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Synapse. 2003 Oct;50(1):20-8.

Characterization of the effects of bupropion on the reinforcing properties of nicotine and food in rats.

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Department of Neuropharmacology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Bupropion is an atypical antidepressant drug that is the only nonnicotine-based prescription medicine approved for smoking cessation by the Food and Drug Administration. The aim of the present experiments was to investigate the effects of bupropion (5-40 mg/kg) on the reinforcing properties of nicotine and food in rats. The effects of bupropion were studied under two schedules of reinforcement: a fixed ratio 5 time-out 20-sec (FR5 TO20 s) and a progressive ratio (PR). Rats were trained to respond for nicotine (0.01 or 0.03 mg/kg/infusion, free base) or food under the FR5 TO20 s schedule. Pretreatment with the highest dose of bupropion (40 mg/kg) resulted in a significant reduction (approximately 50%) of nicotine intake in rats self-administering 0.03 mg/kg/infusion of nicotine. The same dose of bupropion also decreased (approximately 40%) the self-administration of 0.01 mg/kg/infusion of nicotine, but this effect did not reach statistical significance. Pretreatment with bupropion slightly (approximately 15%) reduced responding for food under the FR5 TO20 s schedule. Finally, pretreatment with bupropion did not affect the self-administration of nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/infusion) under a PR schedule, but dose-dependently increased responding for food under the same PR schedule. These findings indicate that a high dose of bupropion decreases the reinforcing properties of nicotine as measured under an FR schedule, while having no apparent effects on breaking points for nicotine under a PR schedule that reflects both the reinforcing properties and the motivation to obtain nicotine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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