Neonatal 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) exposure alters neuronal protein kinase A activity, serotonin and dopamine content, and [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding in adult rats
Crawford CA, Williams MT, Kohutek JL, Choi FY,
Yoshida ST, McDougall SA, Vorhees CV.
Department of Psychology,
California State University,
San Bernardino, CA 92407, USA.
Brain Res. 2006 Feb 13;


Recreational use of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has dramatically increased among juveniles and young adults of child-bearing age, and the potential for fetal exposure has increased. For this reason, it is surprising that comparatively few studies have assessed the long-term impact of early MDMA exposure on serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) neurotransmitter systems. The purpose of this study was to determine whether repeated exposure to MDMA during the preweanling period would cause long-term changes in 5-HT and DA functioning. Rats were treated with saline or 20 mg/kg MDMA (two injections per day) from postnatal day (PD) 11-20. At PD 90, rats were killed, and their dorsal striatum, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus were removed. 5-HT and DA content, as well as their metabolites, were measured using HPLC. In addition, cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) activity and agonist-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding was assayed using tissue homogenates from each brain region. Results indicated that early MDMA exposure caused a decrease in PKA activity and 5-HT content in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus while increasing the efficacy of 5-HT(1A) receptors as measured by agonist-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding. Additionally, DA content was reduced in the dorsal striatum and prefrontal cortex. These data indicate that early MDMA exposure has long-term effects on the 5-HT and DA neurotransmitter systems that may be mediated, at least partially, by changes in 5-HT(1A) receptor sensitivity.

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