Acute administration of fenproporex increased acetylcholinesterase activity in brain of young rats

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Fenproporex is the second most commonly amphetamine-based anorectic consumed worldwide; this drug is rapidly converted into amphetamine, in vivo, and acts by increasing dopamine levels in the synaptic cleft. Considering that fenproporex effects on the central nervous system are still poorly known and that acetylcholinesterase is a regulatory enzyme which is involved in cholinergic synapses and may indirectly modulate the release of dopamine, the present study investigated the effects of acute administration of fenproporex on acetylcholinesterase activity in brain of young rats. Young male Wistar rats received a single injection of fenproporex (6.25, 12.5 or 25mg/kg i.p.) or vehicle (2% Tween 80). Two hours after the injection, the rats were killed by decapitation and the brain was removed for evaluation of acetylcholinesterase activity. Results showed that fenproporex administration increased acetylcholinesterase activity in the hippocampus and posterior cortex, whereas in the prefrontal cortex, striatum and cerebellum the enzyme activity was not altered. In conclusion, in the present study we demonstrated that acute administration of fenproporex exerts an effect in the cholinergic system causing an increase in the activity of acetylcholinesterase in a dose-dependent manner in the hippocampus and posterior cortex. Thus, we suggest that the imbalance in cholinergic homeostasis could be considered as an important pathophysiological mechanism underlying the brain damage observed in patients who use amphetamines such as fenproporex.




Teodorak, B. P., Ferreira, G. K., Scaini, G., Wessler, L. B., Heylmann, A. S., Deroza, P., … Streck, E. L. (2015). Acute administration of fenproporex increased acetylcholinesterase activity in brain of young rats. Anais Da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, 87(2), 1389–1395.

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