3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is an amphetamine derivative commonly abused for its psychotropic and mood-elevating effects. These subjective effects are primarily mediated by a release of serotonin and dopamine. MDMA is also known to elicit prolonged toxic effects toward serotonergic nerve terminals, and more recently, has been shown to reduce the number of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons in the hippocampus of rats. In this chapter, this novel GABAergic toxicity and the potential underlying mechanisms are discussed in detail. The primary mechanism presented here is glutamate excitotoxicity, as MDMA has been shown to promote excessive glutamate release specifically in the hippocampus, and the glutamate receptors expressed by GABA neurons in this brain region are especially vulnerable to overstimulation. If conclusively linked by further studies, glutamate signaling and GABA toxicity may provide a mechanism for the observed cognitive impairments and increased seizure vulnerability evoked by MDMA exposure.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Stimulants, Club and Dissociative Drugs, Hallucinogens, Steroids, Inhalants and International Aspects|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Apr 15 2016|
ASJC Scopus subject areas