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Neurotoxicology

Monoamine oxidase and head-twitch response in mice. Mechanisms of alpha-methylated substrate derivatives.


PMID 14697897

Abstract

It is well known that head-twitch response (HTR) in mice represents hallucinations, since administration of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) produces hallucinations in humans, and the HTR in mice is induced by administration of LSD as a hallucinogen. The HTR is produced by excitation of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A receptors. In this paper, we review the mechanisms of HTR induced by various drugs such as 5-HT precursor, 5-HT receptor agonist, 5-HT releaser, hallucinogenic compounds, benzodiazepins and cannabinoid. The response induced by HTR-inducers is significantly enhanced by combined treatment with a non-selective form of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. Thus, the relationship between MAO activity and HTR caused by these drugs (especially, alpha-methylated analogous compounds which 5-fluoro-alpha-methyltryptamine, 6-fluoro-alpha-methyltryptamine and p-hydroxyamphetamine) is presented in detail.