Effects of MDMA on extra cellular dopamine and serotonin levels in mice lacking dopamine and/or serotonin transporters

Y. Hagino, Y. Takamatsu, H. Yamamoto, T. Iwamura, D. L. Murphy, G. R. Uhl, I. Sora, K. Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


3,4-Methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has both stimulatory and hallucinogenic properties which make its psychoactive effects unique and different from those of typical psychostimulant and hallucinogenic agents. The present study investigated the effects of MDMA on extracellular dopamine (DAex) and serotonin (5-HTex) levels in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC) using in vivo microdialysis techniques in mice lacking DA transporters (DAT) and/or 5-HT transporters (SERT). Subcutaneous injection of MDMA (3, 10 mg/kg) significantly increased striatal DAex in wildtype mice, SERT knockout mice, and DAT knockout mice, but not in DAT/SERT double-knockout mice. The MDMAinduced increase in striatal DAex in SERT knockout mice was significantly less than in wildtype mice. In the PFC, MDMA dose-dependently increased DAex levels in wildtype, DAT knockout, SERT knockout and DAT/SERT doubleknockout mice to a similar extent. In contrast, MDMA markedly increased 5-HTex in wildtype and DAT knockout mice and slightly increased 5-HTex in SERT-KO and DAT/SERT double-knockout mice. The results confirm that MDMA acts at both DAT and SERT and increases DAex and 5-HTex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dopamine transporter
  • Knockout
  • MDMA
  • Microdialysis
  • Serotonin transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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