3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") Induce
Fenfluramine-Like Proliferative Actions on Human Cardiac Valvular Interstitial Cells in Vitro

by
Setola V, Hufeisen SJ, Grande-Allen KJ, Vesely I,
Glennon RA, Blough B, Rothman RB, Roth BL.
Department of Biochemistry; RM W438,
School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University,
2109 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106-4935.
roth@biocserver.cwru.edu
Mol Pharmacol 2003 Jun;63(6):1223-9


ABSTRACT

Recent findings have implicated the 5-hydroxytryptamine 2B (5-HT2B) serotonin receptor in mediating the heart valve fibroplasia [valvular heart disease (VHD)] and primary pulmonary hypertension observed in patients taking the now-banned appetite suppressant fenfluramine (Pondimin, Redux). Via large-scale, random screening of a portion of the receptorome, we have discovered that the amphetamine derivative 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") and its N-demethylated metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) each preferentially bind to and activate human recombinant 5-HT2B receptors. We also demonstrate that MDMA and MDA, like fenfluramine and its N-deethylated metabolite norfenfluramine, elicit prolonged mitogenic responses in human valvular interstitial cells via activation of 5-HT2B receptors. We also report that pergolide and dihydroergotamine, two drugs recently demonstrated to induce VHD in humans, potently activate 5-HT2B receptors, thus validating this assay system for its ability to predict medications that might induce VHD. Our discovery that MDMA and a major metabolite, MDA, induce prolonged mitogenic responses in vitro similar to those induced by fenfluramine and norfenfluramine in vivo (i.e., valvular interstitial cell fibroplasia) predict that long-term MDMA use could lead to the development of fenfluramine-like VHD. Because of the widespread abuse of MDMA, these findings have major public health implications. These findings also underscore the necessity of screening current and future drugs at h5-HT2B receptors for agonist actions before their use in humans.

Club drugs
Abstinence
Parkinson's?
Liver failure
Brain damage?
Kidney damage
Deaths in New York
Long-term brain damage?
Toxic metabolites of MDMA?
Fenfluramine, MDMA and serotonin
A distal axotomy of brain serotonin neurons?
Electrophysiological evidence of 5-HT damage
MDMA (Ecstasy) versus fenfluramine (Pondimin)
Non-neurotoxic and neurotoxic serotonin-releasers
Ecstasy-induced toxicity and the dopamine transporter
MDMA (Ecstasy) : neuropharmacology and neurotoxicity
5-HT, 5-HIAA, norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine
Lack of serotonin neurotoxicity after intracerebral Ecstasy microinjection


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