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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology