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Behav Neurosci. 2009 Apr;123(2):382-96. doi: 10.1037/a0014592.

Blockade of the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor suppresses cue-evoked reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior in a rat self-administration model.

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  • 1Center for Addiction Research, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77550-1031, USA.


The serotonin 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT-sub(2A)R) may play a role in reinstatement of drug-seeking. This study investigated the ability of a selective 5-HT-sub(2A)R antagonist to suppress reinstatement evoked by exposure to cues conditioned to cocaine self-administration. Cocaine self-administration (0.75 mg/kg/0.1 mL/6 s infusion; FR 4) was trained in naïve, free-fed rats to allow interpretation of results independent from changes related to food deprivation stress. Pretreatment with the selective 5-HT-sub(2A)R antagonist M100907 (volinanserin) failed to reduce rates of operant responding for cocaine infusions. On the other hand, M100907 (0.001-0.8 mg/kg ip) significantly suppressed the cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior following extinction; effective M100907 doses did not alter operant responding for cues previously associated with sucrose self-administration. Importantly, a greater magnitude of active lever presses on the initial extinction session (high extinction responders) predicted the maximal susceptibility to M100907-induced suppression of cue-evoked reinstatement. The findings indicate that blockade of the 5-HT-sub(2A)R attenuates the incentive-motivational effects of cocaine-paired cues, particularly in high extinction responders, and suggests that M100907 may afford a therapeutic advance in suppression of cue-evoked craving and/or relapse.

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