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Characterization of Psychoactive, Addictive, and Neurotoxic Effects of New Synthetic Amphetamine-like 2C-B, 2C-I and PMMA in Mice

Author(s): Chen Chang-Mu, Wu Cheng-Tien, Lin Jen-Kun, Liu Shing-Hw Lin-Shiau Shoei-Yn


Rationale: The traditional illicit drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine (MA) have had the attention of general public. Designer drugs were created in the 1960s by preparing analogs or derivatives of currently available drugs to avoid legal restrictions. MA is a psychostimulating drug with significant abuse potential and neurotoxic effects. 4-bromo-2,5- dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B), 4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-I), and paramethoxy- methamphetamine (PMMA) are all phenylethylamine derivatives that are popular new synthetic psychoactive phenylethylamines. There is a substantial lack of evidence about their psychostimulating, addictive, and neurotoxic effects in the scientific literature.

Objectives: In this study, we performed behavioral tests to explore the psychoactive, addictive, and neurotoxic effects induced in mice after drug treatments.

Methods:Mice were treated with intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of saline, MA, 2C-B, 2C-I, and PMMA for 4 consecutive days. After no injections for one week, another 4 days of injections were repeated.

Results:The behavioral tests showed impaired locomotion performance, rotarod balance performance, and water maze tests, increased conditioned preference place (CPP), and decreased time spent in the open field in the plus maze after injection. Neurochemical studies showed abnormal NOx, LPO, and Na+,K+-ATPase activities in brain tissues after injection. Body weight decrease and gross appearances like untidy fur, back hump, and awkward stance were also noted in mice receiving injections. Our results demonstrated that injections of MA, 2C-I, 2C-B and PMMA in mice can impair motor activities, balance and memory performance, induce addiction and depression, and cause neurochemical abnormalities in brain tissues.

Conclusion: In studies of the psychoactive, addictive, and neurotoxic effects of MA, 2C-I, 2C-B and PMMA in


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