4 years ago

Cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of “norepinephrine-preferring” monoamine releasers: time course and interaction studies in rhesus monkeys

David S. Jacobs, Stephen J. Kohut, John S. Partilla, Bruce E. Blough, Richard B. Rothman, Jack Bergman



The therapeutic potential of monoamine releasers with prominent dopaminergic effects is hindered by their high abuse liability.


The present study examined the effects of several novel “norepinephrine (NE)-preferring” monoamine releasers relative to non-selective monoamine releasers, d-amphetamine and d-methamphetamine, in rhesus monkeys trained to discriminate cocaine. NE-preferring releasers were approximately 13-fold more potent for NE compared to dopamine release and ranged in potency for serotonin release (PAL-329 < l-methamphetamine < PAL-169).


Adult rhesus macaques were trained to discriminate 0.4 mg/kg, IM cocaine on a 30-response fixed ratio schedule of food reinforcement. Substitution studies determined the extent to which test drugs produced cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects and their time course. Drug interaction studies determined whether pretreatment with test drugs altered the discriminable effects of cocaine.


Results show that cocaine, d-amphetamine, and d-methamphetamine dose-dependently substituted for cocaine with similar potencies. Among the “NE-preferring” releasers, PAL-329 and l-methamphetamine also dose-dependently substituted for cocaine but differed in potency. PAL-169 failed to substitute for cocaine up to a dose that disrupted responding. When administered prior to cocaine, only d-amphetamine and PAL-329 significantly shifted the cocaine dose-effect function leftward indicating enhancement of cocaine’s discriminative stimulus effects.


These data suggest that greater potency for NE relative to dopamine release (up to 13-fold) does not interfere with the ability of a monoamine releaser to produce cocaine-like discriminative effects but that increased serotonin release may have an inhibitory effect. Further characterization of these and other “NE-preferring” monoamine releasers should provide insight into their potential for the management of cocaine addiction.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-017-4731-5

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-017-4731-5

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