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Lin HQ, Burden PM, Christie MJ, Johnston GA. 
“The anxiogenic-like and anxiolytic-like effects of MDMA on mice in the elevated plus-maze: a comparison with amphetamine”. 
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Mar;62(3):403-8.
Many abused substances have been found to possess anxiogenic-like or/and anxiolytic-like properties. Discrepancies about the effects of MDMA, one of the most popular recreational drugs in recent years, on anxiety have been seen in the literature, and almost all of the data in this respect were derived from retrospective studies. The present study was thus designed to examine the drug's actions by using an animal model of anxiety, the elevated plus-maze test in male mice. Intraperitoneal MDMA at 1 mg/kg was ineffective, at 4 mg/kg decreased the percent of open arm entries (p < 0.01), and increased enclosed entries (p < 0.05), at 12 mg/kg had no significant effect, and at 20 mg/kg induced an increase of percent of open time (p < 0.01). As control drugs, amphetamine (0.5-4 mg/kg, i.p.) produced a dose-dependent, anxiogenic-like effect and diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.) induced an anxiolytic-like effect in the test. The results indicate that MDMA has anxiogenic-like properties at lower doses and anxiolytic-like at higher doses. The effects of MDMA and amphetamine on the mouse's responses to the plus-maze are compared. These findings provide a possible explanation for the controversies over MDMA's effects on anxiety in the literature.

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