Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.)

Effects of MDMA (ecstasy) and two of its metabolites on rat embryos in vitro.

PMID 22391229


MDMA consumers are young people of childbearing age. Consequently, developmental exposure to this drug is a potential public health concern. Several studies have addressed MDMA neurotoxicity in adults; however, knowledge of the effects of MDMA on developing embryos is limited. After administration, MDMA is metabolized species specifically via two main pathways. One leads to the formation of MDA and the other to the formation of HHMA. Here we evaluated the embryotoxic effects of MDMA, and also those of MDA, a main metabolite of MDMA in rats, and HHMA, a main metabolite in humans. For this purpose, we used the whole embryo culture (WEC). Our results show a concentration-dependent embryotoxic effect of MDMA, MDA and HHMA at a concentration range of 25-50μg/ml. The embryotoxic potential of the parent compound and the two metabolites was comparable in vitro.

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