3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy)-induced egr-1 mRNA in rat brain: pharmacological manipulation
Shirayama Y, Hashimoto K, Iyo M, Watanabe K, Higuchi T, Minabe Y.
Division of Cortical Function Disorders,
National Institute of Neuroscience,
National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP),
Tokyo, Kodaira, Japan.
Eur J Pharmacol 2000 Aug 25;402(3):215-22


Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical techniques, we examined the expression pattern of egr-1 mRNA and Egr-1 protein in several brain regions following administration of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Furthermore, we also studied the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, dopamine D(1) receptor, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) transporter or 5-HT(2A) receptor in the induction of egr-1 mRNA by MDMA. Basal constitutive levels of egr-1 mRNA were detected in control rat brains. A single administration of MDMA (10 mg/kg) caused marked induction of egr-1 mRNA in the prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampal dentate gyrus. However, no changes in the egr-1 mRNA levels were detected in the CA1 region of hippocampus and occipital cortex after administration of MDMA (10 mg/kg). Furthermore, the expression of egr-1 mRNA in the prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampal dentate gyrus after administration of MDMA (10 mg/kg) was blocked significantly by pretreatment with NMDA receptor antagonist (5R, 10S)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,b]-cyclohepten-5, 10-imine ((+)-MK801; 1 mg/kg), dopamine D(1) receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (1 mg/kg) or 5-HT uptake inhibitor paroxetine (5 mg/kg), but not by 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonist SR46349B (5 mg/kg). However, high basal levels of Egr-1 immunoreactivity in the rat brain were not altered by administration of MDMA (10 mg/kg). These results suggest that MDMA alters the expression of egr-1 mRNA in several regions of rat brain, and that the expression of egr-1 mRNA by MDMA in the prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampal dentate gyrus appears to be mediated, at least in part, by NMDA receptor, dopamine D(1) receptor and 5-HT transporter.

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