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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008 Mar;196(4):533-42. Epub 2007 Nov 6.

The selective dopamine D3 receptor antagonists SB-277011A and NGB 2904 and the putative partial D3 receptor agonist BP-897 attenuate methamphetamine-enhanced brain stimulation reward in rats.

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  • 1Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD, USA.



We have previously reported that selective antagonism of brain D3 receptors by SB-277011A or NGB 2904 significantly attenuates cocaine- or nicotine-enhanced brain stimulation reward (BSR).


In the present study, we investigated whether the selective D3 receptor antagonists SB-277011A and NGB 2904 and the putative partial D3 agonist BP-897 similarly reduce methamphetamine (METH)-enhanced BSR.


Rats were trained to respond for rewarding electrical self-stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle. To assess the degree of drug-induced changes in BSR, a rate-frequency curve shift paradigm was used to measure brain-reward threshold (theta 0).


METH (0.1-0.65 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently lowered ( approximately 10-50%) BSR thresholds, producing an enhancement of BSR. Pretreatment with SB-277011A (12 mg/kg, but not 24 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly attenuated METH-enhanced BSR. NGB 2904 (0.1-1.0 mg/kg, but not 10 mg/kg) also attenuated METH-enhanced BSR. SB-277011A or NGB 2904 alone, at the doses tested, had no effect on BSR. Pretreatment with BP-897 (0.1-5 mg/kg) dose-dependently attenuated METH-enhanced BSR. However, when the dose was increased to 10 mg/kg, BP-897 shifted the stimulation-response curve to the right (inhibited BSR itself) in the presence or absence of METH.


Selective antagonism of D3 receptors by SB-277011A or NGB 2904 attenuates METH-enhanced BSR in rats, while the METH-enhanced BSR attenuation produced by BP-897 may involve both D3 and non-D3 receptors. These findings support a potential use of selective D3 receptor antagonists for the treatment of METH addiction.

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