Several studies, carried out in chronic (+/-) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) abusers, have shown memory loss and cognitive impairment, as well as persistent electroencephalographic changes. This suggests that, at. least in humans, forebrain areas, including the limbic system, might be altered by MDMA. Consistently, recent experimental evidences suggest that, in rodents, MDMA, besides effects on the basal ganglia, produces alterations in the hippocampus. Therefore, the aim of the present article was to investigate whether treatment with MDMA produces activation of the caspase-3 enzyme, which is part of an enzymatic pathway involved in cell death, within limbic areas (i.e., hippocampus, amygdala, and piriform cortex) and striatum. A marked induction of caspase-3 activity was demonstrated in the amygdala and hippocampus, although MDMA did not affect caspase-3 activity neither in the striatum nor in the frontal cortex. These data indicate that limbic structures possess a high sensitivity to MDMA with respect to the activation of at least one step in the apoptotic pathway. Potential implications and pitfalls of such an experimental observation are reported.

MDMA induces caspase-3 activation in the limbic system but not in striatum

GESI, MARCO;FRENZILLI, GIADA;NIGRO, MARCO;GIUSIANI, MARIO;PAPARELLI, ANTONIO;FORNAI, FRANCESCO
2006

Abstract

Several studies, carried out in chronic (+/-) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) abusers, have shown memory loss and cognitive impairment, as well as persistent electroencephalographic changes. This suggests that, at. least in humans, forebrain areas, including the limbic system, might be altered by MDMA. Consistently, recent experimental evidences suggest that, in rodents, MDMA, besides effects on the basal ganglia, produces alterations in the hippocampus. Therefore, the aim of the present article was to investigate whether treatment with MDMA produces activation of the caspase-3 enzyme, which is part of an enzymatic pathway involved in cell death, within limbic areas (i.e., hippocampus, amygdala, and piriform cortex) and striatum. A marked induction of caspase-3 activity was demonstrated in the amygdala and hippocampus, although MDMA did not affect caspase-3 activity neither in the striatum nor in the frontal cortex. These data indicate that limbic structures possess a high sensitivity to MDMA with respect to the activation of at least one step in the apoptotic pathway. Potential implications and pitfalls of such an experimental observation are reported.
Tamburini, ; F., Blandini; Gesi, Marco; Frenzilli, Giada; Nigro, Marco; Giusiani, Mario; Paparelli, Antonio; Fornai, Francesco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/203160
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