Oxidative stress in rat kidneys due to 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (ecstasy) toxicity

Nephrology (Carlton). 2008 Feb;13(1):33-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1797.2007.00886.x.


Aim: The mechanism of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)-induced toxicity is believed to be, in part, due to enhanced oxidative stress. As MDMA is eliminated via the kidney, the aim of this study was to investigate whether MDMA created conditions of oxidative stress within rat kidney.

Methods: Adult male Wistar rats were divided into three groups, control treatment (water), acute MDMA administration (single oral dose: 5, 10, 20 or 40 mg/kg body weight) and subacute MDMA administration (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg body weight per day during 14 days). Animals were sacrificed 8 h after the single oral MDMA administration in the acute MDMA administration group and after the last MDMA administration in the subacute MDMA administration group. Rectal temperature measurements, oxidative stress status parameters and histological examinations were performed.

Results: In all MDMA-administered rats, rectal temperature markedly increased peaking approximately 1 h after MDMA ingestion. Superoxide dismutase activity and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances increased after MDMA administration. Histological examinations of the kidney revealed dose-dependent disruption of tissue structure in subacute MDMA-administered rats. The latter was not observed in acute MDMA-administered rats.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine / administration & dosage
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine / toxicity
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • 3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamine
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine
  • Superoxide Dismutase