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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2006 Nov-Dec;28(6):636-47. Epub 2006 Sep 20.

The last decade of solvent research in animal models of abuse: mechanistic and behavioral studies.

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Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, 5057 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


The abuse of volatile organic solvents (inhalants) leads to diverse sequelae at levels ranging from the cell to the whole organism. This paper reviews findings from the last 10 years of animal models investigating the behavioral and mechanistic effects of solvent abuse. In research with animal models of inhalant abuse, NMDA, GABA(A), glycine, nicotine, and 5HT(3) receptors appear to be important targets of action for several abused solvents with emerging evidence suggesting that other receptor subtypes and nerve membrane ion channels may be involved as well. The behavioral effects vary in magnitude and duration among the solvents investigated. The behavioral effects of acute and chronic inhalant abuse include motor impairment, alterations in spontaneous motor activity, anticonvulsant effects, anxiolytic effects, sensory effects, and effects on learning, memory and operant behavior (e.g., response rates and discriminative stimulus effects). In addition, repeated exposure to these solvents may produce tolerance, dependence and/or sensitization to these effects.

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