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The abuse of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) during pregnancy is of concern. MDMA treatment of rats during a period of brain growth analogous to late human gestation leads to neurochemical and behavioral changes. MDMA from postnatal day (P)11–20 in rats produces reductions in serotonin and deficits in spatial and route-based navigation. In this experiment we examined the impact of MDMA from P11 to P20 (20 mg/kg twice daily, 8 h apart) on neuronal architecture. Golgi impregnated sections showed significant changes. In the nucleus accumbens, the dendrites were shorter with fewer spines, whereas in the dentate gyrus the dendritic length was decreased but with more spines, and for the entorhinal cortex, reductions in basilar and apical dendritic lengths in MDMA animals compared with saline animals were seen. The data show that neuronal cytoarchitectural changes are long-lasting following developmental MDMA exposure and are in regions consistent with the learning and memory deficits observed in such animals.

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© 2014 The Authors. This document was originally published in the Toxicology Reports.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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