There have been a number of claims that high-dose administration of cocaine to rats leads to neurotoxic effects on dopamine neurons. In this study possible neurotoxic effects on monoamine neurons were examined by measuring the effects of cocaine (35 mg/kg daily for 10 days) on the binding of radioligands to uptake sites for dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine using quatitative autoradiography. No effects of cocaine on any of the binding sites were observed and therefore, it is concluded that cocaine, unlike amphetamine derivatives which have similar pharmacologic properties, does not produce neurotoxic effects on monoamine neurons.
- Uptake sites
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