The effects of locus coeruleus and norepinephrine in methamphetamine toxicity

Michela Ferrucci, Filippo S. Giorgi, Alessia Bartalucci, Carla L. Busceti, Francesco Fornai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The activity of locus coeruleus (LC) neurons has been extensively investigated in a variety of behavioural states. In fact this norepinephrine (NE)-containing nucleus modulates many physiological and pathological conditions including the sleep-waking cycle, movement disorders, mood alterations, convulsive seizures, and the effects of drugs such as psychostimulants and opioids. This review focuses on the modulation exerted by central NE pathways on the behavioural and neurotoxic effects produced by the psychostimulant methamphetamine, essentially the modulation of the activity of mesencephalic dopamine (DA) neurons. In fact, although NE in itself mediates some behavioural effects induced by methamphetamine, NE modulation of DA release is pivotal for methamphetamine-induced behavioural states and neurotoxicity. These interactions are discussed on the basis of the state of the art of the functional neuroanatomy of central NE- and DA systems. Emphasis is given to those brain sites possessing a remarkable overlapping of both neurotransmitters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-94
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Behaviour
  • Dopamine
  • Drugs of Abuse
  • Locus Coeruleus
  • Methamphetamine
  • Neurochemistry
  • Norepinephrine
  • Substantia Nigra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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