Hallucinogenic amphetamine selectively destroys brain serotonin nerve terminals

G. Ricaurte, G. Bryan, L. Strauss, L. Seiden, C. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

318 Scopus citations


(±)-3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), an amphetamine analog with hallucinogenic activity, produced selective long-lasting reductions in the level of serotonin, the number of serotonin uptake sites, and the concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in rat brain. Morphological studies suggested that these neurochemical deficits were due to serotonin nerve terminal degeneration. These results show that MDA has toxic activity for serotonin neurons in rats and raise the question of whether exposure to MDA and related hallucinogenic amphetamines can produce serotonin neurotoxicity in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-988
Number of pages3
Issue number4717
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

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