Identifying the serotonin transporter signal in Western blot studies of the neurotoxic potential of MDMA and related drugs
Article first published online: 17 JUN 2011
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Volume 65, Issue 12, pages 1368–1372, December 2011
How to Cite
Mclane, M. W., Mccann, U. and Ricaurte, G. (2011), Identifying the serotonin transporter signal in Western blot studies of the neurotoxic potential of MDMA and related drugs. Synapse, 65: 1368–1372. doi: 10.1002/syn.20958
- Issue published online: 11 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 17 JUN 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 1 JUN 2011 12:26PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 APR 2011
- Manuscript Received: 18 MAR 2011
A number of published studies have questioned the serotonin neurotoxic potential of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”) and related drugs (fenfluramine, p-chloroamphetamine) based upon results from Western blot studies using a custom synthesized serotonin transporter (SERT) antibody that found no reduction in the abundance of a 50kDa protein after substituted amphetamine treatment. The purpose of this study was to collect Western blot data using the same SERT antibody used in those studies, but with positive and negative controls to identify the SERT protein signal. A 63–68 kDa band that had the regional distribution expected of rat brain SERT, was decreased by 5,7-DHT, and was absent in SERT KO animals was identified as the SERT protein. Significant, lasting decreases in the abundance of the 63–68 kDa band were evident in the rat brain after treatment with MDMA and related drugs (FEN, PCA). Thus, when the band corresponding to the SERT protein is identified in Western blots through the use of positive and negative controls, reduced abundance of the SERT protein can be readily demonstrated after substituted amphetamine treatment. These data provide further evidence of lasting loss of the SERT protein after exposure to MDMA and other substituted amphetamines. Synapse, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.