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The role of the serotonin system in the etiology and pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is not clearly defined. High levels of platelet serotonin (5-HT) have been consistently found in a proportion of patients, and it is known that specific 5-HT transporter gene (SLC6A4) variants modulate transporter reuptake function, therefore possibly(More)
Repeated abuse of stimulant drugs, cocaine and amphetamine, is associated with extraneuronal dopamine accumulation in specific brain areas. Dopamine may be cytotoxic through the generation of reactive oxygen species, namely hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), resulting from dopamine oxidative metabolism. In this work, we studied the cytotoxicity in PC12 cells (a(More)
Drug abuse is associated with brain dysfunction and neurodegeneration, and various recreational drugs induce apoptotic cell death. This study examined the role of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in psychostimulant-induced neuronal dysfunction. Using primary neuronal cultures, we observed that amphetamine (IC50=1.40 mM) was more potent than cocaine(More)
Drugs of abuse induce the release of dopamine in the central nervous system, particularly in the mesolimbic-mesocortical pathway. As dopamine may act as a neurotoxin, in this study, we analyzed the effects of the drugs of abuse, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine, on the neurodegeneration of PC12 cells, a dopaminergic cell line, by evaluating the activity of(More)
Methamphetamine (METH) is a powerful psychostimulant that increases glutamate (Glu) levels in the mammalian brain and it is currently known that hippocampi are particularly susceptible to METH. Moreover, it is well established that the overactivation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and AMPA ionotropic Glu receptors causes excitotoxicity. In the present(More)
Cell death and reactive oxygen species production have been suggested to be involved in neurodegeneration induced by the drugs of abuse. In this study we analyze the toxicity of the following drugs of abuse: heroin, morphine, d-amphetamine, and cocaine in undifferentiated PC12 cells, used as dopaminergic neuronal models. Our data show that opioid drugs(More)
The mechanisms by which methamphetamine (METH) causes neurotoxicity are not well understood. Recent studies have suggested that METH-induced neuropathology may result from a multicellular response in which glial cells play a prominent role, and so it is plausible to suggest that cytokines may participate in the toxic effects of METH. Therefore, in the(More)
The glutamate-glutamine cycle between neurons and glia is tightly related to excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic regulation in brain. The role of this neuron-astrocyte cross-talk on the neurotoxicity induced by amphetamines is not understood. Also, the impact of neurotoxic doses of amphetamines on the balance between glutamatergic and(More)
Cortical function has been suggested to be highly compromised by repeated heroin self-administration. We have previously shown that street heroin induces apoptosis in neuronal-like PC12 cells. Thus, we analysed the apoptotic pathways involved in street heroin neurotoxicity using primary cultures of rat cortical neurons. Our street heroin sample was shown to(More)