Chronic exposure to MDMA (ecstasy) increases DNA damage in sperm and alters testes histopathology in male rats
Toxicology Unit, Public Health Department, School of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n, E-08028, Barcelona, Spain. Toxicology Letters
(Impact Factor: 3.26).
09/2009; 191(1):40-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2009.08.002
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") is consumed mainly by young population. For this reason, it is especially relevant to take into consideration the effects on the reproductive system. The influence of MDMA on the fertility and reproduction of the male rat was assessed in this study. MDMA was administered subcutaneously at 0 mg/kg (control), 0.5 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg to SD male rats once a day, 3 consecutive days a week during 12 weeks, simulating human weekend associated consumption. Hormonal, haematological, biochemical, histological, genotoxicological and testicular and sperm parameters were evaluated in half of the rats. The remaining animals were mated with untreated sexually receptive females to evaluate the mating and pregnancy rates. A significantly higher incidence of DNA damage in Comet Test in sperm, tubular degeneration and interstitial oedema in testes was found. At all doses tested, sperm motility, morphology, mating and pregnancy rates, and number of implantation sites were not affected. This study fills the existing gap of knowledge about the chronic effects of MDMA in reproductive function using a realistic experimental design. Taking into account the higher sensitivity of human males, some concerns about the effects on the reproductive health still remain.
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Available from: Marco Parolini
- "Similarly, MDMA did not induce genetic damage, as showed by the lack of significant increase (p>0.05) in DNA fragmentation, as well as in apoptotic and micronucleated cell (MN) frequency, compared to controls (Table 1). Our results disagreed most of the information available in the scientific literature regarding MDMA toxicity, which pointed out its capability to overproduce ROS (Nakagawa et al. 2009), leading to oxidative damage to lipids (Moon et al. 2008; Alves et al. 2009) and to DNA in different murine cells (Barenys et al. 2009; Nakagawa et al. 2009; Alvarenga et al. 2010). The lack of notable adverse effects induced by MDMA to D. polymorpha could be explained by the deep differences between vertebrate and invertebrate metabolism and/or in the exposure concentrations. "
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ABSTRACT: Recent monitoring studies showed measurable levels of the 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in aquatic environments. However, no information is currently available on its potential hazard to aquatic non-target organisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential sub-lethal effects induced by 14-day exposures to low MDMA concentrations (0.05 and 0.5 μg/L) to zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) specimens through the application of a biomarker suite. The trypan blue exclusion method and the neutral red retention assay (NRRA) were used to assess MDMA cytotoxicity. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione S-transferase (GST), as well as the lipid peroxidation (LPO) and protein carbonyl content (PCC), were measured as oxidative stress indexes. The single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay, the DNA diffusion assay, and the micronucleus test (MN test) were applied to investigate DNA damage, while filtration rate was measured as physiological parameter. Despite significant decrease in lysosome membrane stability, hemocyte viability and imbalances in CAT and GST activities pointed out at the end of the exposure to 0.5 μg/L, no significant variations for the other end points were noticed at both the treatments, suggesting that environmentally relevant MDMA concentrations did not induce deleterious effects to the zebra mussel.
Available from: James Lee
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ABSTRACT: Despite numerous reports about the acute and sub-chronic toxicities caused by MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy), the underlying mechanism of organ damage is poorly understood. The aim of this review is to present an update of the mechanistic studies on MDMA-mediated organ damage partly caused by increased oxidative/nitrosative stress. Because of the extensive reviews on MDMA-mediated oxidative stress and tissue damage, we specifically focus on the mechanisms and consequences of oxidative-modifications of mitochondrial proteins, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. We briefly describe a method to systematically identify oxidatively-modified mitochondrial proteins in control and MDMA-exposed rats by using biotin-N-maleimide (biotin-NM) as a sensitive probe for oxidized proteins. We also describe various applications and advantages of this Cys-targeted proteomics method and alternative approaches to overcome potential limitations of this method in studying oxidized proteins from MDMA-exposed tissues. Finally we discuss the mechanism of synergistic drug-interaction between MDMA and other abused substances including alcohol (ethanol) as well as application of this redox-based proteomics method in translational studies for developing effective preventive and therapeutic agents against MDMA-induced organ damage.
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ABSTRACT: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA or "ecstasy" is consumed mainly by young population at childbearing age. Therefore, there may be a risk of exposure of some pregnant women. The effects of the developmental exposure to MDMA on the sexual development and long-term sexual behaviour/fertility were assessed in Sprague-Dawley rats. MDMA was administered subcutaneously at 0 (control), 0.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg to female rats once a day, three consecutive days a week during 10 weeks, including gestation and lactation. The male offspring was evaluated for sexual maturation and mated with untreated sexually receptive females to evaluate the mating and pregnancy rates. Hormonal, haematological, biochemical, histological, genotoxicological and testicular and sperm parameters were also evaluated. A significant higher incidence of DNA damage in sperm and interstitial oedema in testes was found. There was also a significant and dose-related decrease in sperm count and a significant decrease in sperm motility at all doses. A significant delay in preputial separation onset in all treated groups was observed. This study reports by the first time an alteration of spermatogenesis after in utero and lactation MDMA exposure in the rat.
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