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Che S, Johnson M, Hanson GR, Gibb JW. 
“Body temperature effect on methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced acute decrease in tryptophan hydroxylase activity”. 
Eur J Pharmacol. 1995;293(4):447-53.
Brain tryptophan hydroxylase activity decreases within 15 min after a single administration of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. In the present study, the effect of body temperature on this acute decrease of tryptophan hydroxylase activity was examined. 2 h after a single dose of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (20 mg/kg, s.c.), rats exhibited hyperthermia (38.7 degrees C) or hypothermia (35.8 degrees C) when maintained at 25 degrees C or 6 degrees C, respectively. The rectal temperature of control animals maintained at 6 degrees C was not altered. Tryptophan hydroxylase activity measured in the hippocampus, striatum and frontal cortex of hyperthermic rats treated with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine was decreased to 61%, 65%, and 71% of control levels, respectively, 2 h after drug treatment. However, in hypothermic rats, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine had no effect on tryptophan hydroxylase activity in the hippocampus, striatum or frontal cortex. Non-drug-induced hyperthermia or hypothermia did not affect tryptophan hydroxylase activity. Since hypothermia may prevent the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced decrease in tryptophan hydroxylase activity by reducing the formation of free radicals, the effect of a free radical scavenging agent, N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone, was examined. N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone (200 mg/kg, i.p.) alone caused hypothermia but had no direct effect on tryptophan hydroxylase activity. Preadministration of N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone prevented 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine from raising the temperature above normal and attenuated the drug-induced decrease in tryptophan hydroxylase activity in hippocampus, striatum and frontal cortex. However, when the rats treated with a combination of N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine were maintained at hyperthermic conditions, N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone had no protective effect. These results suggest that body temperature plays a prominent role in the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced acute decrease in tryptophan hydroxylase activity.
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