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Ecstasy Cools Down

  December, 2 2003 7:38
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Mice lacking a key protein stay cool after being given the recreational drug ecstasy, according to a Brief Communication in Nature (Vol. 426, No. 6965, 27 Nov 03; pp. 403-404). The discovery may lead the way to counteracting the potentially lethal hyperthermia induced by this drug.

Most ecstasy-related deaths occur because the body overheats. In turn, skeletal muscle breaks down and organs fail. Mice lacking the mitochondrial protein UCP-3 heat up less after they have been injected with ecstasy, say Jon Sprague and colleagues. The animals also survive doses that kill some normal rodents.

UCP-3 is found in skeletal muscle, where it is thought to regulate body temperature. The same molecule may mediate the temperature rise that occurs after ecstasy ingestion, the authors speculate.


Jon Sprague
Ohio Northern University
Ada, OH
Tel +1 419 772 2296
E-mail j-sprague@onu.edu

Communications Office
NHLBI, National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD
Tel +1 301 496 4236

(C) Nature press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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