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The abuse of psychoactive 'bath salts' containing cathinones such as 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is a growing public health concern, yet little is known about their pharmacology. Here, we evaluated the effects of MDPV and related drugs using molecular, cellular, and whole-animal methods. In vitro transporter assays were performed in rat brain(More)
The nonmedical use of synthetic cathinones is increasing on a global scale. 4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone) is a popular synthetic cathinone that is now illegal in the United States and other countries. Since the legislative ban on mephedrone, a number of 'second-generation' analogs have appeared in the street drug marketplace, including(More)
The physiological function of neurotransmitter transporter proteins like the serotonin transporter (SERT) is reuptake of neurotransmitter that terminates synaptic serotoninergic transmission. SERT can operate in reverse direction and be induced by SERT substrates including 5-HT, tyramine and the positively charged methyl-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)), as well(More)
Efflux of dopamine through the dopamine transporter (DAT) is critical for the psychostimulatory properties of amphetamines, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. Here we show that Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) plays a key role in this efflux. CaMKIIalpha bound to the distal C terminus of DAT and colocalized with DAT in(More)
The serotonin transporter (SERT) terminates neurotransmission by removing serotonin from the synaptic cleft. In addition, it is the site of action of antidepressants (which block the transporter) and of amphetamines (which induce substrate efflux). We explored the functional importance of the N terminus in mediating the action of amphetamines by focusing(More)
The illicit consumption of psychoactive compounds may cause short and long-term health problems and addiction. This is also true for amphetamines and cocaine, which target monoamine transporters. In the recent past, an increasing number of new compounds with amphetamine-like structure such as mephedrone or 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) entered the(More)
Dopamine (DA) signaling at synapses is tightly coordinated through opposing mechanisms of vesicular fusion-mediated DA release and transporter-mediated DA clearance. Altered brain DA signaling is suspected to underlie multiple brain disorders, including schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder(More)
Amphetamine congeners [e.g., 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA), or "ecstasy"] are substrates for monoamine transporters (i.e., the transporters for serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine); however, their in vivo-action relies on their ability to promote monoamine efflux. The mechanistic basis for this counter transport remains enigmatic. We tested(More)
The structurally similar serotonin and dopamine transporter (resp. SERT and DAT) play an important role in neuronal transmission. Although the concept of their function, i.e. the re-uptake of neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft, has been extensively studied, [1–4] the exact mechanism for their substrate selectivity is still unknown. Phenylethyla-mines(More)
In the central nervous system, levels of extraneuronal dopamine are controlled primarily by the action of the dopamine transporter (DAT). Multiple signaling pathways regulate transport activity, substrate efflux, and other DAT functions through currently unknown mechanisms. DAT is phosphorylated by protein kinase C within a serine cluster at the distal end(More)