Behavioral and neurochemical effects of orally administered MDMA in the rodent and nonhuman primate
Slikker W Jr, Holson RR, Ali SF, Kolta MG, Paule MG,
Scallet AC, McMillan DE, Bailey JR, Hong JS, Scalzo FM.
Division of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology,
National Center for Toxicological Research,
Jefferson, Arkansas 72079.
Neurotoxicology 1989 Fall;10(3):529-42


MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a recreational drug of abuse known as "Ecstasy" which markedly decreases regional brain serotonin (5-HT) content and produces 5-HT nerve terminal degeneration in forebrain areas of the rat. In order to determine the acute and chronic behavioral effects of MDMA, adult rats were given MDMA at 0, 5 or 10 mg/kg, po for 4 consecutive days. Alternatively, parachloroamphetamine (PCA) at 5 mg/kg was administered under the same regimen. Within 30 min after the first dose, the MDMA-treated rats exhibited the serotonin motor syndrome consisting of straub tail and splayed hindlimbs comparable to that seen in the PCA-treated rats. This serotonin motor syndrome, with a duration of about 2 hr, was less pronounced after subsequent doses. At 2-4 wk after the last dose, no significant differences between control and treated rats were seen in emergence, hot plate response, auditory startle response or complex maze behavior even though a significant dose-related decrease (50%) in 5-HT concentration was observed in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of these rats 4 wks after the last dose. Adult female monkeys dosed po with 5 or 10 mg/kg of MDMA twice/day for 4 consecutive days demonstrated no spontaneous behavioral changes or weight loss compared to controls, but forebrain 5-HT concentration was reduced by 80% 1 mon after dosing. These data indicate that at doses only 2-3 times the human dose, MDMA produces significant forebrain 5-HT decreases but does not produce detectable residual behavioral alterations as assessed by these behavioral paradigms.

Parkinsonian primates?
Long-term brain damage?
Toxic metabolites of MDMA?
MDMA and sympathetic activity
A toxic intraneuronal metabolite of serotonin?
Electrophysiological evidence of 5-HT damage
Non-neurotoxic and neurotoxic serotonin-releasers
Ecstasy-induced toxicity and the dopamine transporter
5-HT, 5-HIAA, norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine

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Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family