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Methamphetamine (METH) causes neurotoxic damages to the dopaminergic system in mammals, but whether it exerts toxicity to dopamine cells in culture has not been fully explored. In order to develop an in vitro model of METH-induced dopamine neurotoxicity toward more systemical examination of the mechanism, we investigated METH toxicity in a clonal dopamine producing cell line (CATH.a). We show in the present study that METH produces a time- and dosedependent increase in cell death via a process similar to apoptosis. The METH toxicity seems to be produced by oxidative stress, as it was attenuated by the antioxidant glutathione, and to involve dopamine because dopamine release and synthesis inhibitors attenuated the toxicity. This catecholaminergic cell line derived from the central nervous system may become a useful in vitro model to elucidate the mechanism underlying the METH-induced dopaminergic neuronal damage.


Methamphetamine (METH) causes neurotoxic damages to the dopaminergic system in mammals, but whether it exerts toxicity to dopamine cells in culture has not been fully explored. In order to develop an in vitro model of METH-induced dopamine neurotoxicity toward more systemical examination of the mechanism, we investigated METH toxicity in a clonal dopamine producing cell line (CATH.a). We show in the present study that METH produces a time- and dosedependent increase in cell death via a process similar to apoptosis. The METH toxicity seems to be produced by oxidative stress, as it was attenuated by the antioxidant glutathione, and to involve dopamine because dopamine release and synthesis inhibitors attenuated the toxicity. This catecholaminergic cell line derived from the central nervous system may become a useful in vitro model to elucidate the mechanism underlying the METH-induced dopaminergic neuronal damage.