Erowid References Database
Ricaurte GA, Yuan J, McCann UD.
“(+/-)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (`Ecstasy')-Induced Serotonin Neurotoxicity: Studies in Animals”.
The popular recreational drug, (B)3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA; ‘Ecstasy’) is a potent and selective brain serotonin (5-HT) neurotoxin in animals. MDMA-induced 5-HT neurotoxicity can be demonstrated using a variety of neurochemical, neuroanatomical and, more recently, functional measures of 5-HT neurons. Although the neurotoxic effects of MDMA in animals are
widely accepted, the relevance of the animal data to human MDMA users has been questioned, largely be-cause dosages of drugs used in animals are perceived as being much higher than those used by humans. In the present paper, we review the extensive body of data
demonstrating that MDMA produced toxic effects on brain 5-HT neurons in animals and present new data indicating that levels of the type 2 vesicular monoamine transporter are reduced in MDMA-treated animals, pro-viding further indication of MDMA’s 5-HT neurotoxic
potential. Further, we demonstrate, using principles of interspecies scaling, that dosages of MDMA known to be neurotoxic in animals fall squarely in the range of dos-ages used typically by recreational MDMA users.
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