Substrates of Energy Metabolism Attenuate Methamphetamine-Induced Neurotoxicity in Striatum


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. B. K. Yamamoto at Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals of Cleveland, 11000 Euclid Ave., Hanna Pavilion, Rm. B-94, Cleveland, OH 44106-5000, U.S.A.


Abstract: High doses of methamphetamine (METH) produce a long-term depletion in striatal tissue dopamine content. The mechanism mediating this toxicity has been associated with increased concentrations of dopamine and glutamate and altered energy metabolism. In vivo microdialysis was used to assess and alter the metabolic environment of the brain during high doses of METH. METH significantly increased extracellular concentrations of lactate in striatum and prefrontal cortex. This increase was significantly greater in striatum and coincided with the greater vulnerability of this brain region to the toxic effects of METH. To examine the effect of supplementing energy metabolism on METH-induced dopamine content depletions, the striatum was perfused directly with decylubiquinone or nicotinamide to enhance the energetic capacity of the tissue during or after a neurotoxic dosing regimen of METH. When decylubiquinone or nicotinamide was perfused into striatum during the administration of METH, there was no significant effect on METH-induced striatal dopamine efflux, glutamate efflux, or the long-term dopamine depletions measured 7 days later. However, a delayed perfusion with decylubiquinone or nicotinamide for 6 h beginning immediately after the last METH injection attenuated the METH-induced striatal dopamine depletions measured 1 week later. These results support the hypothesis that the compromised metabolic state produced by METH administration predisposes dopamine terminals to the neurotoxic effects of glutamate, dopamine, and/or free radicals.

Abbreviations used: METH, methamphetamine.