Anticataleptic activity of cathinone and MDMA (Ecstasy) upon acute and subchronic administration in rat
Banjaw MY, Mayerhofer A, Schmidt WJ.
Zoological Institute, Department of Neuropharmacology,
University of Tubingen, 72076 Tubingen, Germany.
Synapse. 2003 Sep 15;49(4):232-8


It was recently demonstrated that acute administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphet-amine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") is capable of counteracting haloperidol-induced catalepsy in rats. The present study was done with another psychostimulant, S-(-)-cathinone. In these experiments, 32 male Sprague-Dawley rats, 225 +/- 25 g, were used. They were divided into three groups. All groups received 0.5 mg/kg haloperidol in normal saline (s.c.) as a first injection. Then 30 min later each group received either isotonic phosphate-buffered saline, 1 mg/kg S-(-)-cathinone, or 2.5 mg/kg (RS)-MDMA (s.c.) as a second injection. The results of descent latency on both the horizontal bar and vertical grid showed that S-(-)-cathinone or (RS)-MDMA upon acute administration induces a strong anticataleptic activity (P < 0.0001) compared to rats treated with haloperidol plus vehicle. The effect of both drugs was later masked upon subchronic administration (days 2-7, 26-29). This is probably due to sensitization of cataleptic behavior. However, when the same groups of rats were tested on day 8 in a different task, i.e., open-field, they showed a significant difference (P < 0.05). The detailed mechanism of the observed strong anticataleptic activity of S-(-)-cathinone (which is considered a potent dopamine releaser) requires further investigation. Synapse 49:232-238, 2003.

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