The neurotoxicity of methamphetamine to monoaminergic neurons was examined. Neurotoxicity was assessed by quantitative autoradiography using radioligands specific for binding to norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin uptake sites. High‐dose administration of methamphetamine led to decreases in binding to uptake sites for the three monoamines. Norepinephrine binding sites were decreased in certain amygdaloid nuclei and in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus. Serotonin binding sites were reduced in widespread brain areas, while dopamine binding sites were reduced in the caudate putamen, olfactory tubercle, and nucleus accumbens. The decreases in binding site density for the three monoamines are limited to terminal field areas; cell body areas are not affected. Our results indicate that methamphetamine is neurotoxic to serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine neurons. The neurotoxicity to norepinephrine neurons is in selected brain areas. © Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience