European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 17 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 17 (1): 23-28 (2013)

Ecstasy, anxiety and rat hippocampal astrocytes

Mehrdad Jahanshahi, Ensegol G. Nikmahzar, Fatemeh Babakordi, Masoumeh Khosravi, Fatemeh Seid-Hosseini

Department of Anatomy, Neuroscience Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

ABSTRACT Ecstasy (MDMA) is a popular drug a used recreationally with the rave culture and consumed in a high environment temperature. Repeated and prolonged MDMA ingestion is well known to cause depression, anxiety and aggression. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sub-chronic effects of MDMA on anxiety in Wistar rats and to determine astrocytes density in the rat hippocampus after anxiety.In this study, 28 adult male Wistar rats were used. The animals were distributed randomly in four groups, one sham group (receiving 1 ml/kg 0.9% saline solution) and three experimental groups: Exp. 1 (1.25 mg/kg/day MDMA), Exp. 2 (2.5 mg/kg/day MDMA), and Exp. 3 (5 mg/kg/day MDMA). The animals received Saline or MDMA for a week (sub-chronic period). An Elevated Plus Maze apparatus was used to examine anxiety levels in the rats. 24 h. after the last injection and behavioral test, the rat brains were withdrawn and fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde, and then after histological processing the slices of hippocampus were stained with PTAH for astrocytes.Our results showed that MDMA at 2.5 mg/kg/day for a week was most effective in causing anxiety.We found that the number of astrocytes was increased after this period. The greatest increase in astrocyte numbers was observed in the dentate gyrus of the5 mg/kg MDMA group.We concluded that the administration of MDMA over 7 days (sub-chronic period) can cause anxiety and can have an effect on the astrocyte density of the rat hippocampus.

Keywords: Ecstasy, Anxiety, Hippocampus, Astrocyte, Rat

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)