Effects of long-term exposure of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; "ecstasy") on neuronal transmitter transport, brain immuno-regulatory systems and progression of experimental periodontitis in rats
Breivik, T.ør.; Bogen, I.L.; Haug, K.H.; Fonnum, F.; Opstad, P.-K.; Eide, D.M.; Myhre, O.
Neurochemistry International 72: 30-36
The present study was designed to investigate the effects of long-term exposure (4 weeks) to the widely used narcotic drug and putative neurotoxicant 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA; "ecstasy") on neuronal transmitter transport and progression of experimental periodontitis in male Wistar rats. The rats were exposed to MDMA (10mg/kg/day i.p.) or saline five days a week for four consecutive weeks. Exposure to MDMA induced a significant reduction in the synaptosomal reuptake of serotonin, while the uptake of dopamine was significantly increased 24h after the last injection of MDMA. In contrast, the synaptosomal uptake of noradrenaline and the vesicular uptake through the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 were not affected. In the experiments of periodontitis development, ligature-induced periodontitis was induced three days prior to MDMA administration. Compared to controls, MDMA-treated rats developed significantly more periodontitis. In conclusion, our results show that long-term exposure to MDMA affects the serotonergic and dopaminergic transport systems in the rat brain and increased the susceptibility to the psychosomatic ailment periodontitis following disturbances of brain immune-regulatory systems. These results are interesting with respect to recent research showing that changes in neurotransmitter signalling may alter the reactivity of brain-controlled immunoregulatory systems controlling pathogenic microorganisms colonizing mucosal surfaces.