In Vivo Imaging of Cerebral Serotonin Transporter and Serotonin2A Receptor Binding in 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "Ecstasy") and Hallucinogen Users

David Erritzoe, Vibe G. Frøkjær, Klaus K. Holst, Maria Christoffersen, Sys Stybe Johansen, Jacob Madsen, Peter M. Rasmussen, Thomas Z. Ramsøy, Terry L. Jernigan, Gitte M. Knudsen

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Context Both hallucinogens and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or “ecstasy”) have direct agonistic effects on postsynaptic serotonin2A receptors, the key site for hallucinogenic actions. In addition, MDMA is a potent releaser and reuptake inhibitor of presynaptic serotonin.

Objective To assess the differential effects of MDMA and hallucinogen use on cerebral serotonin transporter (SERT) and serotonin2A receptor binding.

Design A positron emission tomography study of 24 young adult drug users and 21 nonusing control participants performed with carbon 11 (11C)–labeled 3-amino-4-[2-[(di(methyl)amino)methyl]phenyl]sulfanylbenzonitrile (DASB) and fluorine 18 (18F)–labeled altanserin, respectively. Scans were performed in the user group after a minimum drug abstinence period of 11 days, and the group was subdivided into hallucinogen-preferring users (n = 10) and MDMA-preferring users (n = 14).

Participants Twenty-four young adult users of MDMA and/or hallucinogenic drugs and 21 nonusing controls.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)562-576
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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