[H-3] paroxetine binding
The substituted amphetamine 3,4 methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) is a popular recreational drug of abuse. Administration of MDA to experimental animals has been shown to induce damage to serotonergic axons and nerve terminals. However, there is a lack of information on whether these treatments can produce any long-term changes in behavioural performance particularly under stressful conditions. In the present study, MDA (7.5 mg/kg; i.p.) was administered twice daily to adult male Sprague Dawley rats for four days. Four weeks following the last dose, spontaneous behaviors of these animals were tracked and scored in a novel "open field" environment using an automated video registration and computer interpretation system. Changes in behavior were observed in MDA treated animals including reductions in exploratory oriented behaviors (locomotion and rearing) and increases in grooming behavior when compared to vehicle treated controls. MDA-treated animals also displayed an enhanced locomotor and stereotyped response to d-amphetamine (12 mg/kg; i.p.). Significant reductions in 5-HT concentrations (20-30%) were observed in the frontal cortex, amygdala, striatum, and hypothalamus as a result of MDA treatment. In addition, [H-3] paroxetine binding was reduced by (40%) in the cortex of MDA treated rats indicating that the decrease in 5-HT concentrations were accompanied by a reduction in intact presynaptic 5-HT nerve terminals. Changes in behavioural performance in a novel "open field" environment and following d-amphetamine challenge might be considered as a behavioural model of serotonergic deficit induced by MDA. The findings of this study also suggest that MDA use may increase both the abuse potential, and the propensity to develop psychosis as a result of abusing other psychostimulants such as d-amphetamine. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.