Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Electrocortical effects of MDMA are potentiated by acoustic stimulation in rats

Michelangelo Iannone1*, Stefania Bulotta2, Donatella Paolino2, Maria Cristina Zito2, Santo Gratteri2, Francesco S Costanzo3 and Domenicantonio Rotiroti12

Author Affiliations

1 CNR – Institute of Neurological Science, Section of Pharmacology, Catanzaro, 88021, Roccelletta di Borgia, Catanzaro, Italy

2 Faculty of Pharmacy, University "Magna Græcia" of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, 88021, Roccelletta di Borgia (CZ) Catanzaro, Italy

3 Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University "Magna Græcia" of Catanzaro, Viale Europa, Località Germaneto, Catanzaro, Italy

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BMC Neuroscience 2006, 7:13  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-7-13

Published: 16 February 2006



3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) is known for its toxicological, psychopathological and abuse potential. Some environmental conditions, e.g. acoustic stimulation typical of the "rave scene" can influence the toxicity of this drug.


We investigated the effects of low doses of MDMA in vivo using Wistar rats in the absence of acoustic stimulation (white noise; 95 Db) demonstrating that ecstasy is able to induce a significant activation (reduction of Electrocortical total power) of the telencephalic cortex that spontaneously reverts in the absence of sensorial stimuli, whereas it persists for several days if, in addition to MDMA, the animals are exposed to acoustic stimulation.


Our data demonstrate that low doses of MDMA are able to reduce electrocortical total power, and that this effect is potentiated by sensorial stimuli commonly present in certain environments, such as rave parties.