The Effects of Chronic Administration of 3,4- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "Ecstasy") on Neural Pathways of the Heart in Conscious Rats
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "Ecstasy") has been recently growing in popularity with college students through dance parties called "raves", despite it's Schedule I status from the U.S. Drug enforcement agency. MDMA has been found to be a neurotoxin in the brain to every animal studied to date (which causes concern for recreational abuse). The extent of serotonergic (5-HT) neurotoxicity in the brain is well documented, and MDMA even affects dopamine levels in the brain at high doses. Serotonin is also used as a neurotransmitter in neural pathways of the heart, and this in vivo study gives a preliminary examination on whether MDMA is affecting sympathetic (5-HT) activation of the heart through the Bezold-Jarish reflex of conscious rats. In addition, the study examines whether MDMA's neurotoxic affects increase or decrease the sensitivity of acetylcholine on the Bezold-Jarish reflex. The results indicate that evidence of 5-HT neurotoxicity in the brain, there does not appear to be any affect on the sympathetic (5-HT) activation of the heart. Moreover, MDMA does not increase or decrease sensitivity of acetylcholine in the Bezold-Jarish reflex. However, MDMA appears to affect the alpha-2 receptors (receptors responsible for Ketamine/Xylazine anesthetic) in rats. After chronic administration of MDMA, many rats did not survive surgery. Thus, MDMA may be altering alpha-2 receptors in a way so that Ketamine/Xylazine anesthetized animals cannot regain consciousness with injection of Yohimbine.
vi, 25 p.
U.S. copyright laws protect this material. Commercial use or distribution of this material is not permitted without prior written permission of the copyright holder.