Ketamine pretreatment exacerbated 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced central dopamine toxicity

Jing Jer Ke, Ming Che Ho, Chianfang G. Cherng, Yen Ping N. Tsai, Chia Wen Tsai, Lung Yu

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, joint use of ketamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) represents a specific combination of polydrug abuse. Long-lasting and even aggravated central neuronal toxicity associated with mixing ketamine and MDMA use is of special concern. This study was undertaken to examine the modulating effects of ketamine treatment on later MDMA-induced dopamine and serotonin neurotoxicity. We found that repeated administration of ketamine (50 mg/kg × 7) at 1.5-h intervals did not render observable dopamine or serotonin depletion in catecholaminergic target regions examined. In contrast, three consecutive doses of MDMA (20 mg/kg each) at 2-h intervals produced long-lasting dopamine and serotonin depletions in striatum, nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. More importantly, pretreatment with binge doses of ketamine (50 mg/kg × 7 at 1.5-h intervals) 12 h prior to the MDMA dosing regimen (20 mg/kg × 3 at 2-h intervals) aggravated the MDMA-induced dopaminergic toxicity. Nonetheless, such binge doses of ketamine treatment did not affect MDMA-induced serotonergic toxicity. These results, taken together, indicate that binge use of ketamine specifically enhances the MDMA-induced central dopaminergic neurotoxicity in adult mouse brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Journal of Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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