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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Decreased social behaviour following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is accompanied by changes in 5-HT2A receptor responsivity.

This study examined the involvement of the 5-HT(2A) receptor in the long-term anxiogenic effect of a brief exposure of young rats to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) using the social interaction and elevated plus-maze paradigms. Wistar rats (post-natal day (PND) 28) received either MDMA (5 mg/kg i.p.) or saline (1 ml/kg i.p.) hourly for 4 h on 2 consecutive days. Locomotor activity was measured for 60 min after the first injection and core body temperature was recorded at regular intervals over 4 h. On PND 84, without further drug administration, social interaction was assessed between treatment-matched rat pairs derived from separate litters. On PND 86, rats received either the 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor agonist, 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI, 1 mg/kg i.p.) or saline and locomotor activity, wet-dog shakes and back muscle contractions were monitored. The change in elevated plus-maze behaviour was assessed following the same injection on PND 87. Acutely, MDMA produced a significant hyperlocomotion and hyperthermia (p<0.01). Following 55 days of abstinence, social interaction was reduced by 27% in MDMA pre-treated rats compared with that in controls (p<0.01). On the elevated plus-maze, pre-treatment with MDMA prevented the anxiogenic effect of DOI. On PND 92, hippocampal, frontal cortical and striatal 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) was significantly reduced in MDMA pre-treated rats by between 16% and 22%, without any accompanying change in [(3)H]paroxetine binding in cortical homogenates. In conclusion, exposure of young rats to repeated MDMA caused serotonin depletion and induced 'anxiety-like' behaviour in the social interaction test accompanied by a long-lasting reduction in specific 5-HT(2A) receptor mediated behaviour.[1]


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