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Colado MI, Esteban B, O'Shea E, Granados R, Green AR. 
“Studies on the neuroprotective effect of pentobarbitone on MDMA-induced neurodegeneration”. 
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Mar;142(4):421-5.
Administration of a dose of 15 mg/kg of the recreationally used drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') to Dark Agouti rats resulted in an acute hyperthermic response which was followed 7 days later by a marked (approximately 45%) loss of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-HIAA in cortex, hippocampus and striatum and a similar loss of [3H]-paroxetine binding in cortex. These losses reflect the MDMA-induced neurotoxic degeneration of 5-HT nerve endings. Administration of pentobarbitone (40 mg/kg) concurrently with MDMA produced a significant attenuation of the neurotoxic damage, but also acute hypothermia. When the temperature of the MDMA plus pentobarbitone-treated group was kept elevated to that of the MDMA-treated group by the use of a homeothermic blanket, the neuroprotective effect of pentobarbitone was lost. These data demonstrate that pentobarbitone appears to possess no intrinsic neuroprotective activity and the previously reported activity is due to a hypothermic action of the drug.
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