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Effects of MDMA on Extracellular Dopamine and Serotonin Levels in Mice Lacking Dopamine and/or Serotonin Transporters

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3,4-Methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has both stimulatory and hallucinogenic properties which make its psychoactive effects unique and different from those of typical psychostimulant and hallucinogenic agents. The present study investigated the effects of MDMA on extracellular dopamine (DAex) and serotonin (5-HTex) levels in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC) using in vivo microdialysis techniques in mice lacking DA transporters (DAT) and/or 5-HT transporters (SERT). Subcutaneous injection of MDMA (3, 10 mg/kg) significantly increased striatal DAex in wildtype mice, SERT knockout mice, and DAT knockout mice, but not in DAT/SERT double-knockout mice. The MDMAinduced increase in striatal DAex in SERT knockout mice was significantly less than in wildtype mice. In the PFC, MDMA dose-dependently increased DAex levels in wildtype, DAT knockout, SERT knockout and DAT/SERT doubleknockout mice to a similar extent. In contrast, MDMA markedly increased 5-HTex in wildtype and DAT knockout mice and slightly increased 5-HTex in SERT-KO and DAT/SERT double-knockout mice. The results confirm that MDMA acts at both DAT and SERT and increases DAex and 5-HTex.

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Keywords: Fluoxetine; Hallucinogenic agents; Knock Out; MDMA; Microdialysis; Norpherine (NE); Prefrontal Cortex (PFC); Psychostimulants; Sodium pentobarbital; dopamine transporter; knockout; microdialysis; serotonin transporter

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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  • Current Neuropharmacology aims to provide current, timely and comprehensive reviews of all areas of neuropharmacology and related matters of neuroscience. The journal publishes reviews written by experts and leaders in the fields of molecular, cellular, and systems/behavioural aspects of neuropharmacology and neuroscience. The journal serves as a comprehensive, multidisciplinary expert forum for neuropharmacologists and neuroscientists.
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