International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 133, Issue 3, pp 811–820 | Cite as

Phenotypic effects of chronic and acute use of methiopropamine in a mouse model

  • Federica Foti
  • Matteo Marti
  • Andrea Ossato
  • Sabrine Bilel
  • Eugenio Sangiorgi
  • Francesco Botrè
  • Bruna Cerbelli
  • Alfonso Baldi
  • Fabio De-GiorgioEmail author
Original Article


Methiopropamine (MPA) is a structural analogue of methamphetamine and belongs to the category of the novel psychoactive substances. To the best of our knowledge, no experimental study has been performed to evaluate the organ damage evoked by MPA administration in an animal model. Therefore, the main purpose of the present study was to investigate the histological changes in CD-1 male mice following the chronic administration of MPA. MPA-chronically treated mice showed myocardial damage with features consistent with repeated episodes of ischemia and a pattern of kidney damage and gastrointestinal ischemia, with ischemic-necrotic lesions of variable extent. In agreement with the analogies between MPA and methamphetamine, we link organ damage secondary to MPA administration to the vasoconstrictive effect exhibited by both compounds. Chronically MPA-treated mice did not show changes in body weight, food intake, thermoregulation, muscular strength and motor coordination in the accelerod test. However, acute MPA administration significantly increased their heart rate and promoted vasoconstriction, which were associated with the sudden death of a subset of animals (40% of all chronically treated mice). In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that MPA consumption could induce health hazards, highlighting the risk of sudden catastrophic events; therefore, clinicians should be aware of these data and consider MPA screening when no other drug is identified by a urine drug screen.


Methiopropamine Novel psychoactive substances Myocardium Kidney Gastrointestinal tract Mice 



Novel psychoactive substances






Myocardial infarction



This study was funded by Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca [FIRB Project code: RBFR12LD0W, titled “L’abuso/dipendenza da anabolizzanti e nuove sostanze psicoattive (Smart Drugs) quale piaga sociale di interesse sanitario e giuridico. Danni d’organo nella popolazione sportiva giovanile: evidenze epidemiologiche, biochimiche, patologiche, tossicologiche e meccanismi di controllo”]. This research was also funded by the Drug Policies Department, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Italy [project NS-Drugs to M Marti] and by local funds from the University of Ferrara [grant number FAR 2016 and FAR 2017 to M. Marti].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federica Foti
    • 1
  • Matteo Marti
    • 2
  • Andrea Ossato
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sabrine Bilel
    • 3
  • Eugenio Sangiorgi
    • 4
  • Francesco Botrè
    • 5
    • 6
  • Bruna Cerbelli
    • 7
  • Alfonso Baldi
    • 8
  • Fabio De-Giorgio
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Public Health, Section of Legal MedicineUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine, Section of Legal MedicineUniversità di FerraraFerraraItaly
  3. 3.Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology (SVeB)Università di FerraraFerraraItaly
  4. 4.Institute of Genomic MedicineUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly
  5. 5.Laboratorio AntidopingFederazione Medica Sportiva ItalianaRomeItaly
  6. 6.Department of Experimental Medicine“Sapienza” UniversityRomeItaly
  7. 7.Department of Radiological, Oncological and Pathological SciencesUniversità La SapienzaRomeItaly
  8. 8.Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and TechnologiesUniversità della Campania L. VanvitelliCasertaItaly

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