The amphetamine derivative 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has become a popular recreational drug, and has also been shown to cause serotonergic neurotoxicity. This report shows that MDMA impairs brain development in a whole mouse embryo culture. The results of quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that autophagy-related protein 5 (Atg5) expression is elevated in mouse embryo and neuroblastoma cells after MDMA treatment. This elevated Atg5 expression interferes with the neuronal differentiation of neuroblastoma cells such as SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells. Thus, our results suggest that the use of MDMA during pregnancy may impair neuronal development via an induction of Atg5 expression.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (07142KFDA553) from Korea Food and Drug Administration in 2007 and partly by a Korea Basic Science Institute grant (KBSI-GJ-D28026 and K-MeP).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology