, Volume 220, Issue 3, pp 495–508 | Cite as

Effects of exposure to amphetamine derivatives on passive avoidance performance and the central levels of monoamines and their metabolites in mice: Correlations between behavior and neurochemistry

  • Kevin Sean Murnane
  • Shane Alan Perrine
  • Brendan James Finton
  • Matthew Peter Galloway
  • Leonard Lee Howell
  • William Edward Fantegrossi
Original Investigation



Considerable evidence indicates that amphetamine derivatives can deplete brain monoaminergic neurotransmitters. However, the behavioral and cognitive consequences of neurochemical depletions induced by amphetamines are not well established.


In this study, mice were exposed to dosing regimens of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methamphetamine (METH), or parachloroamphetamine (PCA) known to deplete the monoamine neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, and the effects of these dosing regimens on learning and memory were assessed.


In the same animals, we determined deficits in learning and memory via passive avoidance (PA) behavior and changes in tissue content of monoamine neurotransmitters and their primary metabolites in the striatum, frontal cortex, cingulate, hippocampus, and amygdala via ex vivo high-pressure liquid chromatography.


Exposure to METH and PCA impaired PA performance and resulted in significant depletions of dopamine, serotonin, and their metabolites in several brain regions. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the tissue concentration of dopamine in the anterior striatum was the strongest predictor of PA performance, with an additional significant contribution by the tissue concentration of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in the cingulate. In contrast to the effects of METH and PCA, exposure to MDMA did not deplete anterior striatal dopamine levels or cingulate levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and it did not impair PA performance.


These studies demonstrate that certain amphetamines impair PA performance in mice and that these impairments may be attributable to specific neurochemical depletions.


Drug abuse Amphetamine Neurotoxicity Monoamine Mouse Dopamine Learning and memory Behavior Methamphetamine HPLC 

Supplementary material

213_2011_2504_MOESM1_ESM.doc (162 kb)
Supplementary Figure 1 (DOC 161 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Sean Murnane
    • 1
  • Shane Alan Perrine
    • 5
  • Brendan James Finton
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthew Peter Galloway
    • 5
    • 6
  • Leonard Lee Howell
    • 1
    • 3
  • William Edward Fantegrossi
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Neuropharmacology and Neurologic DiseasesYerkes National Primate Research Center, Yerkes Imaging CenterAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical and Clinical PsychologyUniformed Services UniversityBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of MedicineUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeurosciencesWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  6. 6.Department of AnesthesiologyWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

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