Ecstasy (MDMA)-addicted subjects show increased serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, independently from a rise of drug-induced psychotic symptoms

Francesco Angelucci, Valerio Ricci, Giovanni Martinotti, Ilaria Palladino, Gianfranco Spalletta, Carlo Caltagirone, Pietro Bria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The recreational drug 'ecstasy' [3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)] exerts a potent action on central serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. These neurons utilize neurotrophins for their survival and function. In order to explore MDMA effects on neurotrophins, we measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay the serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) in 'ecstasy-addicted', 'ecstasy-addicted with signs of psychosis' and 'healthy' subjects. We found that BDNF serum levels were significantly increased in both groups of 'ecstasy-addicted' as compared with 'healthy subjects', supporting the hypothesis that BDNF is involved in MDMA action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-367
Number of pages3
JournalAddiction Biology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • BDNF
  • Ecstasy
  • MDMA
  • NGF
  • Psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)

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