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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1988 Aug;30(4):853-8.

Effects of ritanserin on the rewarding properties of d-amphetamine, morphine and diazepam revealed by conditioned place preference in rats.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Medical School, University of Athens, Greece.


The possibility that 5-HT2 receptors mediate the reinforcing properties of d-amphetamine, morphine and diazepam was investigated in rats, using ritanserin, a 5-HT2 antagonist, and the conditioned place preference paradigm. Ritanserin 1 or 2.5 mg/kg did not cause place conditioning. Place preference induced by 1.5 mg/kg d-amphetamine and 2 mg/kg morphine was inhibited and attenuated respectively by pretreatment with 2.5 mg/kg ritanserin. Diazepam- (1 mg/kg) induced place preference was completely blocked by both doses of ritanserin. Ritanserin pretreatment failed to influence amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, morphine-induced analgesia and diazepam-induced increased open arm exploration of rats on the elevated plus maze. These data are discussed in terms of (a) the possibility that serotoninergic mechanisms have a role in mediating reinforcement and (b) the relationship between appetitive properties and specific behavioral effects of psychostimulants, opiates and anxiolytics.

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