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Gibb JW, Stone DM, Stahl DC, Hanson GR. 
“The effects of amphetamine-like designer drugs on monoaminergic systems in rat brain”. 
NIDA Res Monogr. 1987;76:316-21.
The response of brain dopaminergic and serotonergic systems to the amphetamine-like designer drugs, 3,4-methylenedioxyamp amphetamine (MDA) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), was investigated and compared to methamphetamine (METH). Like METH, single or multiple doses of either drug caused marked reductions in both tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) activity and concentrations of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) in several brain regions. The reduction in 5HT content corresponded to the depression of TPH activity in all regions examined. In contrast to METH, which induced pronounced deficits in dopaminergic neuronal markers, repeated doses of MDA or MDMA did not alter striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activities or reduce striatal dopamine concentrations. A single dose of MDA or MDMA significantly elevated striatal dopamine content; however, after repeated drug administrations dopamine concentrations were comparable to control values. The effects of MDA or MDMA administration in the rat brain are reminiscent of those elicited by p-chloroamphetamine, a presumed serotonergic neurotoxin.
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