3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) abuse
may cause oxidative stress and potential free radical damage

by
Zhou JF, Chen P, Zhou YH, Zhang L, Chen HH.
Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine,
Zhejiang University, 88 Jiefang Road, Hangzhou, 310009,
Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China.
hzzjf@hotmail.com
Free Radic Res. 2003 May;37(5):491-7


ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine abuse (MDMA abuse) may cause oxidative stress and potential free radical damage in the bodies of MDMA abusers (MA), and to explore the mechanisms by which MDMA abuse may be causing oxidative stress. METHODS: One hundred and twenty MA and 120 healthy volunteers (HV) were enrolled in a random control study design, in which the level of lipoperoxide (LPO) in erythrocytes, and the levels of Vitamin C (VC), Vitamin E (VE) and beta-carotene (beta-CAR) in plasma as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in erythrocytes were determined by spectrophotometric methods. RESULTS: Compared with the average values of the above biochemical parameters in the HV group, the average value of LPO in erythrocytes in the MA group was significantly increased (P < 0.0001), while the average values of VC, VE and beta-CAR in plasma as well as those of SOD and CAT in erythrocytes in the MA group were significantly decreased (P < 0.0001). The analysis of bivariate correlations suggested that with the increase of the MDMA abuse dose and the MDMA abuse duration, the level of LPO in erythrocytes in the MA was increased (P < 0.0001), while the levels of VC, VE and beta-CAR in plasma as well as the activities of SOD and CAT in erythrocytes in the MA were decreased (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: The findings in this study suggest that MDMA abuse may cause oxidative stress and potential free radical damage to MA.


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