Attenuation of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) induced neurotoxicity with the serotonin precursors tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan

Jon E. Sprague, Xuemei Huang, Arthi Kanthasamy, David E. Nichols

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Treatment of rats with serotonin (5-HT) precursors tryptophan (TRP, 400 mg/kg) and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP, 50 mg/kg) was shown to attenuate MDMA (20 mg/kg) induced serotonergic neurotoxicity as measured by [3H]- paroxetine binding in the striatum, hippocampus, and frontal cortex of the rat brain. Hippocampal 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels were also indicative of the protective effects of TRP and 5-HTP. These results suggest that depletion of 5-HT stores is important for MDMA-induced neurotoxicity. The possible significance of this 5-HT depletion in MDMA-induced serontonergic terminal degeneration is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1198
Number of pages6
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1994


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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