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Synapse. 1999 Oct;34(1):11-9.

Gamma-vinyl GABA inhibits methamphetamine, heroin, or ethanol-induced increases in nucleus accumbens dopamine.

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Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, USA.


We examined the acute effect of the irreversible GABA-transaminase inhibitor, gamma-vinyl GABA (GVG, Sabril((R)), Vigabatrin((R))) on increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine (DA) following acute administration of methamphetamine, heroin, or ethanol. Methamphetamine (2.5 mg/kg) produced a dose-dependent increase (2, 700%) in NAc DA. GVG preadministration (300 or 600 mg/kg), however, inhibited this response by approximately 39 and 61%, respectively. The lower dose of methamphetamine (1.25 mg/kg), increased DA by 1, 700%. This response was inhibited to a similar extent (44%) regardless of the GVG dose preadministered (300 or 600 mg/kg). In addition, heroin-induced increases in NAc DA (0.5 mg/kg, 170%) were inhibited or completely abolished by GVG (150 or 300 mg/kg, 65 and 100%, respectively). Finally, at half the dose necessary for heroin, GVG (150 mg/kg) also completely abolished ethanol-induced increases in NAc DA following a 0.25 g/kg challenge dose (140%). Taken with our previous findings using nicotine or cocaine as the challenge drug, these results indicate that GVG attenuates increases in NAc DA by a mechanism common to many drugs of abuse. However, it appears unlikely that an acute dose of GVG can completely inhibit increases in NAc DA following challenges with a drug whose mechanism of action is mediated primarily through the DA reuptake site.

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