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J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Jun;52(2):249-63.

Role of 5-hydroxytryptamine1B receptors and 5-hydroxytryptamine uptake inhibition in the cocaine-evoked discriminative stimulus effects in rats.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Science, Krakow.


Mesolimbic dopamine pathways play a critical role in the behavioural effects of cocaine in rodents. Nonetheless, research has also demonstrated involvement of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) transmission in these effects. The present study investigated the ability of selective 5-HT1B receptor ligands and a 5-HT reuptake inhibitor to substitute for or to alter (enhance or antagonise) the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine. Male Wistar rats were trained to discriminate cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) from saline (i.p.) in a two-choice, water-reinforced fixed ratio (FR) 20 drug discrimination paradigm. In substitution tests, the selective 5-HT1B receptor agonist 3-(1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-4-pyridyl)-5-propoxypyrrolo[3,2-b]pyridine (CP 94253; 2.5-5 mg/kg, i.p.) and the 5-HT reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (5-10 mg/kg, i.p.) elicited ca. 40 and 0% drug-lever responding, respectively. In combination experiments, CP 94253 (2.5-5 mg/kg) given with submaximal doses of cocaine (0.3-2.5 mg/kg) produced a leftward shift in the cocaine dose-response curve; pretreatment with CP 94253 (5 mg/kg) prior to a dose of cocaine (2.5 mg/kg) which elicited lower than 40% drug-lever responding, caused full substitution. Fluoxetine (5 and 10 mg/kg) given in combination with a submaximal dose of cocaine (2.5 mg/kg) produced a 100% drug-lever responding. Pretreatment with the 5-HT1B receptor antagonists N-[4-methoxy-3-(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)phenyl]-2'-methyl-4'-(5-methyl-[1,2,4]oxadiazol-3-yl)-1,1'-biphenyl-4 carboxamide (GR 127935; 0.5-5 mg/kg, s.c.) and 3-(3-dimethylamino)-propyl)-4-hydroxy-N-[4-(4-pyridinyl)-phenyl]benzamide (GR 55562; 1 mg/kg, s.c.) failed to modulate the dose-effect curve for cocaine (0.6-5 mg/kg). On the other hand, GR 127935 (5 mg/kg) and GR 55562 (1 mg/kg) significantly attenuated the enhancement of cocaine discrimination evoked by a combination of CP 94253 (5 mg/kg) or fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) and cocaine (2.5 mg/kg). These results indicate that 5-HT1B receptors are not directly involved in the cocaine-induced discriminative stimuli in rats. On the other hand, they indicate that pharmacological stimulation of 5-HT receptors--that also seem to be a target for fluoxetine-mediated increase in 5-HT neurotransmission--can enhance the overall effects of cocaine.

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