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McDaid J, Docherty JR. 
“Vascular actions of MDMA involve alpha(1) and alpha(2)-adrenoceptors in the anaesthetized rat”. 
Br J Pharmacol. 2001;133(3):429-437..
We have investigated the effects of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy'), i.v., on diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in pithed and pentobarbitone anaesthetized rats. In pithed rats, the non- selective 5-HT receptor antagonist methiothepin (0.1 mg kg(-1)) and the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonists methoxyidazoxan and yohimbine (1 mg kg(-1)) showed significant alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist potency, but methiothepin did not show alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist potency. MDMA (1 and 5 mg kg(-1)) produced pressor responses which were significantly reduced by the alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin (0.1 mg kg(-1)), yohimbine (1 mg kg(-1)) or methiothepin (0.1 mg kg(- 1)), but not by the 5-HT(2) receptor antagonist ritanserin (1 mg kg(- 1)). In anaesthetized rats, antagonists revealed two phases with three components to the effects of MDMA (5 mg kg(-1)) on DBP: an initial pressor response, a later pressor component at 1 min, the sustained depressor response. Methoxyidazoxan, methiothepin or the combination ritanserin/prazosin significantly reduced the initial pressor response, although neither of the latter compounds alone had any effect. The pressor response to MDMA (5 mg kg(-1)) at 1 min was converted to a depressor response by prazosin and to a lesser extent methiothepin and methoxyidazoxan. The depressor response to MDMA (5 mg kg(-1)) was significantly reduced by methoxyidazoxan (0.1 mg kg(-1)), and by the noradrenaline re-uptake blocker cocaine 10 mg kg(-1) but not 1 mg kg(- 1). However, the most marked reduction in the depressor response was produced by the combination of methoxyidazoxan and cocaine. It is concluded that the initial pressor response to MDMA (5 mg kg(-1)) in anaesthetized rats involves alpha(2)- and possibly alpha(1)- adrenoceptors and 5-HT(2) receptors, the pressor component at 1 min is largely alpha(1)-adrenoceptor mediated, and the sustained depressor response involves alpha(2)-adrenoceptors.
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