Methamphetamine and MDMA (ecstasy) neurotoxicity: 'Of mice and men'

Yossef Itzhak, Cindy Achat-Mendes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-meythylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') are currently major drugs of abuse. One of the major concerns of amphetamines abuse is their potential neurotoxic effect on dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons. Although data from human studies are somewhat limited, compelling evidence suggests that these drugs cause neurotoxicity in rodents and primates. Recent studies in transgenic and knockout mice identified the role of dopamine transporters, nitric oxide, apoptotic proteins, and inflammatory cytokines in amphetamines neurotoxicity. Further research into the mechanisms underlying the dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotoxicity and the behavioral corollaries of these neuronal insults could facilitate our understanding of the consequences of human abuse of METH and MDMA on cognition, drug-seeking behavior, extinction and relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalIUBMB life
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT, serotonin)
  • Amphetamines
  • Cognition
  • Cytokines
  • Dopamine (DA)
  • Free radicals
  • Knockout mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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