30 mg/kg x 3, i.p.) on dopamine metabolism 30 min later, but in fact potentiated them. The 5-HT uptake inhibitor, fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) failed to prevent both the acute and long term dopaminergic deficits. MDMA (30 mg/kg x 3) altered the body temperature of the mice biphasically, producing a rapid hyperthermia followed by prolonged hypothermia. In contrast, MDMA (20 mg/kg x 3) produced an initial hypothermia followed by hyperthermia. The present experiments therefore appear to rule out any direct relationship between the neurotoxic effects of MDMA and its acute effects on body temperature in mice. Fluoxetine administered 30 min before each MDMA (30 mg/kg) injection prevented these temperature changes, while GBR 12909 was without effect. This suggests that the neuroprotective effect of GBR 12909 against MDMA-induced neurotoxicity is not directly related to its ability to inhibit the MDMA-induced acute effects on dopamine metabolism or alter the MDMA-induced temperature change. The data illustrate major differences in the neurotoxic profile of MDMA in mice and rats.

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