Acute effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine on brain serotonin synthesis in the dog studied by positron emission tomography
Nishisawa S, Mzengeza S, Diksic M
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery,
Montreal Neurological Institute,
McGill University,
Quebec, Canada.
Neurochem Int 1999 Jan; 34(1):33-40


The influence of an acute dose (2 mg/kg; i.v.; infused over 10 min) of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; Ecstasy) on the brain serotonin synthesis in the dog was assessed using alpha [11C]methyl-L-tryptophan and positron emission tomography. The rate of serotonin synthesis measured 1 h after injection of MDMA was six times greater than the base line (before MDMA) synthesis. Five hours after the MDMA injection, serotonin synthesis was about one half that at the base line, and about one thirteenth of the synthesis at 1 h after MDMA. A large increase seen 1 h after MDMA probably relates to the large release of serotonin by MDMA and reflects an attempt of the serotonergic system to replenish released serotonin. This probably correlates with the mood changes reported by humans after MDMA intake. Decrease observed 5 h after MDMA, in part, probably relates to the inhibitory effects of the released serotonin, which could act on the activity of tryptophan hydroxylase directly or indirectly via other monoaminergic systems (e.g. dopaminergic).
Alexander Shulgin
Protect and survive
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The serotonin syndrome
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