Neuropharmacology and neurotoxicity of
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine

by
Gudelsky GA, Yamamoto BK.
College of Pharmacy,
University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Methods Mol Med 2003;79:55-73


ABSTRACT

The existing data indicate that MDMA produces long-term deficits in markers of 5-HT axon terminals in the rodent brain. Increased cleavage of the cytoskeletal protein tau, impairment of axonal transport, and functional consequences associated with a 5-HT depleting regimen of MDMA support the view that MDMA induces structural brain damage, that is, axonal degeneration. A confluence of oxidative stress and bioenergetic stress induced by MDMA is hypothesized to underlie the process of MDMA neurotoxicity (Fig. 3). The actions of MDMA on the 5-HT transporter to promote free radical formation and/or intracellular calcium may synergize with MDMA-induced disturbances in cellular energetics and hyperthermia to effect selective toxicity to 5-HT axon terminals.

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