Further evidence that amphetamines produce long-lasting dopamine neurochemical deficits by destroying dopamine nerve fibers

Brain Res. 1984 Jun 15;303(2):359-64. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(84)91221-6.


Methamphetamine and amphetamine were continuously administered to rats for 3 days by means of subcutaneously implanted osmotic minipumps. The total daily dose of each drug was approximately 4 mg/day. Dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin determinations two weeks later indicated that both amphetamines produced a selective striatal dopamine depletion. Anatomical studies indicated that this depletion was associated with striatal nerve fiber degeneration. To determine whether this fiber degeneration induced by amphetamines was dopaminergic, the long-lasting dopamine depletion produced by methamphetamine was antagonized with alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine. This prevented the appearance of nerve fiber degeneration after methamphetamine. These findings suggest that amphetamines produce a long-term striatal dopamine depletion by destroying striatal dopamine nerve fibers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / toxicity*
  • Nerve Degeneration / drug effects*
  • Nerve Fibers / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects*


  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Dopamine