Methamphetamine rapidly decreases vesicular dopamine uptake

by Brown JM, Hanson GR, Fleckenstein AE
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology,
University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.
J Neurochem 2000 May; 74(5):2221-3


Vesicular sequestration is important in the regulation of cytoplasmic concentrations of monoamines such as dopamine. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that increases in cytoplasmic dopamine levels, perhaps attributable to changes in vesicular monoamine transporter function, contribute to methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic deficits. Hence, we examined whether striatal vesicular uptake is altered following methamphetamine treatment. Multiple administrations of methamphetamine rapidly (within 1 h) decreased vesicular dopamine uptake and dihydrotetrabenazine binding, an effect that (a) persisted at least 24 h, (b) was associated with dopamine and not serotonin neurons, and (c) was unrelated to residual drug introduced by the original methamphetamine treatment. These data suggest that methamphetamine rapidly decreases vesicular monoamine transporter function in dopaminergic neurons, a phenomenon that may be associated with the long-term damage caused by this stimulant.